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Book Information: Mother of Dreams and Other Short Stories, the

Mother of Dreams and Other Short Stories, the (1986) [Anthology]
by Kobo Abe Sawako Ariyoshi Osamu Dazai Fumiko Enchi Yasuko Harada Taiko Hirabayashi Yumie Hiraiwa Yasushi Inoue Takeshi Kaiko Yasunari Kawabata Seicho Matsumoto Yoko Mori Kafu Nagai Shohei Ooka Harumi Setouchi Sakae Tsuboi Rating: Weighted - 8.5 / Average - 8.7 of 10 (3 votes) (Rate!)
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Summary (From the publisher):

To Lafcadio Hearn at the turn of the twentieth century, Japan's most priceless objets d'art were not the delicate masterpieces of its fine arts but its women. Today, the women of Japan are viewed with a mixture of old stereotypes and new misconceptions. The Mother of Dreams is an anthology of modern Japanese fiction portraying Japanese women, arranged according to five categories: the maiden, the mistress, the wife, the mother, and the working woman.

These short stories span a period that has seen great changes in the status of Japanese women. There has also been a transformation in women's expectations of themselves and of the people around them. Such changes are manifest in the treatment of the protagonists in this anthology, some of whom adhere to traditional roles while others seek to find new functions and attitudes.

The young maidens in the three short pieces by Nobel laureate Kawabata Yasunari contrast sharply with the contemporary women, such as the ordinary housewife and budding actress portrayed by Mori Yo-ko. But just as significant as change is continuity. The mistress-turned-stripper-turned-prostitute of Nagai Kafu's immediate postwar world has much in common with Kaiko Takeshi's virgin-whore from the period of the Korean War. Such images are in turn challenged by the middle-aged geisha portrayed by Enchi Fumiko and the young mother who abandons her child in Setouchi Harumi's piece, women whose depth of emotion defies the stereotypes assigned to them by their class and their occupation.

Professor Ueda's anthology presents some of the finest work of Japan's major writers, both female and male, on a subject of truly universal significance. At a time when change and continuity pose problems as well as solutions in the search for identity and meaning in our lives, The Mother of Dreams provides thought-provoking and meaningful material for us all.


Original title: The Mother of Dreams and Other Stories: Portrayals of Women in Modern Japanese Fiction
Original languages: Japanese


Genre: FictionGeneral Fiction

The following works are contained within this one:
     Lady Who Entertained, the (1948) [Short Story]
      Author: Osamu Dazai
     Socks (1948) [Short Story]
      Author: Yasunari Kawabata
     Nude (1950) [Short Story]
      Author: Kafu Nagai
     Umbrella on a Moonlit Night (1953) [Short Story]
      Author: Sakae Tsuboi
     Song of a Dead Girl (1954) [Short Story]
      Author: Kobo Abe
     Certain Voice, a (1955) [Short Story]
      Author: Takeshi Kaiko
     Wait a Year and a Half (1957) [Short Story]
      Author: Seicho Matsumoto
     Evening Bells (1960) [Short Story]
      Author: Yasuko Harada
     Tomoshibi, the (1961) [Short Story]
      Author: Sawako Ariyoshi
     Autumn Rain (1962) [Short Story]
      Author: Yasunari Kawabata
     Blind Man's Bluff (1962) [Short Story]
      Author: Fumiko Enchi
     Pheasant (1963) [Short Story]
      Author: Harumi Setouchi
     Beyond Death (1963) [Short Story]
      Author: Yasunari Kawabata
     Marriage Interview, a (1963) [Short Story]
      Author: Yasushi Inoue
     Mother of Dreams, the (1966) [Short Story]
      Author: Shohei Ooka
     Woman to Call Mother, a (1966) [Short Story]
      Author: Taiko Hirabayashi
     Lady of the Evening Faces (1979) [Short Story]
      Author: Yumie Hiraiwa
     Spring Storm (1984) [Short Story]
      Author: Yoko Mori
     Be It Ever So Humble (1984) [Short Story]
      Author: Yoko Mori


Edition #1: The Mother of Dreams and Other Short Stories

The Mother of Dreams and Other Short Stories (1986)
Edition Details:

Language: English

Edited by: Makoto Ueda
  • "Maiden, wife, mistress, mother, working woman: the 18 stories by 16 authors, both male and female, in this appealing anthology reflect these traditional women's roles while showing what radical changes have taken place within them, especially since WWII." Publisher's Weekly
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Manifested in:

The Mother of Dreams: Portrayals of Women in Modern Japanese Fiction (2004)

Format: Paperback
Publisher: Kodansha International
ISBN: 4770029764
Pages: 288

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The Mother of Dreams and Other Short Stories (1993)

Place of publication: Tokyo and New York
Publisher: Kodansha International
ISBN: 0870119265
Pages: 277
Notes: Japanese ISBN for same book is 4770014260

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The Mother of Dreams and Other Short Stories (1986)

Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Kodansha International
ISBN: 0870117750
Pages: 279

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