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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) sleek 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 courtroom 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 should be seen principally 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' finished translation makes to be had for the 1st time in English what's thought of the best paintings through one in every of Japan's glossy masters of prose.

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Example text

The empress was in mourning, and was wearing a dark gray outer garment, yet she stood out among the young ladies-inwaiting clustered about her, all of whom were wearing the same robes of mourning. The empress’ grief-stricken appearance, with her sleeves drawn together, was so captivating as to surprise an observer that, depending on the wearer, dark robes could arouse such wistfulness. “Since he has not seen your highness’ face for some time now, I can tell that the emperor is not in good spirits.

A Tale of False Fortunes records the matter in roughly the following manner. After the dusty Tòkaden Palace was hurriedly swept and cleaned, the empress arrived. It was a departure from precedent to return to court before her father’s funeral services were completed, but both the palace minister (Korechika) and her grandfather Takashina no Naritada earnestly maintained that there was no other way but to try to win over the emperor at this time. Thus she resolved to return. The steward of the empress’ household (Michinaga) soon heard of her plans and gave her Chapter Two c 45 notice—pretending that it was by order of the empress dowager—that since it would be improper for anyone polluted by death to meet with his majesty, she should refrain from seeing him.

Moreover, your majesty has attained manhood now, and the empress will no doubt give cause for celebration before long. But even if she gives birth to your first son, if either Michikane or Michinaga is in power at the time, that prince will have absolutely no hope of succeeding to the throne. If your majesty’s love for the empress is truly deep, I beg you to give heed to my request. . ” Michitaka had been in tears as he presented his petition, his frail body withered and bent like a leafless tree.

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