Sei Shonagon's Pillow Book (Makura no Soshi) is the private journal of a lady-in- waiting to the Empress of Japan written during the 's. Sei served her. The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon Volume I & II. Home · The Size Report. DOWNLOAD PDF Elements of Mathematics Book B EM Problem Book Volume I. The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon Volume I & II. Read more · The Pillow Book of Lady The Cool Part of His Pillow · Read more · The Cool Part of His Pillow.

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Shonagon, Sei - The Pillow Book of Sei - Ebook download as PDF File .pdf) or read book online. The Pillow Book. The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon - Ebook download as PDF File .pdf), Text File ( .txt) or read book online. The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon. TheMakura no Sôshi, orThe Pillow Bookas it is generally known in English, is a collection of personal reflections and Try searching on JSTOR for other items related to this book. Read Online · Download PDF; Save; Cite this Item. Table of.

The original text of The Pillow Book had disappeared well before the end of the Heian period, and by the beginning of the Kamakura period twelfth century numerous variants were already in circulation. Except in the unlikely event that a Heian manuscript of The Pillow Book is discovered, we shall never be sure which version is closest to the original.

My own impression is that the book actually written by Shonagon was at least as un- systematic and disordered as the Shunsho Shohon and Sangenbon texts. Much depends on whether Shonagon was, as she protests, writing only for herself, or whether she had other readers in mind.

In this case Shonagon may herself have re- arranged some of the sections in her book in order to make it more coherent and readable. The structural confusion of The Pillow BooTe is generally regarded as its main stylistic weakness; yet surely part of its charm lies precisely in its rather bizarre, haphazard arrangement in which a list of'awkward things', for example, is followed by an account of the Emperor's return from a shrine, after which comes a totally unrelated incident about the Chancellor that occurred a year or two earlier and then a short, lyrical description of the dew on a clear autumn morning.

About the extraordinary beauty and evocative power of Shonagon's language Japanese readers have always agreed. School-children are still introduced to The Pillow Book as a model of linguistic purity; for, apart from proper names, titles, and quotations, there is hardly a single Chinese word or locution in the entire book. The language, rhythmic, quick-moving, varied, and compressed, is far clearer than that of The Tale of.

Genji with its long sentences and huge networks of dependent IJ clauses; for this reason many Japanese consider Shonagon's book to be a greater work of literature. In his scintillating volume, The Pillow Book of Sei SkDnagon, which contains translated extracts totalling about a quarter of the original work, Arthur Waley says: As a writer she is incomparably the best poet of her time, a fact which is apparent only in her prose and not at all in the conventional uta [JI-syllable poems] for which she is also famous.

It is true that Shonagon revels in repeating certain words and phrases. In both Chinese and Japanese literature repetition was a deliberate stylistic device; and even as careful a craftsman as Murasaki Shikibu uses the same adjective again and again in coiJ. In the writing of Sei Shonagon the reiteration of a word like okaski or a phrase like ito medetashi often serves as a sort of poetic refrain, giving a particular rhythm or mood to a passage rather than contributing specifically to its sense.

This is one of the insuperable difficulties that confront the translator when he tries to 'convey the beauty of Shonagon's prose in a language as remote from Heian Japanese as modern English. Should he reproduce each okashi and each ito by a given English equivalent, however monotonous and banal the result may be for Western readers?

The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon

Or should he conceal the repetitiveness of Shonagon's style by searching for synonyms or even by leaving out some of her favourite words when they seem I4 to add little to the meaning?

In broader terms, should he re- produce her sentences with the greatest possible mechanical accuracy, or try to suggest the poetic quality of her language at the cost of obscuring certain characteristic elements of her style? One possibility would be to produce both a literal and a literary version; but even the most long-suffering publisher could hardly welcome that solution. As usual in translation, one must compromise between the two extremes.

