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Asiatica

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ISBN 978-9985-58-824-6
Paperback
153 pages

Amaruśataka or a Hundred Verses of Amaru (in Estonian)
Amaruśataka ehk Amaru sadakond värssi
Translated from Sanskrit and commented by Martti Kalda

11,75 €

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The collection of poems "Amaruśataka", originally written in Sanskrit, is the only example of the creation of the lyric poet Amary, which has preserved to date. The main theme of the collection is the love between a man and a woman, and related feelings – sexual pleasure, torture of being apart, anticipation, outbreaks of passion and quarrels, fear of cheating.
The reader in India today is startled by the sexual liberalism revealed in Amaru's poems; the Western reader, however, is surprised by the modern way of approach to ancient love themes.
The poet Amaru (c 650–750) lived in Ancient India in the era of classical literature and culture that followed the Gupta dynasty (4th – 6th c.). Amaru's poetry has been translated into European languages since the beginning of the 19th century, first attempts to translate Amaru's verses into Estonian were made by Ado Grenzstein (1849–1916) at the end of the 19th century via the German language. This book is the first full translation of Amaru's collection of poems into Estonian.

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ISBN 978-9985-58-805-5
Paperback
533 pages

The Book of Learning by Example (in Estonian)
Usāmah bin Munqidh
Translated from Arab and commented by Üllar Peterson

18.90 €
"The Book of Learning by Example" by Usāma bin Munqidh (1095 - 1188) is one of the most famous medieval Islamic works. Together with the Koran and the "One Thousand and One Nights" stories, it is also one of the most translated books. In simple, joyful and down-to-earth form, the author gives an overview of the 12th century Syrian and Middle Eastern environment, the internal relationships of the Muslims and their interaction with the crusaders, as well as the life and hunting habits of the powerful in the Islamic world at that time. It is at once a historical source and an unconventional autobiography that is special because of the author´s spirit that is free of religious dogmas and his ability to see the "infidel" crusaders also as people - the franks as they were called at that time. There are general humanistic values present in the work, as well as detailed descriptions of everyday life and the humorous way of presentation makes it almost the only medieval Islamic historical source that is also an interesting read for a person who is not involved in Islam or history. At the same time of course, it is an invaluable source of information and an inspiration to everyone interested in medieval Islamic cultural story.

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ISBN 978-9985-58-803-1
Paper back
135 pages


Tales of Moonlight and Rain
Ueda Akinari Translation from classical Japanese with comments and foreword by Rein Raud
12.80 €
Ueda Akinari (1734-1809) is an 18th century scholar, poet and productive writer, best known for his collection of ghost stories “The Tales of Moonlight and Rain” (1776). The collection has remained popular until today and in addition to evident wisdom on the background, this exciting book also proves Akinari´s deep knowledge of people. The reader finds an extensive gallery of different human types, some noble and wise, some foolish and frivolous, just as people everywhere and throughout history are.

“If things are mixed up in the world, people’s minds also become horrible”, says Ueda Akinari. His poetic Japanese narrative takes the reader, as if struck by the full moon, to the meeting grounds of ordinary and supernatural, beautiful and eerie. “There they are – the tales of moonlight and rain,” as poetess Doris Kareva has characterised the text.

The book is rich in illustrations.

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ISBN 978-9985-58-795-9
Paper back
215 pages

Patañjali's Yogasūtra
Translated from Sanskrit by Martti Kalda
With comments and an introduction by Inga Põldma and Martti Kalda

11,90 €

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"Yogasūtra", written between the 5th and 2nd century B.C., is one of the most famous texts of Indian and world literary heritage. This piece of work was created during the ground breaking period when numerous flows of thoughts and different religions (e.g. Brahmanism, Buddhism, Jainism) were born in India. "Yogasūtra", a basic text of yoga philosophy and yoga practice written by Patañjali, is compulsory literature for everyone interested in yoga. This initiated a new ascetic ideology that spread from India and then throughout the world over the centuries and even today, still influences people´s attitude towards their body and soul. "Yogasūtra" is an ancient text that contains wisdom from the past that is still topical today.

The thorough introduction of the translation opens to the reader the most important aspects of the history, the cultural and thought provoking stories of Old India, while at the same time, telling the development story of yoga philosophy and yoga phenomenon from the past until today. The introduction includes everything that is relevant in regard to "Yogasūtra": vedic literature and philosophy of Upanishads, teaching of Buddhism and the ideology of the time. All of the most important stages of yoga history are treated. "Yogasūtra" translation includes the original and has been commented upon very thoroughly.


