Uji Shūi Monogatari
Uji Shūi Monogatari (宇治拾遺物語) is a collection of Japanese tales written around the beginning of the 13th century. The author is unknown, and it may have been revised several times.
The story is made up of 197 tales spanning 15 volumes.
The preface states that it contains tales from Japan, India, and China. However, few of them are original, with many stories containing common elements from earlier works such as Konjaku Monogatarishū.
Contents include a number of characters ranging from nobles to commoners and tales ranging from everyday stories to the obscure and comical. Several of the stories were used as a basis for short stories by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa including Hell Screen.
The tales collected in Uji Shūi Monogatari can be split into the following major categories:
- Buddhist tales
- Social tales
- Private tales
Some tales contain Buddhist didactic elements, but the overall work does not place a particularly strong emphasis on Buddhism, setting it apart from many other setsuwa collections.
It is unknown when Uji Shūi Monogatari was written. Many theories have been produced from literary and linguistic evidence. There is a great deal of variation, but they all generally point to the beginning of the 13th century.