This monthly workshop, hosted by Jacqueline Pigeot since November 1997, is dedicated to the translation of the core texts of the Japanese literary tradition. After completing the translation of a set of critical texts from the Edo period, then of Kamo no Chomei’s Notes Without a Title and finally of the Kaidōki (“Travel Account of the Road to the [Eastern] Sea”), an anonymous travel journal dated to the middle of the 13th century, the group will turn to the translation of the collection of Medieval setsuwa (stories or anecdotes) on the topic of dreams. The collections of setsuwa, which flourished at the end of the Heian period and in the Kamakura period (12th and 13th centuries), are a rich source of information, on a literary level, and also for understanding Ancient Japan. They also were an important source for later literary works to draw on, in the Edo period as well as in the 20th century. If the sheer volume of these collections makes it difficult to put forward a full translation (although some complete translations can be found, like The Tales of Uji by René Sieffert), choosing a particular research topic will allow us to focus on a limited number of texts and study them thoroughly. The provisional topic chosen for this project—dreams—is richly represented in anecdotal literature and will allow us to address a wide variety of subjects relating to literature and fiction (in connexion with both literary practices and forms), as well as the history of beliefs and mentalities.
Scientific output and planned scientific activities
Publication of the translated, prefaced and annotated texts. The workshop is organised as a monthly meeting.