The Tosa Diary

Author(s): Ki no Tsurayuki


The Tosa Diary represents the oldest extant Japanese prose fiction and the beginnings of the great tradition of diary literature. Written in 935, the book is the record of an arduous 55-day 200-mile journey by sea from Tosa, where the author had served as a governor, to Kyoto, the capital. Narrated in the first person by a female persona, it provides modern readers not only with a fascinating look at Japanese life and travel in the tenth century but also an insight into the author's humanity and stylistic excellence. Though the author's other writings were known for their ornateness, this diary is written with an artless simplicity and quiet humor which is as welcome as it is unexpected from a nobleman of the period. His sufferings from seasickness, his grief for the loss of a minor, his pride when his little daughter composes a verse in reply to that of a visitor whom he evidently dislike, his  own verses that he cannot resist quoting, and his way of deprecating the verses of others, as well as many other details, supply a very human touch. This engaging translation includes an introduction and notes by the translator as well as the original Japanese in Romanisation. 


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Product Information

General Fields

  • : 9780804836951
  • : Tuttle Publishing
  • : Tuttle Publishing
  • : 0.14515
  • : October 2005
  • : .4 Inches X 5.25 Inches X 8 Inches
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Paperback
  • : 1