When in doubt, I have tended to be 'free'. This is partly because the language of The Pillow Book, in which the most laconic phrasing is often combined with seeming redundancy, is peculiarly resistant to literalism. Any 'accurate' translation would impose terrible ordeals on all but the most 'determined.

Since Shonagon's book is noted for the limpid beauty of its language, a translation that adhered to the exact wording of the original, faithfully reproducing.

A language that afforded as little pleasure to the Japanese as the following passage does to English readers would hardly have preserved The Pillow Book from oblivion for a thousand years: the manner in which [they] did such things as deliver [honourable] letters and move about and behave was not awkward-seeming and theyj conversed and laughed[.

When the need to put Shonagon's sentences into readable English has obliged me to take unusual liberties with her text, I have appended a more or less literal translation in the notes. In translating the quoted and original poems from The Pillow Book, I have abandoned all attempts to be literal and have tried instead to give their general meaning and to suggest a certain poetic rhythm.

I have not preserved the line or word patterns of the poems unless they seemed to lend themselves naturally to those forms in English. There can be no literature in the world less suited to translation than classic Japanese poetry; and it is only because verse is such an integral part of The Pillow Book that I have ventured on an undertaking that is unlikely ever to succeed.

Docteur Beaujard has provided ad verbum, prosaic versions, arranging them all, line by line, in the forms of the original poems. Publication in a single volume necessitated certain cuts. As a devotee of Sei Shonagon I found it hard to excise passages of her book; but in the hope that this new edition would make her work available to many more readers I removed the necessary number of pages from my original translation and from the accompanying notes.

Most of the cuts are lists, especially lists of place names, words, titles, and the like that are interesting mainly to the specialist. Though Sei Shonagon would certainly have disapproved of such tampering with her text, which she might well have included in her list of Presumptuous Things, I am confident that I have not jettisoned a single passage of out- standing interest or beauty. With a few, exceptions I have avoided making any additions to the text. Japanese authors, especially those writing in the classical language, omit personal names and pronouns as much as possible; in direct quotations the identity of the speakers is 16 usually left to the reader's imagination.

All this has to be sup- plied if the text is to be comprehensible in English. When Shonagon does identify her characters, she usually refers to them by their titles or offices. This helps to date the sections, but can result in great confusion since people frequently changed their posts; a gentleman who appears in one section as a Cham- berlain, for example, may be described a few pages later as.

In my translation I normally identify men by their given names e. Korechika rather than by their titles e. Major Counsellor. I have headed each of the sections with a title. In the lists these are. I have also added my own numbers for each section. I have not indicated these various additions by square brackets; if brackets were used consistently, that is, if they enclosed every single word and punctuation mark not in the original, almost each sentence would have a dozen or more pairs and to read the text would be a suffering for all but the most resolute students.

In translating titles, government offices, and the like I have normally followed the nomenclature in R. Reischauer's Early Japanese History, but I have occasionally altered his terms when they seemed cumbersome or misleading.

Except when it was essential for clarifying puns, I have usually not translated proper names. This is not a result of' Translator's Despair' but because I wished to avoid the type of false exoticism that can result from identifying the Emperor's residence, for example, as 10 the Pure and Fresh Palace'. Names should not be made to sound more colourful in translation than they do to the reader of the original Japanese.

Fifth Month , which are clearer, though ;admittedly less poetic, than literalisms like 'Rice-sprouting Month'. I have, however, given direct translations of the hours 'Hour of the Monkey', 'Hour of the Sheep', etc. My translations of trees, flowers, birds, and the like are often approximations; I have preferred to use words that correspond more or less to the Japanese original and that have a similar degree of familiarity e. Some fifty sections of The Pillow Book, representing about two fifths of its total length, can be dated by methods that are on the whole reliable.

It would have been a simple matter to rearrange these sections in chronological order, possibly putting them all together in the first part of the book, which would then become a sort of diary. I have, however, preferred to retain the confused time-sequence of the traditional texts, not because this was necessarily the order in which Shonagon arranged her book, but because any systematic reorganization would be arbitrary and possibly misleading.

