The Chronicles of Lord Asunaro


Product Details

Red Circle
Publish Date
4.25 X 7.01 X 0.17 inches | 0.14 pounds

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About the Author

Kanji Hanawa, a former professor of French Literature with an interest in human psychology and complex relationships. Hanawa's narratives expose the pressures and challenges of life in Japan. Hanawa is a master of the short story. He has written several hundred since he published his first collection, Garasu no natsu (Glass Summer) to critical acclaim in 1972. In 1962, after graduating from Tokyo University, where he studied French Literature, he spent a few months in Paris, his only stay in the county to whose literature he has dedicated much of his life.Hanawa is the author of Backlight, which The Japan Times described as 'an important work of social commentary doing what all the greatest short stories do: opening a rabbit hole of thought down which the reader will fall.'
Meredith McKinney has translated numerous works of Japanese literature into English, from the earliest poetry to contemporary fiction. Among them are classics such as The Pillow Book, as well as Natsume Soseki's early modern masterpiece Kokoro, and an anthology of a thousand years of classical Japanese travel writing (Travels with a writing Brush). She lives in the bush outside the small town of Braidwood in New South Wales.


"Everything about this series' intention and design is steeped in Japanese culture...the books are thematically diverse [and] signal a cultural exchange...communicating directly and intentionally with Western audiences through fiction...similarly effective is Lord Asunaro, which charts with similar precision Asunaro's slow and quiet ascension to lordship, and maturation into an adult.' TLS

'Coping with expectations and finding our place in the world is something even Japanese warlords have known to struggle with. This is a samurai story with a difference - an amusing and compelling yarn concerning the discovery of one's passions and legacy. All good storytelling can be read as a metaphor for something, and this thought-provoking tale by Kanji Hanawa is no exception.' Alex Pearl, author of Sleeping with the Blackbirds.

'I have admired, the Akutagawa Prize-nominated Hanawa's literary style for a long time. Each time he is nominated, I recommend him. And I am delighted that he continues to write at the same prize-winning level.' Shohei Ooka, novelist and winner of the Mystery Writers of Japan Award, as well as the Noma, Asahi and Yomiuri Prizes

' an important work of social commentary doing what all the greatest short stories do: opening a rabbit hole of thought down which the reader will fall'. The Japan Times, commenting on Backlight by Kanji Hanawa

Red Circle Minis are: 'Small books for big brains' and 'beautiful pocket-sized slices of Japanese literature.' PopMatters.

'Red Circle has so far put out five mini-books of specially commissioned original Japanese fiction. All are well worth exploring and The Chronicles of Lord Asunaro is one of the most satisfying.' Japan Forward

'At short novella-length, Backlight is a quick story -- but quite effective at raising interesting questions, including about cultural and social differences and attitudes, and parental responsibilities... the universal issues and questions it addresses give it the air of larger work'. The Complete Review, commenting on Backlight by Kanji Hanawa