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Words to Live by

Words to Live by

Japanese Classics for Our Time

Nakano Koji
Translated by Juliet Winters Carpenter

Philosophy & Religion

¥2,700

Published by JPIC | Hardcover | ISBN 978-4-86658-024-1 | 236 pages | 210mm (h) x 148mm (w) | March 2018

About the Book

Nakano Kōji opens the door to the treasury of Japanese classics by introducing six writers who are his personal favorites. The writers under his lens span seven centuries, ranging from the twelfth century to the nineteenth. Three are poets; three wrote timeless prose. The hermit-monk Ryōkan, a poet who loved nothing more than bouncing balls with neighborhood children or just sitting sprawled in his hut listening to the sound of rain, teaches the value of living with a spirit of play. Kenkō offers trenchant comments on the aesthetics of life, grounded in an appreciation of the immediacy of death. Kamo no Chōmei, a journalist par excellence, found happiness late in life by flouting convention and “rejoicing in the absence of grief.” Dōgen, the founder of Sōtō Zen in Japan, takes us on a mind-bending trip to the Dharma—ultimate truth—that involves revolutionary ways of conceiving of time, life, and death. Saigyō, the beloved itinerant monk-poet, continually explores his own wayward heart and its vast, incorrigible love of beauty. Buson the haiku poet uses his painter’s eye to capture cosmic vistas as well as moments of poignancy in poems of seventeen syllables.

About the Author

NAKANO Kōji

Born in Ichikawa, Chiba Prefecture, he studied on his own and entered the prestigious Fifth High School in Kumamoto. After a stint in the armed forces during the Pacific War, he graduated from the German Literature Department of the University of Tokyo. Starting in 1952, he taught for twenty-eight years at Kokugakuin University while translating the works of modern writers such as Franz Kafka, Erich Nossack, and Günter Grass. In 1966, he went to Europe for a year as a research scholar. On his return, he immersed himself in Japanese medieval literature and began writing literary criticism, novels, and essays. His first book, a study of Shogun Minamoto no Sanetomo, came out in 1972. His book Bruegel e no tabi (Journey to Bruegel), inspired by his encounters overseas with Western paintings, validates the first half of his life while creating a distinctive worldview. He wrote various award-winning books including the autobiographical novel Mugi ururu hi ni (When the Wheat Ripens); Harasu no ita hibi (Days with Haras), a memoir of his departed dog; and Seihin no shisô (The Concept of Honest Poverty). From 1993 he served as director of the Kanagawa Literature Association. His final book was Seneca: Gendaijin e no tegami (Seneca: Letters to People of Today). Throughout his prolific writing career, Nakano explored the nature of true happiness, offering words of warning and encouragement for modern Japanese.

内容紹介

いくつかの言葉が自分の中に本当に根を下ろしたとき,はじめてそれが生きて,自分の中から育っていく-「無為」「心身永閑」.豊かな心を求めて生きた先達,良寛・兼好・鴨長明・道元・西行・蕪村の言葉から,〈いまを生きる知恵〉を学ぶ.平易な語り口により,古典の言葉がよみがえる.現代人のための古典案内集成。

著者紹介

中野孝次

1925年1月、千葉県市川市生まれ。独学で熊本の旧制五高に進み、軍隊生活を挟んで、戦後、東京大学文学部独文科を卒業。1952年から28年間、国学院大学で教鞭をとるかたわら、カフカ、ノサック、グラスなど現代ドイツ文学の翻訳紹介に努める。1966年、同学在外研究員として1年間西欧諸国に滞在。帰国後、日本の中世文学に傾倒し、日本文学の批評や小説・エッセイなどの執筆活動も開始。1972年に初の著作『実朝考』を刊行。さらに滞欧時の絵画との出会いをもとに半生を検証した1976年のエッセイ『ブリューゲルへの旅』で独自の世界を確立。その後も自伝的小説『麦熟るる日に』、愛犬の回想記『ハラスのいた日々』、凛然と生きる文人を描いた『清貧の思想』など多彩な執筆活動を続け、数々の文学賞を受賞。1993年からは財団法人神奈川文学振興会理事長を務め、2004年7月、肺炎のため逝去。最期の著書『セネカ 現代人への手紙』まで、人生の真の幸福を追求した数々の著作には、現代日本人への警句と励ましとが満ちている。

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Original Japanese Edition / 原書情報

いまを生きる知恵(抄訳)

いまを生きる知恵(抄訳)

中野孝次 著

岩波書店 刊

2002/01/17

https://www.iwanami.co.jp/book/b264044.html