If one thing is clear about the writing of The Pillow Book, it is that Shonagon was not keeping a daily, or even a monthly, record of events. To suggest that this was her intention would falsify the spirit of her work. The notes are numbered consecutively from I to and have been placed separately, in order to avoid encumbering the text. Shonagon and her courtly contemporaries, who expected their world and its customs to continue as long as civilized society lasted, would no doubt have been shocked to find that such a large quantity of annotation and scholarly accessories was neces- sary to explain an informal, seemingly simple collection of lists, descriptions, and anecdotes; but without supplementary material of this kind much of The Pillow Book is obscure, even incompre- hensible, not only to Westerners, but to modern Japanese readers as well.

Any book from a civilization as remote in time, space, and almost every other respect as Heian Japan would normally re- I8 quire far more extensive annotation and introductory material than are provided here.

Most of the lacunae are filled by my study of Court life in ancient Japan entitled The World of the Shining Prince Penguin Books, , which contains general background information about Sei Shonagon's society. The five appendices to the present edition give details about certain sub- jects that are particularly useful for understanding her book: z The Calendar; 2 The Government; 3 Places; 4 Clothes, Houses, etc.

I am also most grateful to Professor Hans Bielenstein and to Fang Chao-ying for checking the Chinese quotations and references, to Dr Hakeda Yoshito for his advice on Sanskrit terms, and to Mrs Shirley Bridgwater and Mrs , Karen Brazell for proof-reading a most complicated manuscript. Finally I am indebted to Professor Edwin Cranston for the many valuable suggestions and corrections contained in his review article on my Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon published by the Harvard Journal ofAsiatic Studies, vol.

In summer the nights. Not only when the moon shines, but on dark nights too, as the fireflies flit to and fro, and even when it rains, how beautiful it is l In autumn the evenings, when the glittering sun sinks close to the edge of the hills and the crows fly back to their nests in threes and fours and twos; more charming still is a file of wild geese, like specks in the distant sky.

When the sun has set, one's heart is moved by the sound of the wind and the hum of the insects. In winter the early mornings. It is beautiful indeed when snow has fallen during the night, but splendid too when the ground is white with frost; or even when there is no snow or frost, but it is simply very cold and the attendants hurry from room to room stirring up the fires and bringing charcoal, how well this fits the season's mood!

But as noon approaches and the cold wears off, no one bothers to keep the braziers alight, and soon nothing remains but piles of white ashes. Especially Delightful Is the First Day Especially delightful is the first day of the First Month, when the mists so often shroud the sky.

Everyone pays great attention to his appearance and dresses with the utmost care. What a pleasure it is to see them all offer their congratulations to the Emperor and celebrate their own new year!

J It is amusing to see their excitement when they find such plants 21 growing near the Palace, by no means a spot where one might expect them. I enjoy the way everyone laughs when this happens. I remember Qne occasion when I visited the Palace to see the procession of blue horses.

Several senior courtiers 1 were standing outside the guard-house of the Left Division; they had borrowed bows from the escorts, and, with much laughter, were twanging them to make the blue horses prance.

Looking through one of the gates of the Palace enclosure, I could dimly make out a garden fence, near which a number of ladies, several of them from the Office of Grounds, went to and fro.

What lucky women, I thought, who could walk about the Nine-Fold Enclosure as though they had lived there all their lives I Just then the escorts passed close to my carriage -remarkably close, in fact, consider- ing the vastness of the Palace grounds- and I could actually see the texture of their faces.

Some of them were not properly powdered; here and there their skin showed through un- pleasantly like the dark patches of earth in a garden where the snow has begun to melt. When the horses in the procession reared wildly, I shrank into the back of my carriage and could no longer see what was happening. On the eighth days there is great excitement in the Palace as people hurry to express their gratitude, and the clatter of carriages is louder than ever - all very fascinating. The fifteenth day is the festival of the full-moon gruel, 9 when a bowl of gruel is presented to His Majesty.

