Reading great books in the original should be the culmination of language study, but reading Japanese literature unassisted is a daunting task that can defeat even the most able of students. Breaking into Japanese Literature is specially designed to help you bypass all the frustration and actually enjoy classics of Japanese literature. Breaking into Japanese Literature features seven graded stories covering a variety of genres: whether it's the spellbinding surrealism of Natsume Soseki's Ten Nights of Dreams, the humor of Akutagawa Ryunosuke's fable of temple life ("The Nose"), or the excitement of his historic thrillers ("In a Grove" and "Rashomon"), you are sure to find a story that appeals to you in this collection. The unique layout -- with the original Japanese story in large print, an easy-to-follow English translation and a custom dictionary -- was created for maximum clarity and ease of use. There's no need to spend time consulting reference books when everything you need to know is right there in front of your nose. To make Japanese literature fun, Breaking into Japanese Literature also has some unique extra features: mini-biographies to tell you about the authors' lives and works, individual story prefaces to alert you to related works of literature or film, and original illustrations to fire your imagination. Best of all, MP3 sound files of all the stories have been made available for FREE on the Internet. Breaking into Japanese Literature provides all the backup you need to break through to a new and undiscovered world -- the world of great Japanese fiction. All the hard work has been taken care of so you can enjoy the pleasures of the mind. Why not take advantage? Learn * 50% of all common-use kanji covered * Kanji entry numbers given for follow-up study * Japanese + English translation + custom dictionary on the same page * Every single kanji word explained Listen * Free download of sound files from the Net Look * Original atmospheric illustrations Link * Original stories for Kurosawa's Rashomon and Dreams All the stories in this book are available on the Internet as MP3 sound files read by professional Japanese actors. For students who want to consolidate their understanding of kanji, the entry numbers for any of the 2,230 characters in The Kodansha Kanji Learner's Dictionary have been provided when those characters feature in Breaking into Japanese Literature. This makes cross-referencing a matter of seconds.
The classic samurai novel about the real exploits of the most famous swordsman. Miyamoto Musashi was the child of an era when Japan was emerging from decades of civil strife. Lured to the great Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 by the hope of becoming a samurai--without really knowing what it meant--he regains consciousness after the battle to find himself lying defeated, dazed and wounded among thousands of the dead and dying. On his way home, he commits a rash act, becomes a fugitive and brings life in his own village to a standstill--until he is captured by a weaponless Zen monk. The lovely Otsu, seeing in Musashi her ideal of manliness, frees him from his tortuous punishment, but he is recaptured and imprisoned. During three years of solitary confinement, he delves into the classics of Japan and China. When he is set free again, he rejects the position of samurai and for the next several years pursues his goal relentlessly, looking neither to left nor to right. Ever so slowly it dawns on him that following the Way of the Sword is not simply a matter of finding a target for his brute strength. Continually striving to perfect his technique, which leads him to a unique style of fighting with two swords simultaneously, he travels far and wide, challenging fighters of many disciplines, taking nature to be his ultimate and severest teacher and undergoing the rigorous training of those who follow the Way. He is supremely successful in his encounters, but in the Art of War he perceives the way of peaceful and prosperous governance and disciplines himself to be a real human being. He becomes a reluctant hero to a host of people whose lives he has touched and been touched by. And, inevitably, he has to pit his skill against the naked blade of his greatest rival. Musashi is a novel in the best tradition of Japanese story telling. It is a living story, subtle and imaginative, teeming with memorable characters, many of them historical. Interweaving themes of unrequited love, misguided revenge, filial piety and absolute dedication to the Way of the Samurai, it depicts vividly a world Westerners know only vaguely. Full of gusto and humor, it has an epic quality and universal appeal. The novel was made into a three-part movie by Director Hiroshi Inagai. For more information, visit the Shopping area
An actress, television personality, and writer recounts her experiences as a "problem child" at school, which lead to her being sent to an independent school, where she proved the goal of the school: to develop the potential of each child