The Alien Within
Representations of the Exotic in Twentieth-Century Japanese Literature
Publication Year: 2009
Published by: University of Hawai'i Press
I have to thank a number of people without whose support and assistance this book would not have been written. A number of the chapters began life as papers read at symposia and scholarly conferences held at universities in Australia, North America, Japan, and Europe. In particular, in Australia I wish to thank colleagues at the universities of Sydney, Newcastle, and...
On a recent visit to the Shibuya ward office, or Shibuya city (these days Tokyo wards are often renaming themselves as cities), to renew my Japanese work visa, I noticed that the gaikokujin töroku area had changed its English sign from “alien registration” to “foreigners [sic] registration.” The registration area was still hidden away in a kind of alcove not easily visible from...
1. Translating the Alien: Tsubouchi Shōyō and Shakespeare
One of the most significant events in the history of modern Japan occurred in 1854 when Commodore Matthew Perry arrived in Edo accompanied by a powerful naval fleet with the express mission of opening Japan to the West. The last in a long line of Western attempts to prise open Japan to Western trade and commerce, it can easily be surmised from the well-armed...
2. Naturalizing the Alien: Yosano Akiko’s Revolution in Verse
In the late nineteenth century one of the last bastions of Japanese tradition, the waka, the dominant genre of traditional Japanese poetry and a mode of writing that constituted the mainstream of Japanese literature from ancient times, was breached by the irruption of Western poetry and poetics. Western poetry was seen as alien to the spirit of traditional Japanese verse, which has...
3. The Demon Within: Yosano Akiko and Motherhood
A reconceptualization of motherhood emerged at a decisive moment in the history of modern Japan—the end of the first decade of the twentieth century—through the writings of the poet Yosano Akiko on childbirth. Akiko’s verse represents the processing of a self, the poet’s unique self, into public textual form via the expression of her own experience of giving...
4. The Gothic Novel: Izumi Kyōka and Tanizaki Jun’ichirō
The gothic mode of fiction began in Europe, specifically in England, in the eighteenth century. However, the gothic as a mode of fantasy has persisted until the present day, and it has now spread beyond the novel to encompass several other art forms, most notably, in recent times, the cinema. The characteristics of Gothic fiction in the eighteenth century were the...
5. Gothic Stylistics: Arishima Takeo and Melodramatic Excess
The connection between the gothic and the melodramatic mode of writing is how a foreign style of writing, indeed a foreign mode of expression, came to dominate Arishima Takeo’s (1878–1923) fiction. It was in this sense that Arishima incorporated elements of the gothic in his fiction although the sources of this style lie not only in Western literature but in Edo literature...
6. Female Shamans: Ōshiro Tatsuhiro and Yuta
Hitherto this book has examined examples of the “other” or the “alien” taken from the prewar corpus of mainstream Japanese literature, or more properly, literature from mainland Japan. This chapter studies an example of postwar literature written in Okinawa, by a writer born, raised, and resident in Okinawa.¹ Okinawa here means the prefecture of Okinawa, not...
7. History/Fiction/Identity: Ōshiro Tatsuhiro and the Uncanny
Chapter 6 explored Öshiro Tatsuhiro’s vision of yuta, the female shamans of Okinawa, but this chapter is concerned with noro, women who in some respects have played similar roles to yuta, but whose significance for Okinawan history was much more momentous. There is no mainland equivalent in medieval or modern Japanese history to noro, although some similarities may...
8. The Alien Without: Murakami Haruki and the Sydney Olympics
This chapter will focus on a single volume by the acclaimed Japanese author Murakami Haruki (b. 1949)—Shidonii! (Sydney!)—published in January 2001 by the Bungei Shunjü company in Tokyo. Three-quarters of this 409-page book, published originally as a single volume and then in two volumes in paperback, consists of Murakami’s...
The subject of the exotic or the alien is a perennial one for literature. Freud’s discussion of the uncanny is primarily aesthetic, based on a reading of several eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European works of literature. Gothic is a mode of writing that dates back over two hundred years, so to analyze several works of Japanese literature written in the twentieth century...
Publication Year: 2009
OCLC Number: 436459101
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