On this day all the women of the house carry gruel-sticks, which they hide carefully from each other. It is most amusing to see them walking about, as they await an opportunity to hit their companions. Each one ' is careful not to be struck herself and is constantly looking over. She is extremely pleased with herself and laughs merrily.

Everyone finds this delightful- except,of course, the victim, who looks very put out.

In a certain household a young gentleman had been married during the previous year to one of the girls in the family. There was a woman 11 in the house who was in the habit of lording it over everyone. On this occasion she was standing. One of the other women realized what she had in mind and burst out laughing. The woman with the stick signalled excitedly that she should be quiet.

Fortunately the young man did not notice what was afoot and he stood there unconcernedly. Suddenly she darted forward, gave him a great whack, and made her escape. Everyone in the room burst out laughing; even the young man smiled pleasantly, not in the least annoyed.

The Pillow Book of Sei Shōnagon

He was not too startled; but he did blush a little, which was charming. Sometimes when the women are hitting each other the men also join in the fun.

The strange thing is that, when a woman is hit, she often gets angry and bursts into tears; then she will upbraid her assailant and say the most awful ,things about him- most amusing.

Even in the Palace, where the atmosphere is usually so solemn, everything is in confusion on this day, and no one stands on ceremony. It is fascinating to see what happens during the period of appointments. However snowy and icy it may be, candidates of the Fourth and Fifth Ranks come to the Palace with their official requests. Those who are still young and merry seem full of confidence.

For the candidates who are old and white-haired things do not go so smoothly. Such men have to apply for help 23 from people with influence at. Court; some of them even visit ladies-in-waiting in their quarters and go to great lengths in pointing out their own merits. If young women happen to be present, they are greatly amused.

As soon as the candidates have left, they mimic and deride them- something that the old men cannot possibly suspect as they scurry from one part of the Palace to another, begging everyone, 'Please present my petition favourably to the Emperor' and 'Pray inform Her Majesty about me.

Now is the time when the peach trees come into bloom, and what a sight it is I The willows too are most charming at this season, with the buds still enclosed like silkworms in their cocoons. Mter the leaves have spread out, I find them unattractive; in fact all trees lose their charm once the blossoms have begun to scatter.

It is a great pleasure to break off a long, beautifully flowering branch from a cherry tree and to arrange it in a large vase. What a delightful task to perform when a visitor is seated nearby con- versing! It may be an ordinary guest, or possibly one of Their Highnesses, the Empress's 12 elder brothers; but in any case the visitor will wear a cherry-coloured 13 Court cloak, from the bottom of which his under-robe emerges.

I am even happier if a butterfly or a small bird flutters prettily near the flowers and I can see its face. How delightful everything is at the time of the Festival! In the daytime there is no mist to hide the sky and, glancing up, one is overcome by its beauty. On a slightly cloudy evening, or again at night, it is moving to hear in the distance the song of a hototogisu 1 s- so faint that one doubts one's own ears. When the Festival approaches, I enjoy seeing the men go to , and fro with rolls of yellowish green and deep violet material which they have loosely wrapped in paper and placed in the lids of long boxes.

At this time of the year, border shading, uneven shading, and rolled dyeing all seem more attractive than usual.

How excited they are as they run about the house, impatiently awaiting the great day, and rapping out orders to the maids: 'Fit the cords on my clogs' or 'See that the soles of my sandals are all right. I also enjoy seeing how their mothers, aunts, and elder sisters, dressed according to their ranks, accompany the girls and help keep their costumes in order.

S Different Ways of Speaking A priest's language. The speech of men and of women.

