Rethinking Sorrow: Revelatory Tales of Late Medieval Japan

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These "revelatory tales" consist of firsthand accounts offered by groups of monks and nuns who tell and listen to each other's tales in turn, a public sharing that is, in fact, a religious ritual by which means the storytellers hope to confirm their beliefs and strengthen their religious resolve. The tales both provide insight into the popular religious culture of medieval Japan and represent a new approach to the study and categorization of medieval short stories. Their interest, however, is not only historical. Dealing as they do with timeless human tragedy, modern readers may well find them moving and instructive. Rethinking Sorrow is important reading for anyone interested in medieval Japanese literature and culture, in Buddhist didactic literature, and in homoerotic literature. It provides a private, personal look at the religious and literary world of late medieval Japan.

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The University of Michigan Press
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