Kojiki: The Birth of Japan: The Japanese Creation Myth Illustrated


Product Details

$18.99  $17.66
Tuttle Publishing
Publish Date
9.1 X 12.2 X 0.5 inches | 1.25 pounds

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About the Author

Kazumi Wilds is an illustrator and creator of art books who was born in Japan. Kojiki: The Birth of Japan is adapted from her thesis project as an M.F.A. student at the University of Iowa, Center for the Book. She also holds a bachelor's degree from Joshibi University of Art and Design in Tokyo, where she majored in Japanese painting. She worked as a school teacher in Japan for many years before living in the United States, which included a stint running a gallery in Taos, New Mexico. She has illustrated over a dozen children's books, including All About Japan and The Peace Tree from Hiroshima--this is her first adult book. Wilds is currently teaching art courses at Temple University's Tokyo campus.


"What makes this book special is the author's own long familiarity with the actual physical locations where some of the events took place...Because of her intense personal connection with the Kojiki story, Kazumi Wilds was moved to design and print a very special limited-edition artist book on her own handmade paper that embodied the mystery of the original story. Tuttle now gives a much wider audience the opportunity to experience this beautifully executed book." --Timothy Barrett, Director, University of Iowa Center for the Book
"Kazumi Wilds' beautifully conceived retelling of the Kojiki comes at a perfect time, coinciding as it does with a resurgence of interest in Japan's earliest surviving work. The illustrations are exquisitely executed, perfectly evoking not only the mystery of myth, but also resonating with the rhythms of the text in a way that will bring this classic of world mythology alive..." --Gustav Heldt, Associate Professor of Japanese Literature, University of Virginia & translator of The Kojiki: An Account of Ancient Matters
"Visually stunning and textually lyrical, Wilds captures the playfulness and sense of humor which often gets lost in the act of translation and study of the Japanese creation myth. First birth, first death, and, ultimately, the divorce at the cosmic level, this works gives insights into how modern Japanese society still lives under the shadow of Kojiki. Here in our hands, we have a welcome addition to the Kojiki study that is both modern and traditional, profound and profane, celestial and earthy." --Mariko Nagai, Associate Professor of Creative Writing and Japanese Literature at Temple University Japan Campus
"This book substantially contributes to readers' understanding of Japan's unique culture and sensibility. I hope it will spark your interest in Japan and motivate you to visit someday." --Chihoko Tanaka, Japanese librarian
"...Kazumi Wilds retells the ["Kojiki"] myth in a vivid and accessible way alongside her own illustrations... By stripping away the formal trappings of religion that encase the myth in its traditional state, Wilds exposes the assumptions that underlie the story Japan tells about itself. At the start of the Reiwa Era, as Japan is in the process of remaking and redefining itself, the publication of this version is timely." -- The Japan Times
"...The artwork is fantastic and will fascinate those interested in Japanese mythology and the foundations of Japanese culture." -- Japan Reference blog