Japanese Literature: A Very Short Introduction

Edition: 1st
Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 2023-05-15
Publisher(s): Oxford University Press
  • Free Shipping Icon

    Free Shipping on All Orders!

    *excludes Marketplace items.

List Price: $11.95

Buy New

Usually Ships in 5-7 Business Days

Rent Book

Select for Price
There was a problem. Please try again later.

Rent Digital

Online: 180 Days access
Downloadable: 180 Days
Online: 365 Days access
Downloadable: 365 Days
Online: 1460 Days access
Downloadable: Lifetime Access

Used Book

We're Sorry
Sold Out

This item is being sold by an Individual Seller and will not ship from the Online Bookstore's warehouse. The Seller must confirm the order within two business days. If the Seller refuses to sell or fails to confirm within this time frame, then the order is cancelled.

Please be sure to read the Description offered by the Seller.


With a history stretching back nearly 1,500 years, written works originating from Japan encompass a vast range of forms and genres. Since the eighth century, poetry and the non-philosophical lyric voice have occupied a central position in Japanese cultural life. The art of narrative would soon follow, blossoming in the eleventh century with one of the world's great literary masterpieces, Murasaki Shikibu's The Tale of Genji. Japanese literature later developed other genres no less important than poetry and narrative, among them the diary, the free-flowing essay, drama, the picture book, and the literary treatise.

While intensely attentive to its own tradition, Japanese literature has also embraced the outside world, particularly the influence of China. It is also embraced by the outside world in turn, exporting bestselling authors such as Haruki Murakami and Yukio Mishima. Beyond this, Japan boasts a powerful literary culture, made up of cultivated reading publics, both aristocratic and bourgeois, literary salons, specialized presses, authoritative judges of talent who cultivated and celebrated particular writers and styles, and a canon consisting of classics. A succinct introduction to one of the most dynamic and diverse world literatures, this Very Short Introduction traces the rich history of Japanese literature from its beginnings over a millennium ago to the present day.

Author Biography

Alan Tansman is Professor and Louis B. Agassiz Chair in Japanese at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of The Writings of K?da Aya, The Aesthetics of Japanese Fascism, and The Culture of Japanese Fascism, and coeditor of Studies in Modern Japanese Literature.

An electronic version of this book is available through VitalSource.

This book is viewable on PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and most smartphones.

By purchasing, you will be able to view this book online, as well as download it, for the chosen number of days.

A downloadable version of this book is available through the eCampus Reader or compatible Adobe readers.

Applications are available on iOS, Android, PC, Mac, and Windows Mobile platforms.

Please view the compatibility matrix prior to purchase.