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ISBN 9789-985-58-775-1
Paperback
237 pages

A Hundred Poems, A Hundred Poets
Compiled by Fujiwara no Teika
Translation and commentary from Classical Japanese by Alari Allik

8 €

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A Hundred Poems, A Hundred Poets (Hyakunin isshu) is a small poetry anthology that the known poet and poetry theoretician Fujiwara Teika (1162-1241) compiled in the beginning of the 13th century. The anthology gives a good overview of the development of Japanese poetry on 7th-13th century and contains short poetry by Ono no Komachi, Ariwara no Narihira, Murasaki Shikibu, and many other known writers.

Some less known texts also made it into Teika’s little anthology, but those are also valuable in a way by providing insight about the taste preferences of the medieval literati.

This selection of poems has been made famous in Japan by a card game that people still play even nowadays during the New Year’s celebration. Thanks to this game there are still some Japanese, who know all the poems of A Hundred Poems, A Hundred Poets by heart. They use beautiful cards depicting fancily dressed courtiers, monks and ladies-in-waiting when reciting the poetry.

The pictures and calligraphy in this compilation are from a textbook for educating women from the Edo period (1603-1867) entitled The Selected Colourful Pages of Teika (Teika-sen kinyōshō, 1813).

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ISBN 9789-985-58-772-0
Paperback
272 pages

The Beloved by the Gods King Priyadarshin Ashoka’s epigraphs
The preface, epigraph translations from Aramaic and Greek and several Prakrits, and the necessary background information along with the commentary by Martti Kalda

12 €

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The great king Ashoka of Ancient India (ruling approx. 274/268 – 234/232 BC) was a legendary ruler, whose person has lost any and all historical accuracy by now, and is completely veiled by legends instead. His numerous epigraphs, found on rocks and monoliths from various places on the Hindustan peninsula, advocate a rough idea of humanism based on Buddhist teachings. The commented translations of the epigraphs, along with the analytical introduction, open Ashoka up for the Estonian reader as both – the historical person, as well as the hero in Buddhist legends. The book also uncovers the propagandist nature of the epigraphs, but also brings to us the eternal values of a welfare state: tolerance, caring, freedom of religion, morality, nonviolence, equality in front of the law.

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ISBN 9789-985-58-771-3
Paperback
232 pages


The Dramas of Gandersheim Hrotsvita
Translated from Latin by Mari Murdvee 
12 €

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Hrotsvita (approx. 930/935 – after 975) is the first known female writer of the Middle Ages, as well as the first Western author, who has written Christian plays. There is very little known about Hrotsvita’s life, mainly that most of it was spent in the rich and famous Gandersheim monastery in Saxony. Hrotsvita’s known creation consists of eight hagiographical verse-tales, six plays in rhymed prose, two historic poems, one poem and some letters. The main portion of her literary legacy as a whole only exists in a manuscript preserved in Munich, which was rediscovered in the beginning of the 16th century.

The first part of The Dramas of Gandersheim Hrotsvita includes five versed hagiographies that all praise chastity and abstinence in different ways; the second part is written in rhymed prose and contains six plays with prefaces. There is mostly a female character and her religious change of heart or martyrdom in the centre of the drama, written in Terentius’ example.

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ISBN 9789-985-58-769-0
Paperback
192 pages

Mind is Buddha: Mazu’s sermons and utterances
Mazu Daoyi 
Translated and commented from Classical Chinese by Elli Feldberg

12 €

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The main character of the book „Mind is Buddha: Mazu’s sermons and utterances“ is the Chinese chan teacher Mazu Daoyi (709-788) who is considered to be the founder of the „classical“ chan and pioneer of the linji school, which is popular even nowadays.

„Mazu’s sermons and utterances„ was first published on the 11th century. The first and second part of the manuscript are very close to the original, being based on the writings of Mazu’s students. The third part (utterances), however, is based on later sources and Mazu is depicted as a radical chan teacher who surprises his students with unexcpected words and behaviour, sometimes even using his hands and feet, to help them towards understanding.

