Saturday, March 20, 2010

The 1918 Shikoku Pilgrimage of Takamure Itsue

This just in from Susan Tennant, retired professor of literature:
Hello Beholdmyswarthyface,

I thought you might be interested to hear that I've just published an English translation of Musume Junreiki, Takamure Itsue's (1894-1964) account of her pilgrimage to Shikoku when she was 24. It's a very interesting tale with lots of information about what rural life was like in the Taishō era.

You are probably wondering about the quality of the translation in this book. Before deciding to self-publish, I submitted the translation to the Kodansha International publishing company in Tokyo and the senior editor there, Barry Lancet, praised it and sent it to their New York office to be evaluated for publication. The New York office rejected publication because they said that the topic lacked mass appeal and the book would not be commercially successful. Because I was determined that Takamure’s pilgrimage account be made available to an English speaking audience, I decided to self-publish. I felt that just as English speakers have been enriched by reading translations of Sei Shonagon's or Murasaki Shikibu's account of Heian court life, so would they be enriched by reading Takamure’s account of her pilgrimage. Her tale deserves to be read by people outside Japan.

The book is titled The 1918 Shikoku Pilgrimage of Takamure Itsue: an English translation of Musume Junreiki and is available through

Best wishes,
Susan Tennant


Mother said...

Hi my Beholdmyswarthyface,

Today is the day they vote on the health care plan. I am praying that it passes, even tho it is not perfect, it is a beginning. Anyway, how are you son? We are all fine. Last night we went with the Hanleys to see "The Last Stand" about Tolstoy. I really enjoyed it, dad didn't like it as much. I had no idea that he had a commune with people trying to live his "free" lifestyle. Helen Miran was wonderful as his wife, she was up for an academy award but didn't win.

All is fine here. Grandpa Hugh and Brett seem to be doing ok together. Brett has cleaned the place up a bunch, which is good. And grandpa is a good one for him to talk to at length about stuff. Gramps likes to talk a lot, and so does brett. They are also good listeners for each other.

The weather is great-have been going to the dog park and doing a lot of outside activities before the heat comes! Ok honey, take care. I so wish you were not soooo far away.

Oh yeah, Have you ever seen the movie "The Last Sinner" with Gregory Peck? All about gambling outside of Moscow in the late 1980s. Oh my God, it is like watching Grandpa Cigar and my brother. It was made in 1947 and it captures the mind of the gambler so well, unbelievable.

That is all for now.
Love, Mom

Mother said...
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elipsett said...

Hi, Susan,

Thank you very much for posting this... Taisho in Shikoku must be fascinating!
I see you published through CreateSpace. That makes it easier to order from! Which I shall do shortly...
Edward Lipsett
Kurodahan Press
Publisher of Hanatsumi Nikki: Flowers of Italy, by Masaharu Anesaki