Title: The Heike Story
Publication Date: 1956
Edition: 1st Edition.
New York. 1956. Knopf. 1st American Edition. Very Good In Slightly Worn Dustjacket. Translated from the Japanese by Fuki Wooyenaka Uramatsu. Illustrated by Kenkichi Sugimoto. 628 pages. hardcover. Jacket painting by Fumi Komatsu. keywords: Literature Translated Japan Asia. inventory # 7383. FROM THE PUBLISHER - This superb translation brings to the English-speaking world, with no loss of color or emotion, a spectacular and famous historical novel. It is a medieval epic on a heroic scale, full of splendor and pageantry and surging narrative power. Once we plunge into its exotic atmosphere, every page brims with excitement. THE HEIKE STORY tells of the wars, feuds, intrigues, scandals, and love affairs of the decadent Imperial Court in Kyoto in the twelfth century. It was a time of corruption, of the disintegration of the effete aristocracy, of brawling samurai. Those who have seen that extraordinary film Gate of Hell will instantly recognize the scene and some of the characters. Kyoto was then at its finest, a city of palaces, temples, pagodas, and shrines surrounded by thickly wooded hills. A number of imposing gates, including Rashomon, led to its parks and broad avenues lined by the shops of gifted artisans. But crime, disorder, and lust were rampant in this beautiful city. The people were abused by the nobility, and armed Buddhist monks terrorized court and commoner alike. In despair, the Emperor called upon the provincial warrior clans, the Heiké and the Genji to quell civil disturbances. Although they succeeded, the two clans quarreled over the spoils and plunged Japan into a century of feudal war. This novel tells of the rise to power of Kiyomori of the Heiké in this lurid setting. We first meet him as a youth sunk in the poverty and obscurity to which the clans were still condemned. But when the Emperorís call came, his rise to power was spectacular, and he became the Emperorís Chief Councillor, to the consternation of his enemies, the Genji. In his wake he left a trail of blood and ruin, even though he was a gentle, enlightened man. Very attractive to women, he was helped in his intrigues by some of the most beautiful ones in the world, the court ladies of Kyoto, as well as by his own bravery and manliness. The strange twists of his fate are the core of this novel so impossible to summarize, so packed with action Ė and with poetry. For these times, bloody and terrible as they were, were also a time of great art and literature. THE HEIKÉ STORY is a modern version of a medieval classic first assembled by itinerant ballad-singers. It will enthrall Western readers; it will also offer them a delightful and diverting introduction to the source of Japanese culture. Very Good In Slightly Worn Dustjacket. Bookseller Inventory # 7383
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