Memories of the Warrior Kumagai: A Historical Novel by Donald Richie

By Donald Richie

Publish yr note: First released in 1999

In this retelling of an previous story, a warrior wrestles down an enemy commander merely to find his foe is as younger as his personal son. Shaken and not able to abide via his responsibility and slay the adolescence, he makes a decision to turn into a monk.

This recognized come upon among Kumagai no Jiro Naozane and Taira no Atsumori in the course of Japan's Heike wars has been an incredible a part of Japan's old and non secular culture ever on the grounds that. In Memoirs of the Warrior Kumagai, Donald Richie demanding situations and upends traditional types of this incident, at the same time he vividly conjures up the realm of the 12th century jap warrior with uncompromising precision and authority.

The result's a old novel within the grand culture, a piece immediately clean and undying.

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Sample text

Initially I thought their chantings were acts of devotion to allay KUMAGAI the spirits of the dead. After all, these youngsters have the reputation of being able to appease the beyond. But now I am not so certain. Perhaps there is some popular demand for their efforts, since these are all war tales. But if so, the future audience is going to receive some peculiar historical information. Right now they are still going on about times under Kiyomori. All obeyed his commands. As the grass bends before the wind, they received his favor as the earth welcomes the rain-pretty figures of speech.

I think any man in his position might have so behaved. I certainly would have. *** All this chronicling. For whom, I wonder, am I writing? Certainly not for the ballad boys whose racket I daily endure, though they might gain by my sober example; they are getting everything wrong as they turn history into entertainment. For whom, I wonder-not, certainly, for the young louts now in charge up in Kamakura. They know nothing of history. For them the world began with Yoritomo. Even Kiyomori, his great enemy, means nothing.

Nor has he gone back to any previous self. We are there, still alike-heroes, if you will, in that we have surmounted our petty persons to become these armored beings still filled with pure purpose. You may wonder that I, a priest, would continue to so express myself. Yet it is something akin to this feeling I have been describing that I expect to discover in myself as I enter the blessed land-this sense of being whole, this miracle of the sundered parts together assembled. " It is this I invoke to allow me passage.

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