Asian studies in Lithuania
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Kafka on the Shore

Authors: Murakami, Haruki
Translated by: Stasiūnaitė, Ieva
Translated from: English
Published on: 2007

“Kafka on the Shore” – it’s one more long, but interesting Haruki Murakami novel, which let us enjoy writer’s unique style and mysterious reality world. This novel is full of detailed descriptions about characters, their actions, and sometimes it’s hard to understand what they mean in this whole story. Novel starts when fifteen years old boy Kafka Tamura runs away from home, and he starts to search for his sister, mother and himself, too. Because from four years old he lived with his father, and father predicted to Tamura, that he will kill his father and violate his sister and mother. This prediction in whole novel is chasing the character until it gets true. More

Korean Myths

Translated by: Seo, Jinseok
Translated from: Korean
Published on: 2007

Myths described in the book “Korean myths” talks about Korean kingdoms’ establishments, gods’ origins and their life stories. Majority of myths narrating about establishment of kingdoms were written in a chronicle, which was published in 1285. Meanwhile shaman myths were started to gather only in the 20th century. This book also briefly introduces Korea’s history, religion as well as shamanism and geography. And before every myth there is a short introduction of the myth and where it is spread, so that a reader would understand everything easier.

In this book all myths are categorized into myths about kingdoms’ establishments, Korea’s mainland shaman myths and myths from Jeju Island. Last two categories were started to gather and write down only a hundred years ago by Korean and foreign (usually Japanese) researchers. Therefore they have many versions and the book also has two very different versions of Seongju’s myth. More

Empress Orchid

Authors: Min, Anchee
Translated by: Banelytė, Antanina
Translated from: English
Published on: 2007

“Empress Orchid” is a story based on true facts about incredibly beautiful girl Orchid Yehonala becoming the last Empress of China and the one to rule the longest. The action happens in 19th century in China. Growing up in the poorest province of China Anhui Orchid is promised to a son of a distant relative. However, Orchid does not want to marry the guy. At the same time the Emperor declares that he is searching for a girl to become his wife. Orchid decides to participate in a selection for an Empress. Although there are lots of girls wanting to become the Empress, Orchid with the help of her beauty becomes one of seven lucky girls which were chosen by Emperor himself. The beauty helped Orchid to get in Forbidden City, the Emperor’s palace, however, in order to appeal to Emperor the beauty will not be enough, Orchid will have to use her brain as well. More

The Pillow Book

Authors: Sei Shonagon
Translated by: Tartėnienė, Giedrė
Translated from: English
Published on: 2007

Sei Shonagon lived Heian period, when culture of Japan was flourishing. Sei Shonagon was the dame of empress Teishi and she has been serving at the palace. She became the most famous as a writer when she has written a diary „The pillow book“. This book has been written when the author was still living at the palace. All stories in this diary help to make an impression  about those days Japanese imperial life and to describe motives of authoress life, as well. However, we cannot call this book typical diary or romance. More

A Cat, a Man and Two Women

Authors: Tanizaki, Junichiro
Translated by: Mickienė, Virginija
Translated from: English
Published on: 2007

In the novella A Cat, a Man and Two Women Junichiro Tanizaki is discussing domination and humility in the personal relationships. The male protagonist, Shozo, is a spoiled and weak failure, who gets involved in a conflict between his ex-wife Shinako and his second wife Fukuko. Both women are utterly in love with Shozos cat, called Lilly, and are fighting over her. Lilly is a smart, seductive, elegant and authoritative cat, who became emotional confrontation link between Shozo and his women. This situation could be called a ‚love square‘. More

The Book of Five Rings

Authors: Musashi, Miyamoto
Translated by: Jėrinaitė, Jurgita
Translated from: English
Published on: 2007

This book is about the way of martial arts and according to the writer Miyamoto Musashi it is the true way which warriors has to take. The book is devided into five sections: The Book of Earth, The Book of Water, The Book of Fire, The Book of Wind and The Book of Emptiness.

In The Book of Earth author defines the way of martial arts with common features and writes about his own style of martial arts which he named “two skies, one style”. At that time it was a whole new two swords style of martial arts. The author also summarises the rules which a warrior has to follow and defines a common sense about what the true way of the martial arts is and how to take it right. Author compares a warrior to a carpenter. He believes that just like a carpenter, a warrior has to take care of his weapons carefully, always keep them sharp; have a fine understanding about the way of martial arts, so if the time comes, he could become a teacher. Besides all that, the author gives a brief description about all five sections of the book. More


Authors: Suzuki, Koji
Translated by: Olekaitė, Vytautė
Translated from: English
Published on: 2007

This is the third book of the famous “Ring” trilogy by the Japanese horror literature master K. Suzuki. Striking metaphysical thriller where everything is not as it seems at first glance.

The story revolves around Futami Kaoru – medical student. His father Hideyuki is diagnosed with metastatic cancer virus. This new virus appeared has no medicine and even leaves people with no hope to cure from it. After it is operated from one single organ it jumps right to the next one, until the person dies. This way twenty year old Kaoru has become the head of the family and matured ahead of time. His wanted study program and the desired family trip to New Mexico deserts were put aside. More

Thousand cranes

Authors: Kawabata, Yasunari
Translated by: Mickienė, Aldona
Translated from: Russian
Published on: 2007

The Novel ,,Thousand cranes“ is a poetic story about a young man named Kikudzi, relations between people and the remarkable beauty of Japan. The Novel takes the reader to Japan, a town called Kamakura, the place where the main character of the book- Kikuji- lives. He is a man in his early twenties, seemingly his looks as plain as the other people in this town. As everyone else, he wakes up everyday and takes off to work, attends tea ceremonies. However his life is not as simple as the reader could expect it to be. More

The Unfettered Mind

Authors: Takuan Soho
Translated by: Samsonas, Kęstutis
Translated from: English
Published on: 2007

The Unfettered Mind – a guide, written by a japanese zen master Takuan Soho to the famous XVII centurie samurai Yagyu Munenori, rival of the legendary Miyamoto Musashi. It‘s a book filled with advice on how to harmonize martial arts with zen philosophy.

The main theme of the book – understanding the martial art of fighting with swords. Everything is analyzed from a few different perspectives. Takuan is trying to forward his knowledge that he gathered  through the years with a language that Yagyu understands the best – martial arts terminology. More

Lust. Caution

Authors: Chang, Eileen
Translated by: Pometko, Agnė
Translated from: English
Published on: 2007

The novel is written about the love which is stronger than political and social ideas. Writings action takes place in Hongkong when it was occupied by the Japanese in the 1941. Here tragically and unexpectedly the destiny of two people tangled. A used to be young student girl named Wang Chachi actively participates in resistance movement in China and a man named Mr. Y, a powerful political character who works at occupied Japanese government. These heroes got mixed into a complicated and … More

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Initiators of the project: Japan foundation VDU