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No doubt it is an auspicious 1B thing 25 to do; but unfortunately most people are convinced that a priest is as unimportant as a piece of wood, and they treat him accord- ingly. While he is young, it is only natural that he should be curious about all sorts of things, and, if there are women about, he will probably peep in their direction though, to be sure, with a look of aversion on his face.

What is wrong about that? Yet people immediately find fault with him for even so small a lapse. The lot of an exorcist is still more painful. On his pilgrimages to Mitake, Kumano, and all the other sacred mountains he often undergoes the greatest hardships.

When people come to hear that his prayers are effective, they summon him here and there to perform services of exorcism: the more popular he becomes, the less peace he enjoys.

Sometimes he will be called to see a patient who is seriously ill and he has to exert all his powers to cast out the spirit that is causing the affliction.

But if he dozes off, exhausted by his efforts, people say reproachfully, 'Really, this priest does nothing but sleep. That is how things used to be; nowadays priests have a some- what easier life. The carriages in which I and the other ladies- in-waiting wex:e travelling arrived at the north gate.

When Tadatalra, the Chamberlain? All the attendants started to chase the dog amid great confusion. His Maiesty also reproached Lady Uma. We mum for our cat," he told her.

The imperial guards quickly succeeded in catching Olciuamaro and drove him out of the palace grounds. Poor dogl He used to swagger about so happily. How could the dog have imagined that this would be his fate? We all felt sorry for him. How i miss him!

How could any dog possibly cry so long? All the other dogs rushed out in excitement to see whatwas happening. Meanwhile,a woman who served as a cleaner in the palace latrines ran up to us. They'll surely kill him.

It was also known as the Peach Festival Memo no seiriru. We haven't seen any other dog like him recently, have rave? Some of us insisted that it was Okinamaro; others that it was not.

When I called Okinamaro, he always used to come to me, wagging his tail. But this dog does not react at all.

No, it cannot be the same one. How could any dog be alive after being flogged by two strong men? On the following morning I went to attend the empress while her hair was being dressed and she was performing her ablutions.

I was holding up the mirror for her when the dog we had seen on the previous evening slunk into the room and crouched next to one of the pillars. How sad to think he is dead!

I wonder what body he has been born into this time. It was astounding. So this really was. Okinamarol Quin; previous night it was to avoid betraying himself that he had refused to answer to his name. We were immensely moved and pleased. All the ladies gathered round, and Her Majesty summoned Lady Ukon. When the empress explained what had happened, everyone talked and laughed with great excitement.

A room with a large table adioining the imperial dining room. Yet even now, when I remember how he whimpered and trembled in response to our sympathy, it strikes me as a strange and moving scene; when people talk to me about it, I start crying myself. One day we were sitting in the room, laughing at the paintings and remarking how unpleasant they were. Toward noon the major counselor, Fujiwara no Korechika,m arrived.

A group of ladies-in—waiting was seated behind the bamboo blinds. Their cherry-color Chinese jackets hung loosely over their shoulders with the collars pulled back; they wore robes of Wisteria, golden yellow, and other colors, many of which showed beneath the blind covering the half shutter.

Make way. When the chainberlains had brought all the dishes into the chamber, they came to announce that dinner was ready, and His Majesty left by the middle door. After accompanying the emperor, Koreehika retumed to his previous place on the veranda beside the cherry blossoms. The empress pushed aside her curtain of state and came forward as far as the threshold.

It was then that Korechika slowly intoned the words of the old poem, According to traditional Chinese beliefs, the northeast was the unlucky direction. A Lover's Visit A lover's visit is the most delightful thing in the world. Sometimes he will be called to see a patient who is seriously ill and he has to exert all his powers to cast out the spirit that is causing the affliction.

The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon Volume I & II

Make way. When a three-foot curtain of state has been set up. Shonagon's collection contains nature descriptions. Each one ' is careful not to be struck herself and is constantly looking over. The Empress pushed aside her curtain of state and came forward as far as the threshold. Even I.

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