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  • Published: 4 May 2001
  • ISBN: 9780099283171
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 192
  • RRP: $14.99

The Secret History Of The Lord Of Musashi



The two exquisite novellas in this edition are life stories drawn from the rich history and mythology of Japan.

These two short novels, published in the early 1930's ranked high in Tanizaki's own estimation of his work. The contrast is stark, but in their controlled complexities of tone, both bear the unmistakable stamp of Tanizaki's hand. MUSASHI deals with the dark sexual obsessions of a sixteenth-century warlord, accidentally initiated in his youth into the morbid rites attendant upon battle. ARROWROOT too touches on the pursuit of legend, but in a totally different mode. Cast in the uniquely Japanese form of the 'essay novel', the narrative blends the stories of two friends on an expedition into the mountains south of Kyoto, one of them haunting the traces of a medieval myth, the other in search of a more recent and more private past.

  • Published: 4 May 2001
  • ISBN: 9780099283171
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 192
  • RRP: $14.99

About the author

Junichiro Tanizaki

Junichiro Tanizaki was one of Japan's greatest twentienth century novelists. Born in 1886 in Tokyo, his first published work - a one-act play - appeared in 1910 in a literary magazine he helped to found. Tanizaki lived in the cosmopolitan Tokyo area until the earthquake of 1923, when he moved to the Kyoto-Osaka region and became absorbed in Japan's past.

All his most important works were written after 1923, among them Some Prefer Nettles (1929), The Secret History of the Lord of Musashi (1935), several modern versions of The Tale of Genji (1941, 1954 and 1965), The Makioka Sisters, The Key (1956) and Diary of a Mad Old Man (1961). He was awarded an Imperial Award for Cultural Merit in 1949 and in 1965 he was elected an honorary member of the American Academy and the National Institute of Arts and Letters, the first Japanese writer to receive this honour. Tanizaki died later that same year.

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