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Toward a New Modern Vernacular: Tanizaki Jun’ichirō, Yamada Yoshio, and Showa Restoration Thought

From: The Journal of Japanese Studies
Volume 39, Number 2, Summer 2013
pp. 359-396 | 10.1353/jjs.2013.0051



This article focuses on the intellectual-historical roots of the modern translation of Genji monogatari (The tale of Genji, eleventh century) by linguist Yamada Yoshio and novelist Tanizaki Jun’ichirō. It considers their early Showa (1926–45) expository writings and 1939–41 Genji translation within the openended context of a broader cultural renaissance that I call “Showa Restoration thought” and examines how Tanizaki and Yamada sought to revive what they viewed as authentic language. More generally, this account draws attention to the multidirectional possibilities for cultural renewal in early Showa Japan.

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