Voices of East Asia: Essential Readings from Antiquity to the Present, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Voices of East Asia

Essential Readings from Antiquity to the Present, 1st Edition

By Margaret Childs, Nancy Hope


342 pages

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Paperback: 9780765638342
pub: 2015-03-18
Hardback: 9780765638335
pub: 2015-03-24
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pub: 2015-03-12
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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.


"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,


Table of Contents

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

About the Authors

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

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Asia / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General