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 another 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 might be seen 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 on hand for the 1st time in English what's thought of the best paintings through certainly one of Japan's sleek masters of prose.
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Extra resources for A Tale of False Fortunes
Shòshò herself generally broached the subject of Kureha during her bedtime talk. For about the first year, she praised the girl as a very perceptive junior lady-in-waiting, but after Kureha had obviously become the empress’ favorite, Shòshò began to view her jealously as a rival female and no longer spoke well of her. “At your lordship’s request, I became a sort of ‘room mother’ to Kureha, but lately she has let the empress’ favor go to her head and she pays no regard to the likes of me. ” Shòshò spoke in a tone that presumed upon Michinaga’s indulgence as she lay next to him, her head against the large sleeve of his robe.
In spite of having grown up in a military household, Yoshinori had a refined disposition and was accomplished at both writing and calculating. Should the opportunity present itself, therefore, he hoped to abandon his swords and secure a peaceful occupation—perhaps the stewardship in an influential nobleman’s household or something like that. He was actually a rather unassertive man, and even the beginning of his love affair with Toyome apparently owed less to his own advances than to seduction by the untamed passion peculiar to shrine women.
One might say the situation of the defenseless empress was that of being caught between parties struggling for power, people who were keeping a vigilant and unceasing watch on her. Many of those who knew Teishi well enough to recognize her exterior beauty and sparkling wit knew nothing of the purity of her heart, which was as limpid as fresh water. Because of her all too dazzling beauty, the empress was easily misread as having a demonic ability to manipulate the emperor. In her naive innocence—her inability even to conceive of such scheming—lay the seeds of the adverse circumstances of her later years.
A Tale of False Fortunes by Fumiko Enchi, Roger K. Thomas