Teiunshū — Wandering Clouds


Wandering Clouds

By Masaharu ANESAKI

Translated with an introduction by

Masaharu Anesaki (1873-1949) was a leading member of Japan’s most interesting generation: the second generation of Meiji scholars, who lived in a highly-educated if not rarefied world that blended Japanese and Western traditions in a way that made them unique in their country’s long history.

Following our first-English publication of Hanatsumi nikki, his neglected classic of travel writing, philosophy, history, and comparative religion, we are delighted to be able to offer the second volume of his fascinating examination of America, Europe, and India in the very first years of the 20th century. For scholars and general readers both, here is a glimpse into the mind of modern Japan as it stood at the crossroads of modernity, and a look into a very different, and gentler, West viewed through Japanese eyes.

Anesaki kept a detailed diary of his travels around the world, including one journey a travel grant from the Kahn Foundation, a philanthropic organization that funded scholars’ overseas travel in the interest of promoting international understanding.
Published in 1909, Teiunshū combines the records of several trips, opening a window into his thoughts on art, human life, European and Japanese culture, Buddhism, Christianity, and faith. Anesaki was a leading member of a generation of educated, humanistic, and surprisingly global Japanese scholars and intellectuals who helped to introduce Japan to the West. He also attempted to integrate his understanding of Western culture in his own study of Japanese religion.

Susanna Fessler examines the unique challenges of translating texts like this one, and discusses some of the issues encountered and resolved during the translation, in an article entitled "Translating Catholicism through the Buddhist Tradition."
Republished with permission of the British Centre for Literary Translation.
Read the entire article <here>.


  • Pages: xv + 282
  • Trade paperback 6" x 9" (152 mm x 228 mm)
  • ISBN: 978-4-902075-64-9

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About the author

Masaharu Anesaki (1873–1949) was one of the most important figures in the development of religious studies in Japan. Born in Kyoto, he traveled widely as a young man, pursuing studies in India and Europe, and later served as a visiting professor at Harvard University. It was during this time that he began work on his most famous book, the pioneering History of Japanese Religion (published in 1930). A series of lectures from the same period led to Art, Life, and Nature in Japan (published in 1933). Anesaki was a model scholar, and a compassionate and profound observer of his own culture and those he visited. He spent his working life at the University of Tokyo as a professor of religion. In the latter half of the 1920s he was responsible for restoring the University's library, which had been destroyed in the great Kanto earthquake of 1923.

About the translator

Susanna Fessler is Chair of the Department of East Asian Studies at the University at Albany, State University of New York. She obtained her doctorate in East Asian Literature from Yale in 1994. Professor Fessler has lived, studied, and taught in America, Japan, Taiwan, and the People’s Republic of China. Her current research involves Meiji period travelogues of the West, specifically of Japanese travelers in America and Europe. Her publications include Wandering Heart: The Work and Method of Hayashi Fumiko (1998, State University of New York Press).