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The Tosa Diary

3.29  ·  Rating Details ·  78 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Written with artless simplicity and quiet humor, The Tosa Diary is the story of a fifty-five day journey by ship from Tosa to Kyoto in AD 935.
Paperback, 128 pages
Published October 15th 2005 by Tuttle Publishing (first published 935)
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Oct 08, 2012 David rated it it was amazing
Shelves: big-red-circle
Woop! Boat trip from Kochi City to Kyoto! Stopping off at Nahari (奈半利) (Nawa here – 奈半), Hane Cape and Muroto! Lots of waka, lots of being sad about a dead daughter they've left behind, lots of "it's a bit windy so we're going to stay in port for another week". You can totally see how Japan didn't make it to Australia.

Annoyingly, "it has proven impossible for technical reasons to reproduce the sketch of Ki no Tsurayuki's route that appeared in the original edition".

This translation is from 1912,
Phillip Kay
Jan 01, 2013 Phillip Kay rated it really liked it
THE TOSA DIARY was written in 935 by a famous Japanese scholar, poet and government administrator named Ki no Tsurayuki who lived in the reign of the Emperor Sujaku. Tsurayuki had served a term as Governor of Tosa on the island of Shikoku and while returning to the capital Kyoto he kept a diary to mark the journey. It is the earliest surviving work of Japanese prose.

Other diaries of this period exist. The great novelist known as Murasaki Shikibu (the first name is a nickname taken from her book
Feb 27, 2013 Richard rated it liked it
This isn't the greatest work of early Japanese prose, but is interesting. To me, the best part of this edition is that it's bilingual (on facing pages), so we can read -- er, I mean struggle through -- the original classical Japanese at the same time as reading Porter's English translation.
Gertrude & Victoria
I recommend this obscure work only for those interested in either Japanese literature or Japanese history. There would be no reason to read it otherwise. The book is a slim diary written by the provincial governor of Tosa on his return trip by boat to the capital, Kyoto, during the year 935.
Cannonhistory Potter
Kind of a bummer. Almost Hobbesian in its description of life: not quite 'nasty, brutish and short', but almost there.
Nov 14, 2015 Mejix rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The description of a return voyage on boat by a government functionary that had recently lost a daughter. A little curious book, unpretentious and light.
Apr 03, 2013 Iztok rated it it was amazing
Being a classical piece of literature it is really hard to evaluate it. It is very important for the Japanese literature, but a bit uninteresting for general readership.
Oct 28, 2013 John rated it really liked it

Almost like a time travel, helps one get a sincere image of what travel was like a millennium ago, replete with poetry.
Ynnah Coelho
Sep 27, 2013 Ynnah Coelho rated it liked it
Writing your nikki through other's perspective is something challenging and interesting. :D Godbless for our report then.
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Ki no Tsurayuki (紀 貫之, 872 – June 30, 945) was a Japanese author, poet and courtier of the Heian period. He is best known as the principal compiler of the Kokin Wakashū and as a possible author of the Tosa Diary, although this was published anonymously.

Tsurayuki was a son of Ki no Mochiyuki. In the 890s he became a poet of waka, short poems composed in Japanese. In 905, under the order of Emperor
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