Japan in the 10th century stood physically and culturally isolated from the rest of the world. Inside this bubble, a subtle and beautiful world was in operation, and its inhabitants were tied to the moment, having no interest in the future and disdain for the past. In a small diary, a young courtesan of the Heian period gives her account of the Japanese courts of the day, providing perspective on a unique time in Japanese history. A contemporary of Murasaki Shikibu, the author of The Tale of Genji, Sei Sho-nagon's commentary brings an added dimension to that timeless and seminal work.
In a place and time where poetry was as important as knowledge and beauty was highly revered, Sei Shonagon's private writings give the reader a charming and intimate glimpse into a time of isolated innocence and pale beauty.