A Strange Tale from East of the River and Other Stories

A Strange Tale from East of the River and Other Stories A collection of short stories set in Old Tokyo in the years before and after the Second World War The stories reveal the cultural erosion which started at the beginning of modernity and describe with

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  • Title: A Strange Tale from East of the River and Other Stories
  • Author: Kafū Nagai
  • ISBN: 9784805302668
  • Page: 107
  • Format: Paperback
  • A collection of short stories set in Old Tokyo in the years before and after the Second World War The stories reveal the cultural erosion which started at the beginning of modernity, and describe with exquisite subtlety the beauty of old Tokyo.

    One thought on “A Strange Tale from East of the River and Other Stories”

    1. The River Sumida [Note: Though I read this in a French translation, there is an English translation - see below.]Nagai Kafu (1879-1959) was in the second generation of Meiji writers behind that of Natsume Soseki. Early in his career he was a member of the Japanese Naturalist movement/school, whose adherents actually adopted only certain relatively superficial characteristics of the French naturalists to their use. Though Kafu initially claimed Zola as his master, he very soon replaced him with M [...]

    2. Esta novela de Kafu Nagai pertenece a la colección "Maestros de la Literatura Japonesa" que edita la editorial Satori, especializada en divulgar la cultura Nipona. El libro lo componen dos novelas cortas, Durante las lluvias y Una extraña historia al este del río, la cual a pesar de ser la mitad, en extensión, que la anterior, da título a este libro escrito por Nagai Kafu (1879-1959).Es recomendable leer el extenso prólogo de Carlos Rubio para situar la historia y conocer mejor al autor. K [...]

    3. Nagai Kafu's invocation of Edo-period Tokyo is breathtaking and gorgeous. His prose comes off like poetry as he describes the way of life along the Sumida over which the old bridge lead to the pleasure grounds of the Geisha quarter in Tokyo. By the way, there is a spell-binding biography about Kafu and this book that I have also reviewed here on GR.

    4. I have seen several mentions of Tokyo author Kafu Nagai over the years and most recently in Stephen Mansfield's Tokyo: A Cultural History. However, A Strange Tale from East of the River and Other Stories (1972) translated by Edward Seidensticker is currently out of print, but I was able to track down a used copy. There are a variety of stories from as early as 1909 ("The River Sumida") and late as 1948 ("Scavengers"). There are some recurring themes in the stories: nostalgia, geisha, the low cit [...]

    5. For anyone who wants to feel, see, hear, and sample a taste of old Tokyo, this work, A Strange Tale from East of the River, is an enriching experience, particularly for those who have lived in Tokyo for an any extended period of time.These fascinating stories are richly colored with the life of that period. The stories evoke a lingering feeling for that bygone era, where everything was simpler, yet, to the modern reader, feels more enchanting. Also, this collection would be an interesting read f [...]

    6. I'm reviewing here Nagai's story "The River Sumida", which is a long short story (or short novella) taking place in 1890s Tokyo. It focuses on a teenage boy named Chokichi, his mother Otoyo, and his uncle Ragetsu. This family is somewhat impoverished by the changes in Tokyo life since their professions are increasingly less important than in past ages (Otoyo teaches a form of music called "tokiwazu" and Ragetsu is a professional haiku poet). Otoyo wants her son Chokichi to keep studying at schoo [...]

    7. Stopped reading between "Quiet Rain" and "A Strange Tale East of the River," and unlikely to pick it up again.Nagai has a very melancholic style, which is not uncommon in Japanese literature; but the themes of reflecting on old age, especially in the autobiographical stories, grew tiring for me. It was "Quiet Rain" that convinced me to set the book aside; to drag politics into it, when I live in an area where low voter turnout at the primary ousted a mature, moderate policy wonk and instated yet [...]

    8. The edition I’ve read contains the following two novella’s:De rivier Sumida/ Sumidagawa (1909)/ The river Sumida;Verhaal van de oostkant van de rivier/ Bokuto kidan (1937)/ A strange tale from east of the river.This is the Dutch edition, published by Coppens & Frenks, and translated by R. R. Schepman, who wrote a good afterword.It’s all about nostalgia about times gone by, of the pre-modern Japan, in a well-established atmosphere of melancholy, in which the setting is more important th [...]

    9. Several novellas and some excerpts from other writings are collected in this book. It is a good introduction into Nagai Kafu's writing. He is known for the depictions of the 'small people' of Tokyo before WWII, especially prostitutes, geishas. His writings are imbued with Japanese nostalgia of vanishing of the old, traditional and lamentations on the ageing. My opinion is, that Nagai Kafu is a obligatory read for all the Japanologist, for the others, I don't know. You have to try it.

    10. A collection of short pieces and excerpt from longer ones, spanning from 1909 to 1948. Elegiac, plaintive sketches. The barest hint of plot. Canals, alleyways, gardens, prostitutes, geisha, writers. Mood is everything. Seidensticker's translations are beautiful as always, bringing the atmosphere of Genji to a decaying, disappearing, transforming, burgeoning Tokyo.

    11. i only bought this book for 15.00 rupaih in periplus.is book contain several stories that were published in old times.ny hopes came when i bought this bookbut maybe hope were just too bigor im the one who dont understand the meaningjust one wordry artisticr me.

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