Bite-size chunks of the history of Japanese fiction, with closer looks at some of its most famous works.
In this episode, we’re looking at the Meiji Era of Japanese history and its literature.
The shogunate is replaced.
Japan looks outward to the West and inward toward itself.
And a man named Natsume Sōseki chronicles it all from the perspective of a stray cat.
In this episode, we’ll be talking about Ueda Akinari and his Tales of Moonlight and Rain, some of the most influential Japanese ghost stories ever written.
A raging intellectual debate
A supernatural party game
And a friend just dying to keep his promises
This episode is marked mature.
How does “this fleeting world” transform from a Buddhist precept to a name for the red-light district?
What did reading look like in early Modern Japan?
And how many dildos does a man need to pack for a trip to the Island of Women?
Enjoy the story of a vengeful would-be lover who turns into a 40-foot snake, a sharp-witted woman with criticisms of her husband’s equipment, and a curmudgeonly Buddhist priest who learns to love poetry. In this episode, we’re talking about setsuwa—medieval Japanese anecdotes.
We’re talking about two central genres of Medieval Japanese literature—the warrior ballad and Noh drama. We’ll see two characters from The Tale of the Heike again, including the valiant female warrior Tomoe. This time, she’s a mournful ghost.
The great samurai epic and the rise of the samurai class.
The world’s oldest novel. A hero who is a paragon of beauty with an extreme Oedipus complex.
(CW: sex, rape, incest, pedophilia.)
Gods having sex, founding of the imperial dynasty, and some of the origins of WWII. Plus thoughts on the role of women in early Japanese history.
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