One of the three seminal works of Japanese literature—a beautiful collection of poems and tales that offers an unparalleled insight into ancient Japan
Along with the Tale of Genji and One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each, the Tales of Ise is considered one of the three most important works of Japanese literature. A poem-tale collection from the early Heian period, it contains many stories of amorous adventures, faithful friendship, and travels in exile, framing the exquisite poems at the work’s heart.
The Tales of Ise has influenced waka, Noh, tales, and diaries since the time it was written, and is still the source of endless inspiration in novels, poetry, manga, and cartoons. This volume has been translated by Peter MacMillan and includes a preface by the renowned Japanologist Donald Keene.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Longlisted for the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation
“MacMillan’s Tales of Ise adds to the treasures of Japanese literature that can now be enjoyed in English translation. It is the most poetic translation of this work to date and establishes MacMillan as an outstanding translator of Japanese poetry.” —Donald Keene