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By Fumiko Enchi, Roger K. Thomas

A story of fake Fortunes is a masterful translation of Enchi Fumiko's (1905-1986) glossy vintage, Namamiko monogatari. Written in 1965, this prize-winning paintings of historial fiction provides an alternate account of an imperial love affair narrated within the eleventh-century romance A story of Flowering Fortunes (Eiga monogatari). either tales are set within the Heian court docket of the emperor Ichijo (980-1011) and inform of the ill-fated love among the emperor and his first consort, Teishi, and of the political rivalries that threaten to divide them. whereas the sooner paintings could be seen mostly as a panegyric to the omnipotent regent Fujiwara no Michinaga, Enchi's account emphasizes Teishi's the Aristocracy and devotion to the emperor and celebrates her ''moral victory'' over the regent, who conspired to divert the emperor's attentions towards his personal daughter, Shoshi.

Roger Thomas' entire translation makes on hand for the 1st time in English what's thought of the best paintings by way of one in all Japan's smooth masters of prose.

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Extra resources for A Tale of False Fortunes

Example text

Such women are of course granted audience with the sovereign of the whole realm, and do not hide their faces in shame no matter whom they meet, be it a noble, a courtier, or an official of the fourth or fifth rank. If a man installs such a woman as his full wife, some will dislike her lack of reserve. On the other hand, even after her marriage she will be referred to as “Assistant Handmaid,” and will be given access to court. She will be able to serve formally at the Kamo Festival, and will thus be a credit to her household.

It was upon Teishi that the youthful emperor bestowed all of his special affection. Though her mother, Kishi, was the upstart daughter of a provincial official, the other ladies-in-waiting and imperial concubines faded in obscurity before Teishi like stars before the moon. Empress Teishi had grown up under favorable circumstances and was gifted with both intelligence and beauty. She was unable to harbor the secret machinations others imagined, and one might conclude it was because she in no way felt inferior to them.

Looking at the 46 c A Tale of False Fortunes beautiful, masculine cursive hand, the empress could not help feeling pleased that in the short time she had not seen him, his handwriting had matured to such neatness. Although he was the first man with whom she had been intimate, in the mind of the empress—who was five years his senior—he was always like a younger brother on whom she lavished affection. Michinaga had already told the emperor that he must not meet with the empress because she was mourning the regent’s passing.

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