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From the acclaimed translator of The Tale of Genji, a groundbreaking rendering of Japan’s great martial epic
The fourteenth-century Tale of the Heike is Japan’s Iliada moving depiction of the late twelfth-century wars between the Heike and Genji clans. No work has had a greater impact on later Japanese literature, theater, music, film, and mangaindeed on the Japanese people’s sense of their own past. It has also been a major source for medieval-Japan-based fantasy in English. With woodcuts by nineteenth-century artist Teisai Hokuba, a major student of the great Hokusai, Royall Tyler’s stunning presentation of this touchstone of Japanese culture recreates the oral epic as it was actually performed and conveys the rich and vigorous language of the original.
Royall Tyler is retired from the Australian National University. He holds degrees from Harvard and Columbia universities, and has taught at Harvard, Stanford, the University of Wisconsin, and elsewhere. He is also the translator of Penguin Classics’s edition of The Tale of Genji.