Kojiki (Princeton Legacy Library) (英語) ペーパーバック – 2015/12/8
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An early Japanese classic, possibly dating as far back as A.D. 712, Kojiki is an invaluable sourcebook for students of Japanese history, religion, anthropology, and literature. Completed under the auspices of the Japanese imperial court, it is the oldest extant book in Japan, and its title (literally, "Record of Ancient Things") suggests an account of a still earlier era. It is the court's statement about the origins of the imperial clan and the leading families, and the beginnings of Japan as a nation; at the same time it is a compilation of myths, historical and pseudo-historical narratives and legends, songs, anecdotes, folk etymologies, and genealogies. An earlier translation by Basil Hall Chamberlain published in 1882 is now out of print. This translation relates the translated text to modern scholarship and includes the most recent commentaries.
Originally published in 1969.
The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.
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This is the good English translation. There are no others, and judging by conditions in the world of liberal arts, there may never be any others. In this book alone you will hear the music of 1500-year-old poetry. Due to a nasty feud over the Philippi estate it only ever got one printing, and may never be reprinted. The price of this book will only go up over the decades. Get your copy while you still can.
Highly recommended if you are fortunate enough to find it!
I am a HUGE mythology enthusiast and Japanese mythology is my favorite out of all of them. This translated ancient book's stories and how they are presented are done fairly well. And the footnotes are very nice too. My main big beef I must say is how the names are written.
There are so many hyphens and ō ö ä weird lettering it made this book very difficult to read. Izumo is spelled, "Idumo," Susanoo is spelled, Susa-nö-wo," and Amaterasu is "Ama-Terasu-Opo-Mi-Kami." And Kushinada-hime in this book is spelled, "Kusi-Nada-Pime. And the eight-headed dragon? Well, he has no name. If so it'd probably be translated, as "Jama-ta-nö-Oro-zi."
The out of publication book itself would definitely be worth the outstanding $100 price if it had the characters' names pronounced like they should be, as well as having the literal translation as well as the kanji for the people, places, and things that are named in the Kojiki.
Also, I was hoping to be greeted by some illustrations of the gods to show what they might look like. To some I might be nit-picking, but when it comes to something I have much passion in, I'm very serious about it.
It's really a crying shame that the Kojiki has yet been translated from Japanese into English and done justice by staying loyal to the language and its meaning.
I've read other people's reviews about other versions of the Kojiki that have been published, and most people say that Donald L. Philippi is the best translator of the Kojiki. Admittedly, this is the first translated version of the Kojiki that I have read.
I will look into the others now that I have read this one. The one the majority says tops all of the Kojiki translations.
All in all, this wasn't a bad book. If you can get past the cringe-worthy spellings of the Japanese names, then you'll probably enjoy this. If you can afford it...
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