Sunday, May 2, 2021

Review of "Little Pictures of Japan," edited by Olive Beaupre Miller

 Review of

Little Pictures of Japan, edited by Olive Beaupre Miller

Five out of five stars

Classic Japanese literature republished in the interwar period

 Classic Japanese poetry is characterized by the short verse form that often refers to nature. It is generally soft in tone and will teach you a great deal about the culture. This book is a collection of short segments of verse where each is accompanied by a color illustration. The images depict scenes of Japanese people of all ages.

 Some of the segments of prose were originally published over a thousand years ago. For example, on page 35 there is the text where the title is “Hours Well Spent.”

“Months and days I’ve wasted
 Doing some useless thing -
 How few the hours that have been well spent,
 Viewing the flowers in spring!”

 Fuijiwara no Okikaze (about 910 A.D.)

 The images have been drawn in traditional Japanese style and are very expressive. While this book is an easy read, understanding it takes some deep and lengthy thought.

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