“The Kagero Diary,” is the autobiographical recordings of a Japanese woman from the tenth century. The book is translated by Sonja Arntzen from the original. In the Introduction to his revised translation of Kagero nikki, which he called The Gossamer Years, Edward Seidensticker argued that the worst sin of a translator. Watanabe: Kagero nikki later addition, hence this passage, coming as it does immediately after the preface, can be taken as the true beginning of the diary.

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And this is where I really sympathize with her, because her husband comes to fetch her back and talks about how everyone in the capital will laugh at her.

The Gossamer Years: The Diary of a Noblewoman of Heian Japan

The writer of this diary is know only as “Michitsuna’s mother”. As the author and her husband become ever more estranged from each other and the author gets very lonely, she decides to adopt one of her husband’s daughters by another woman, but even at her very young age she is courted by Tonori the Kamione of her husband’s brothers!

Plot Summary Chapters Characters. Her comments form an insightful and eye-opening view of the marriage rituals of her time. Not long after that, the Mother of Michitsuna’s sixteen-year-long marriage came to an end. Thanks for telling us about the problem.

The evolution of the Japanese ego: ‘The Gossamer Years’

A timeless and intimate glimpse into the culture of ancient Japan, this translation by Edward Seidensticker paints a revealing picture of married life in the Heian period. Fujiwara later takes up with a promiscuous woman named Omi and has a child with another woman with whom he has only a casual affair.


The diary represents the Heian period of classical Japanese literature. Views Read Edit View history. Indeed, as I think of the unsatisfying events I have recorded here, I wonder whether I have been describing anything of substance.

Feb 08, Eadweard rated it liked it Shelves: The author embarks on several. Not as amusing as The Pillow Book, but not bad in any case, it’s worth reading. Or would she have? If you’re not sure how to activate it, please refer to this site: Fujiwara Kaneie had kafero wives and numerous concubines and mistresses. But in m And so the months and the years have gone by, but little has turned out well bikki me. Jul 25, B. Towards the end of the diary, she finally reconciles herself to her separation from Kaneie, and determines to devote herself to caring for her nlkki and her adopted daughter.

The Gossamer Years: The Diary of a Noblewoman of Heian Japan by Michitsuna no Haha

From the three I’ve read I’ll categorize them like this: Order our The Kagero Diary: Aug 07, E. The more we read, the more we’d love her and sympathize with njkki plight or trouble in her mind due to those unpredictable absences by the Prince, her husband, who seemed busy working or merely divided his time to stay with another lady somewhere. The Actual Diary I would highly recommend anyone looking to read this book to put aside their 21st century expectations of nnikki, as this book is not full of juicy gossip or intrigue.

Heian Japan is famous for its frequent poetry use in daily life, at least among the aristocracy, and even notes were often exchanged in the form of poetry. Lists with This Book. Too impetuous to be satisfied as a subsidiary wife, this beautiful and unnamed noblewoman of the Heian dynasty protests the marriage system of her time in one of Japanese literature’s kagro attempts to portray difficult elements of the predominant social hierarchy.


She demands the impossible, he protests. In reading, the author came across as spoilt and wilful sometimes in my opinion, but she also seems to be suffering from sometimes acute depression.

Get The Kagero Diary: They do have a son together Michitsuna and he is very important to his mother. I thought it was amazing. Pages 55 through I started to get worn out by the footnotes, tried this method, and it worked for me.

Although Fujiwara never officially returns to kagefo first wife, he continues the relationship for years and has another child with the woman. I myself was quite speechless and thought only that I would like to die on the spot.

Something this diary left me wondering was how far away a person had to be away from during the Heian period kagerk order to send a poem. She describes her depression, loneliness and her husband’s negligence and unfaithfulness and is in general extre The writer of this diary is know only as “Michitsuna’s mother”.