„Mazu’s sermons and utterances„ is the first complete Buddhist text to be Estonianised from Classical Chinese. The original text in Chinese has been added to the translation, in addition to an elaborate commentary and a comprehensive preface

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ISBN 978-9985-58-742-3 Paperback
126 pages

Vairāgyaśataka ehk Sada värssi ilmaelust loobumise kiituseks 
Vairāgyaśataka (in Estonian)
Bhartṛihari
Translated from Sanskrit by Martti Kalda and Mathura

8 €

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Bhartṛihari lived and worked in northern India around the 5th to7th century when the medieval culture in Sanskrit was at its height. Although he is seen as the author of one grammar work and three collections of poetry, nothing else is known about the author's life and work. In spite of the political and cultural glory of India at the time, Bhartṛihari's poetry expresses deep pessimism and disappointment in everything earthly. He sees a downfall both in human relationships and in society. The only possible way to freedom was to lead a life of an ascetic and abstain from worldly indulgence. However, this melancholy tendency also produced some delightful poetry.
Bhartṛihari is a wonderful example of the best Indian spiritual writers whose aim is to remind us that the desire for wealth and social status does not bring true joy. Everything earthly is connected to fugacity; the real human prison is the hope that fugacious things will bring unending joy.

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ISBN 978-9985-58-726-3
Paperback
526 pages

Ajalugu voolab 
"And So Flows History" (in Estonian)
Hahn Moo-Sook 
Translated and commented by Kim Jung-Gon and Tarmo Lilleoja

Out of stock

A deeply compelling saga of love, jealousy, honor, and greed, And So Flows History (Yŏksanŭn hŭrŭnda, 1948) depicts the relentless power of exterior forces on the individual lives of three generations of the illustrious Cho family—from the waning years of the Chosŏn dynasty in the late nineteenth century to the tumultuous post-liberation era. The novel opens with a tragic confrontation between two classes: the rape of a young slave by her master, the respected magistrate Cho Tongjun. Within a year, the magistrate has been murdered by Tonghak rebels, and his two sons are leading the family to ruin—one on account of his blind adherence to tradition, the other owing to his collaboration with the Japanese. Only Tongjun’s youngest child provides hope for the future through her marriage to a enlightened young teacher and patriot.
Hahn Moo-Sook (1918-1993) is one of Korea's most celebrated writers of modern realist literature. She received many awards for her writing, including the 1986 Grand Prix of the Republic of Korea Literature Award for her novel Encounter. And So Flows History, Hahn's first novel, received first prize in a 1947 contest organized by a major Korean daily.

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ISBN 978-9985-58-733-1 Paperback
223 pages

Mägikodu 
Poems of a Mountain Home (in Estonian)
Translated from Classical Japanese and commented by Alari Allik

8 €

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Saigyō (1118-1190) is the most famous medieval Buddhist nature poet of Japan. During his fifty years of Buddhist and poetic practice, he became the archetype for many generations of Zen poets. A wandering poet-priest Saigyō is best known through his major contribution (94 poems) in the imperial anthology Shinkokinshu, and his collected works, Sankashu or Mountain Home Collection, preserves fifteen hundred waka poems. It represents all he left to the world.
This edition, translated into Estonian and commented by Alari Allik, gives a very good overview of poet’s work.

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ISBN 9789985587065
Paperback
132 pages

A Brief History of Sexuality in Premodern Japan 
Saeko Kimura

8  €

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“A Brief History of Sexuality in Pre-modern Japan” addresses sexuality in pre-modern Japanese society as revealed by court literature, picture scrolls and Buddhist art. Based on the balance between power and productivity, which derived from a political system utilizing marriage politics, pre-modern sexuality transcended the dualism of homo/heterosexuality.
Also discussed are the relationship of sexuality to family structure, feelings of desire between mothers and children, and other topics that combine to paint a compelling picture of gender politics and sexuality in pre-modern Japan. The book is based on two prize-winning studies that have previously been published only in Japanese.
Saeko Kimura is an Associate Professor in the Department of International and Cultural Studies at Tsuda College,Tokyo, Japan.

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Hullunud pilv 
Crazy Cloud (in Estonian)
Ikkyū Sōjun
Translation from classical Chinese and comments by Rein Raud

6 €

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Ikkyū was born in 1394 in a small suburb ofKyoto. It is generally held that he was the son of Emperor Go-Komatsu and a low-ranking court noblewoman. Ikkyū was a poet, calligrapher and musician who viewed the world with a profound insight that brooked no pretense, and favored unvarnished truth above religious and social conventions.

Ikkyū Sōjun was appointed head priest of the great temple at Kyoto, but he renounced the position after just nine days, denouncing the hypocrisy of the monks around him.
His poetry is often frankly erotic, sometimes humorously so. Yet it manages to achieve an immediacy and insight that is the essence of Zen practice.