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Pagoda, Skull & Samurai
Japanese literary history usually classifies Koda Rohan as an idealist writer, and the three stories included in this anthology belong to this genre. The Five-Storied Pagoda, one of Koda's best-known works, is the moving account of a misunderstood carpenter who has been inspired to undertake the construction of a pagoda by himself. It is not merely a story of individualism ...more
Paperback, 280 pages
Published January 15th 2006 by Tuttle Publishing
(first published July 1982)
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i really, really enjoyed the first story ( The Five Story Pagoda) and was very interested in the second (Encounter With a Skull) but the last one (The Bearded Samurai) was not my style - historical fiction. otherwise, if you're looking for one truly great story about hope and the persistence of man, or one great story about the path to enlightenment, the first two thirds of this book will satisfy.
If you enjoy folk tales and parables, this is a nice collection of three stories. Similar to a Greek Tragedy the conflict in these stories is not between good and evil, but between men beholden to their virtues. This first story is the most touching, but all benefit from the charm of the period, long impassioned speeches that no one would be polite enough to sit through in the here and now.
Kōda Shigeyuki who used the pen name Kōda Rohan was a Japanese author in the Meiji period. His daughter, Aya Kōda, was also a noted author who often wrote about him.More about Rohan Kōda...