The Pillow Book of Sei Shōnagon

Sei Shōnagon
Illustrated by Jasper Deane
Introduced by Robin Duke
Translated by Ivan Morris

The revelatory personal writings of a lady at the court of Empress Sadako, luxuriously illustrated with watercolour paintings.

Written more than 1,000 years ago, this is the rare and precious record of a highly sophisticated woman living a privileged and protected life at the Japanese Imperial Court. Sei Shōnagon was lady-in-waiting to the Empress Sadako. Her Pillow Book is a mixture of diary, gossip, poetic musing and observations about daily life. Describing the women’s apartments, she says, 'Of course we must always be on the alert when we are staying in these apartments. Even during the day we cannot be off our guard, and at night we have to be especially careful. But I rather enjoy all this.'

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