Translation of The Kojiki Published by Professor Heldt

Please join us in congratulating Professor Heldt on his recently released translation of The Kojiki. Read below for more information on the translation as well as a few reviews. The translation can be purchased here


The Kojiki: An Account of Ancient Matters, translated by Gustav Heldt

Japan’s oldest surviving narrative, the eighth-century Kojiki, chronicles the mythical origins of its islands and their ruling dynasty through a diverse array of genealogies, tales, and songs that have helped to shape the modern nation’s views of its ancient past. Gustav Heldt’s engaging new translation of this revered classic aims to make the Kojiki accessible to contemporary readers while staying true to the distinctively dramatic and evocative appeal of the original’s language. It conveys the rhythms that structure the Kojiki’s animated style of storytelling and translates the names of its many people and places to clarify their significance within the narrative. An introduction, glossaries, maps, and bibliographies offer a wealth of additional information about Japan’s earliest extant record of its history, literature, and religion.

Reviews

"An accomplished and approachable translation of a crucially important work that has been desperately in need of such a new rendition." — David Lurie, Columbia University

"A translation of the Kojiki that is accurate and faithful to the original and at the same time exciting to read. A key element of the Kojiki mythology is the power of naming, and Heldt’s decision to translate the names of its various gods and royal figures has brought the narrative alive in a way that it has never been before in English." — Torquil Duthie, University of California, Los Angeles

"Heldt’s new, complete, and contemporary translation brings vibrancy and clarity to this often politicized work of ancient Japan. The poetry is rendered exquisitely, the narratives unfold with clarity; the translation itself is at once impeccable and imaginative. A master work that will generate discussions far into the future." — James E. Ketelaar, University of Chicago

"Heldt’s new translation of the Kojiki offers readers a powerful and beautifully written rendition of this critically important Japanese classic. General readers will find it an accessible and fascinating look into Japanese folklore. Specialists will find Heldt’s interpretation of Kojiki’s magic words, rich in wordplay and metaphor, deeply insightful and provocative." — Joan Piggott, University of Southern California

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