Yūshi Hōgen: An Eighteenth- Century Japanese Farce (Translated, with an Introduction by Maryellen Toman Mori)

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This book is an annotated scholarly study of the Japanese literary text Yūshi hōgen (1770) accompanied by an English translation of that text, Yūshi hōgen belongs to a genre called sharebon (‘books for the stylish’), which flourished in Japan between mid-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. These were short texts, produced as booklets, which consisted mostly of dialogue and concerned pleasure-quarter culture.
They examined the behavior of male visitors to a brothel and purported to advise the would –be ‘sophisticate” on how to conduct himself from start to finish of his pleasure excursion.


“Mori has provided us with a provocative discussion of the wider context of this work’s particular contribution to the discourse of selfhood, tying it to possible Chinese influences and to a possible overlap of erotic and violent behavior…her translation of Yūshi hōgen (Playboy dialect, 1770) makes available to readers of English an important, even epoch-making work.”
-Professor Charles Shiro Inouye,
Tufts University

“The importance of Edo gesaku literature is recently being recognized in this country, but the number of researchers and researches are still limited…[it] is one of the first works which helps the establishment of the Edo sharebon genre, and is written by someone who has been a substantial contributor to the Kamigata gesaku literature. [it] provides the readers with richly informative annotations on detailed nuances of the original text.”
-Professor Eiji Sekine,
Purdue University

“The translation is utterly superb, accurate and yet fluent. More impressive is the manner in which Dr. Mori has been able to convey the clever wordplay and the overall comic tone of the original…it is erudite without being ponderous…it represents an important contribution to our appreciation of the 18th century Japanese literary world.”
-Professor H. Mack Horton,
University of California, Berekley

Table of Contents

PART ONE: A Farce to Bring the House Down
One: Coot’s Skit Sparks Explosive Laughter
Two: The Sharebon: Toasting the Japanese Sophisticate
Three: Surtext and Subtext in Yūshi hōgen
Tsū: A Question of Style
Overview of Yūshi hōgen
Ugachi: Diggin Deeper
Other Features of the Text
Four: Author Tanbaya Rihei: A Closet Firebrand?
Five: Sols of the Sunny South: Tōyō eiga
Six: What’s in a Name? Embracing China
Seven: Souls of the Sunny South: Tōba’s Expositions
Tōba and Rihei: A Dynamic Duo
Rehei Riffs on Tōba’s Expositions
Eight: A Sensual Feast: Harmonizing Eros and Death
Nine: Revolutionary Cycles: Chinese Mentorship
Launching a New Age
Ten: Unleashing the Force of Froth
Subtle Characterization
Eleven: To the Hills! Toppling the Feudal Regime
Twelve: Beyond Froufrou: A Bombshell for the Ages
PART TWO: A Rake’s Patter (An English Translation)
One: Preface
Two: list of Acts
Three: Setting Out
Four: A Teahouse in Naka-no-Cho
Five: A Night Stroll through Yoshiwara
Six: A Brothel in the Evening
Seven: Old Blades in the Dead of Night
Eight: Parting at Dawn
Works Cited

Other Literature - Japanese Books

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