A Tale of False Fortunes by Fumiko Enchi, Roger K. Thomas

By Fumiko Enchi, Roger K. Thomas

A story of fake Fortunes is a masterful translation of Enchi Fumiko's (1905-1986) smooth vintage, Namamiko monogatari. Written in 1965, this prize-winning paintings of historial fiction offers 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 court docket 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 considered 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' comprehensive translation makes to be had for the 1st time in English what's thought of the best paintings by way of one in every of Japan's smooth masters of prose.

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Although she was older than the emperor and possessed an unusually intelligent nature, her status in society was nevertheless backed by few years, and she had, up to that point, not been tempered by adversities. Fortune had been on her side when she, as the regent’s daughter, had met with favor. Now, with the sudden passing of her father, even Ukon was pained by thoughts of the fate that might be looming before the lovely empress. Thus the empress ended up going secretly to the emperor’s evening quarters, mingled in the ranks of Ukon’s attendants.

She was in love with the secretary of the imperial police, a young military officer named Tachibana no Yukikuni. The women serving at court cared only for the aristocracy, and showed no regard for such as the imperial police, who had the ignoble occupation of handling criminals. Kureha disregarded that and was alone in having such a lover. Her affair with him had begun with a dramatic episode: on returning from her usual secret visit at the New Year to the cottage of the nun who had been Michinaga’s nurse, Kureha’s party was attacked near Sagano by bandits.

Korechika, of course, was unaware of all this, and even Takaie, the most astute in the late regent’s household, had no knowledge of these circumstances. When Kureha took the empress’ letter—purportedly to Ukon no Naishi from Sei Shònagon—and presented herself at the evening quarters where his majesty was staying, she was not surprised when it appeared the empress dowager was also there. ” Thereupon, Ukon made an appropriate nod and said, “The empress dowager is here this evening and we are very busy.

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