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By Fumiko Enchi, Roger K. Thomas

A story of fake Fortunes is a masterful translation of Enchi Fumiko's (1905-1986) sleek vintage, Namamiko monogatari. Written in 1965, this prize-winning paintings of historial fiction offers another account of an imperial love affair narrated within the eleventh-century romance A story of Flowering Fortunes (Eiga monogatari). either tales are set within the Heian court docket of the emperor Ichijo (980-1011) and inform of the ill-fated love among the emperor and his first consort, Teishi, and of the political rivalries that threaten to divide them. whereas the sooner paintings could be seen mostly as a panegyric to the omnipotent regent Fujiwara no Michinaga, Enchi's account emphasizes Teishi's the Aristocracy and devotion to the emperor and celebrates her ''moral victory'' over the regent, who conspired to divert the emperor's attentions towards his personal daughter, Shoshi.

Roger Thomas' comprehensive translation makes to be had for the 1st time in English what's thought of the best paintings through certainly one of Japan's glossy masters of prose.

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Sample text

The God’s oracle was a propitious one, and you will certainly return victorious. ” The bandits were only five in number, but each had the strength of ten men. They tormented their attackers mercilessly, but the soldiers outnumbered them. Two of the bandits were killed and another two were taken captive. The remaining one—the largest among them—pulled up a tree by its roots and brandished it about. No one was able to get near him. Yoshinori was ordinarily weak-spirited, but the sight caused his warrior spirit to well up, and he cried: “Leave it to me.

From her childhood, however, Senshi had had a particular fondness for the youngest, Michinaga, believing that he possessed talents superior to those of his elder brothers. She secretly hoped, therefore, that Michinaga might be an advisor to her own son, Emperor Ichijò, but she was only too well aware through the history of her own ancestors that, blood relationships notwithstanding, struggles for political power could give rise to vicious feuds. For that reason, she was careful to betray no partiality toward Michinaga now that Michitaka had assumed the regency.

Said Michinaga jokingly as he sat down beside her, dispensing with formalities. “Well, how sarcastic your lordship is! I just finished helping wash the empress’ hair, and so I’m quite exhausted. Her hair, you know, is quite unlike anyone else’s. ” “Really? It’s such splendid hair, is it? . ” “It’s really awful, I tell you. . Even with two or three of us working at it, it takes a long time before we’re completely finished. . ” To Michinaga, what Shòshò had mentioned innocently was more than of passing interest; these were all things that must be remembered.

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