You Gotta Know These Japanese Authors

Unlike most other “You Gotta Know” articles, this one is primarily aimed at advanced college players. High school (and new college players) only really “gotta know” Lady Murasaki, Basho, Kawabata, and Mishima.

Japanese names are written with the family name before the given name, and that’s the part that is required in quiz bowl. For example, for a question on Lady Murasaki Shikibu, it would be correct to give Murasaki but incorrect to give Shikibu.

*Lady Murasaki wrote of Sei Shonagan: “Sei Shonagan…was dreadfully conceited. She thought herself so clever and littered her writings with Chinese characters, but…they left a great deal to be desired. Those who think of themselves as being superior to everyone else…will inevitably suffer and come to a bad end, and people who have become so precious that they go out of their way to be sensitive,…trying to capture every moment of interest, however slight, are bound to look ridiculous and superficial;…here is one who has managed to survive this far without having achieved anything of note.”

Thumbs Up! for Literature & Myth

NAQT’s Thumbs Up! for Literature & Mythology practice questions consist entirely of tossups and bonuses on literature and mythology.

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