cover image Wind and Waves

Wind and Waves

Yasushi Inoue. University of Hawaii Press, $0 (201pp) ISBN 978-0-8248-1178-5

The middle decades of the 13th century in East Asia, when the kingdom of Koryo (Korea) was the prey of Mongol armies, are the setting for this novelistic history. First published in Japan in 1963, the work is an outgrowth of an acclaimed contemporary Japanese novelist's interest in the era of Jenghis Khanfrom which resulted an earlier ``novelistic biography,'' The Blue Wolf. Jenghis's famous grandson, Kubilai, Emperor of China, is the dominant figure in this latest story; he seduces and seizes Koryo, using it as a stepping stone for the invasion of Japan. Chiefly an episodic narrative, with little dialogue, the telling of Kubilai's ascendancy over Koryo and the two invasions of Japan, in 1274 and 1281, moves with subtlety through the diplomatic steps and maneuvers by which the kings, ministers and people of Koryo strove to maintain their national identity. (Feb.)