1st Edition

Voices of East Asia Essential Readings from Antiquity to the Present

By Margaret Childs, Nancy Hope Copyright 2015
    354 Pages
    by Routledge

    354 Pages
    by Routledge

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    Voices of East Asia provides significant yet accessible readings in translation chosen to stimulate interest in the long and rich cultural history of East Asia, the countries of China, Japan, and Korea. The readings range from ancient to modern, elite to popular, and include poetry, stories, essays, and drama. Each section begins with a broad but brief overview of that country’s political and cultural history. Each reading is preceded by a concise explanation of its literary and cultural context. As expertise in East Asian studies has exploded in the West in recent decades, a novice could be overwhelmed by all the materials available now. In this volume, however, the reader will find a manageable set of texts that may be read on their own, as part of a world literature course, or as supplementary readings for an East Asian history class. As economic and political news from East Asia sweeps across the world, this anthology aims to provide a taste of the enduring traditions upon which contemporary East Asia is built, a glimpse into the hopes and fears, love and sorrow in the hearts of the people behind the headlines.

    This anthology will be welcomed by students and scholars of Asian history, culture, society and literature.

    Part I: China

    Book of Songs

    Book of Documents

    Book of Rites



    Great Learning

    Doctrine of the Mean

    Daoist Texts

    Chinese Poetry

    The West Chamber

    Journey to the West

    Outlaws of the Marsh

    Short Stories


    The Old Gun

    Part II: Japan

    Japanese Poetry

    The Pillow Book • Sei Shōnagon

    The Tale of Genji • Murasaki Shikibu

    Tales of Times Now Past

    The Tale of the Heike

    Essays in Idleness Nakamitsu

    Lord Kikui’s Wife Short Stories

    Jusan’ya. The Thirteenth Night Stories

    A Sudden Flash of Light

    Part III: Korea


    The Tale of Hong Kiltong

    Korean Poetry

    Song of a Faithful Wife, Ch’un-hyang

    Modern Korean Short Fiction


    Margaret Childs is Associate Professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Kansas, USA

    Nancy Hope is Associate Director of the Kansas Consortium for Teaching about Asia and the Associate Director for Special Projects of the Confucius Institute both at the University of Kansas, USA

    "The editors would likely join this reviewer in hoping that this volume, and its two predecessors, will stimulate beginners to delve further into the literature of Asia.
    Summing Up: Recommended."
    C. Schirokauer, Columbia University, CHOICE

    "By specifically focusing on content
    derived from China, Japan, and Korea,
    the authors provide readers with a curated
    selection of translated primary source excerpt
    content arranged in chronological sequence,
    dating from antiquity to the contemporary era.
    As such, Voices of East Asia becomes a useful reference for instructors of
    and students enrolled in advanced high school- or survey-level collegiate
    courses in East Asian history, religious studies, or literature."

    CHRISTA ADAMS, Lecturer in History, Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland,