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Mumyōzōshi (無名草子, literally "nameless book") is an early 13th-century Japanese text. One volume in length, it is the oldest existing Japanese text on prose literary criticism. The author is unknown, but the leading candidate proposed is Shunzei's Daughter. Other candidates who have been proposed include her maternal grandfather Shunzei himself and the monk Jōgaku (上覚).
The author is unknown. Hypotheses include Fujiwara no Shunzei (c. 1114 -1204); his granddaughter, often called "Shunzei's Daughter" (c. 1171 - 1252); Jōkaku (1147-1226); and Shikishi Naishinnō (1149-1201); but strongest support is for Shunzei's daughter.
The volume is composed of four distinct sections: a preface, literary criticism, poetic criticism, and a discussion on prominent literary women.
The preface introduces an 83-year-old woman on a trip. She stops to rest at a house, where she writes down the conversation of a group of women talking about literature, creating a frame tale excuse to write the volume. The frame tale itself has many elements from monogatari of the time.
The literary criticism covers 28 stories, including Genji Monogatari, Sagoromo Monogatari (ja), Yoru no Nezame, Hamamatsu Chūnagon Monogatari, and Torikaebaya Monogatari. The others mostly do not exist anymore.
The text is particularly valuable as a resource, since it includes descriptions of a number of either completely or partially lost texts.
- Nihon Koten Bungaku Daijiten (1986:1798-1799)
- Marra 1984 : 116.
- Marra 1984 : 115.
- Kubota (2007:341-342)
- Rohlich, Thomas H. (1997). "In search of critical space: The path to monogatari criticism in the Mumyōzōshi". Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies. 57 (1): 179–204. JSTOR 2719364. doi:10.2307/2719364.
- Hayashiya (1973)
- Hayashiya, Tatsusaburō (1973). Nihon Shisō Taikei 23: Kodai Chūsei Geijutsuron (in Japanese). Iwanami Shoten. ISBN 4-00-070023-5.
- Marra, Michele (1984). "Mumyōzōshi: Introduction and Translation". Monumenta Nipponica. 39 (2). JSTOR 2385013.
- Kubota, Jun (2007). Iwanami Nihon Koten Bungaku Jiten (in Japanese). Iwanami Shoten. ISBN 978-4-00-080310-6.
- Nihon Koten Bungaku Daijiten: Kan'yakuban. Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten. 1986. ISBN 4-00-080067-1.
- Fūyō Wakashū, a collection of poetry from various literary sources, many of which are no longer extant
- Marra, Michele (translator) (Summer 1984). "Mumyozoshi. Introduction and Translation". Monumenta Nipponica. Sophia University. 39 (2): 115–145. JSTOR 2385013. doi:10.2307/2385013.
- Marra, Michele (translator) (Autumn 1984). "Mumyozoshi, Part 2". Monumenta Nipponica. Sophia University. 39 (3): 281–305. JSTOR 2384595. doi:10.2307/2384595.
- Marra, Michele (translator) (Winter 1984). "Mumyozoshi, Part 3". Monumenta Nipponica. Sophia University. 39 (4): 409–434. JSTOR 2384574. doi:10.2307/2384574.