The Book of the Dead
Paperback | Apr 2017 | University of Minnesota Press | 9780816688104 | 352pp | 216x140mm | Temporarily unavailable | GEN | AUD$39.99, NZD$47.99
Hardback | Mar 2017 | University of Minnesota Press | 352pp | 216x140mm | Forthcoming | RFB | AUD$136.99, NZD$164.00
First published in 1939 and extensively revised in 1943, The Book of the Dead, loosely inspired by the tale of Isis and Osiris from ancient Egypt, is a sweeping historical romance that tells a gothic tale of love between a noblewoman and a ghost in eighth-century Japan. Its author, Orikuchi Shinobu, was a well-received novelist, distinguished poet, and an esteemed scholar. He is often considered one of the fathers of Japanese folklore studies, and The Book of the Dead is without a doubt the most important novel of Orikuchi s career and it is a book like no other.
Here, for the first time, is the complete English translation of Orikuchi s masterwork, whose vast influence is evidenced by multiple critical studies dedicated to it and by its many adaptations, which include an animated film and a popular manga. This translation features an introduction by award-winning translator Jeffrey Angles discussing the historical background of the work as well as its major themes: the ancient origins of the Japanese nation, the development of religion in a modernizing society, and the devotion necessary to create a masterpiece.