World Within Walls (Paperback)

Japanese Literature of the Pre-Modern Era, 1600-1867 (History of Japanese Literature #2)

By Donald Keene

Columbia University Press, 9780231114677, 606pp.

Publication Date: October 20, 1999

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The Tokugawa family held the shogunate from 1603 to 1867, ruling Japan and keeping the island nation isolated from the rest of the world for more than 250 years. Donald Keene looks within the "walls" of isolation and meticulously chronicles the period's vast literary output, providing both lay readers and scholars with the definitive history of premodern Japanese literature.

World Within Walls spans the age in which Japanese literature began to reach a popular audience--as opposed to the elite aristocratic readers to whom it had previously been confined. Keene comprehensively treats each of the new, popular genres that arose, including haiku, Kabuki, and the witty, urbane prose of the newly ascendant merchant class.

About the Author

Donald Keene is Shincho Professor of Japanese Literature and University Professor Emeritus at Columbia University. He is the author of a multivolume history of Japanese literature, of which World Within Walls is the second part, and more than thirty other books, including many translations from Japanese literature. He has received numerous honors in both the United States and Japan, and is a member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.