Published by the Center for the Study of The Great Ideas (founded in 1990 by Mortimer J. Adler and Max Weismann)
In association with the The Adler-Aquinas Institute and Aquinas School of Leadership
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Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Great Books of the East - The Japanese tradition

This earlier post introduced an article on "the idea and history of classics or great books in the four eastern traditions, Islamic, Indian, Chinese and Japanese" and provided a suggested list of the essential works in the Islamic tradition. A third post had the list for the Chinese tradition. In this fourth post, here are suggested great books in the Chinese tradition.
Man'yoshu (complied after 759)
Murasaki Shikibu (c. 973 or 978 – c. 1014 or 1031)
The Tale of Genji (Genji monogatari)
Sei Shonagon (c. 966 – 1017/1025)
The Pillow Book (Makura no Soshi)
Kamo no Chomei (1153 or 1155 – 1216)
An Account of My Hut or The Ten Foot Square Hut (Hojoki, 1212)
Yoshida Kenko (1284 – 1350)
Essays in Idleness, also known as The Harvest of Leisure (Tsurezuregusa, between 1330 and 1332)
Recommended genre or authors without specifying individual works.
Noh (c. 14th Century)
Twenty Plays of the No Theatre, Donald Keene, ed. (1970)
Ihara Saikaku (1642 – September 9, 1693)
Novels
Matsuo Basho (1644 – 1694)
Poems
Chikamatsu Monzaemon (1653 – 6 January 1725)
Plays
"(alternate selections: Religius writings of the eminent Japanese monks Kukai [(774 – 835)], Dogen [(19 January 1200 – 22 September 1253)], and Hakuin [Ekaku (January 19, 1686 - January 18, 1768)], while important in the history of Japanese religion, were difficult even for the Japanese to understand and, though respected, did not have a wide readership. The more widely read literary and dramatic works were probably also more expressive of the actual religious sentiments of the Japanese, as well of their literary preferences. These might include, in addition to the above, the major poetry anthologies, Kokiknshu [Kokin Wakashu (about 953)] and Shinkokinshu [Shin Kokin Wakashu (c. 1439)], the novel The Tale of the Heike [Heike Monogatari (after 1185)], and the eighteenth century drama Chushingura [The Treasury of Loyal Retainers (1748)].)"

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