Review: Tales of Moonlight and Rain

Tales of Moonlight and Rain Tales of Moonlight and Rain by Ueda Akinari
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A wonderful collection of strange and elegant stories from 18th century Japan. The title (“Ugetsu Monogatari,” or “Rain-Moon Tales”) alludes to the beig that mysterious beings appear on cloudy, rainy nights and in mornings with a lingering moon. These nine stories are based on earlier versions of Chinese tales. Ueda Akinari retold these stories in a Japanese setting.

The highlights for me were probably “The Chysanthemum Vow” and “The Reed-Choked House.”

For a more detailed review, I think The Guardian has one that gives a good overview of the book:
https://www.theguardian.com/books/200…

The Japanese word for this kind of tale is kaidan, which means “narrating the strange”: a lower-key, more delicate enterprise, in other words, than the bloodcurdling designs of Walpole and his followers, and closer perhaps to what we now think of as “the uncanny”.

View all my reviews

Published by Beth @ Beth's Bookish Thoughts

This blog is for my thoughts on reading. A couple of my friends on GoodReads have blogs, so eventually I decided to start one myself. I hope to get involved in the book blogging community and become a better reader and writer! I am not accepting copies of new books for review, but I would be interested in new editions or new translations of classic authors. Find me on Upwork (as an editor) in the profile link. From September 2018 to October 2020 I blogged at Blogger.

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