The Columbia Anthology of Modern Japanese Literature

Edited by J. Thomas Rimer and Van C. Gessel

Columbia University Press

The Columbia Anthology of Modern Japanese Literature

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Pub Date: April 2005

ISBN: 9780231118606

880 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $150.00£116.00

Pub Date: April 2005

ISBN: 9780231521642

880 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $49.99£40.00

The Columbia Anthology of Modern Japanese Literature

Edited by J. Thomas Rimer and Van C. Gessel

Columbia University Press

This comprehensive anthology collects works of fiction, poetry, drama, and essay-writing from a pivotal time in Japanese history. In addition to their literary achievements, the texts reflect the political, social, and intellectual changes that occurred in Japanese society during this period, including exposure to Western ideas and literature, the rise of nationalism, and the complex interaction of traditional and modern forces. The volume offers outstanding, often new translations of classic texts by such celebrated writers as Nagai Kafu, Shimazaki Toson, Natsume Soseki, Kawabata Yasunari, and Yosano Akiko. The editors have also unearthed works from lesser-known women writers, many of which have never been available in English.

Organized chronologically and by genre within each period, the volume reveals the major influences in the development of modern Japanese literature: the Japanese classics themselves, the example of Chinese poetry, and the encounter with Western literature and culture. Modern Japanese writers reread the classics of Japanese literature, infused them with contemporary language, and refashioned them with an increased emphasis on psychological elements. They also reinterpreted older aesthetic concepts in light of twentieth-century mentalities. While modern ideas captured the imagination of some Japanese writers, the example of classical Chinese poetry remained important for others. Meiji writers continued to compose poetry in classical Chinese and adhere to a Confucian system of thought. Another factor in shaping modern Japanese literature was the example of foreign works, which offered new literary inspiration and opportunities for Japanese readers and writers.

Divided into four chapters, the anthology begins with the early modern texts of the 1870s, continues with works written during the years of social change preceding World War I and the innovative writing of the interwar period, and concludes with texts from World War II. Each chapter includes a helpful critical introduction, situating the works within their literary, political, and cultural contexts. Additionally, there are biographical introductions for each writer.
1. First Experiments
Fiction
Mori Ogai
"The Dancing Girl"
San'yutei Encho
The Ghost Tale of the Peony Lantern
Tokai Sanshi
Strange Encounters with Beautiful Women
Poetry
"Spring Blossoms into Flower"
"Butterflies"
Yuasa Hangetsu
"Twelve Stones"
Ueki Emori
"Liberty Song"
Ochiai Naobumi
"Song of the Faithful Daughter Shiragiku"
Shimazaki Toson
"The Foxís Trick"
"First Love"
Yosano Hiroshi
"Victory Arches"
"Withered Lotus"
Takeshima Hagoromo
"The Maiden Called Love"
2. Beginnings
Fiction
Futabatei Shimei
Drifting Clouds
Izumi Kyoka
The Holy Man of Mount Koya
Koda Rohan
The Icon of Liberty
Kunikida Doppo
"Meat and Potatoes"
Masamune Hakucho
"The Clay Doll"
Mori ogai
"The Boat on the River Takase"
Nagai Kafu
"The Mediterranean in Twilight"
Ozaki Koyo
The Gold Demon
Shimazaki Toson
"The Life of a Certain Woman"
Tayama Katai
"The Girl Watcher"
Tokuda Shusei
"The Town's Dance Hall"
Tokutomi Roka
"Ashes"
Poetry in the International Style
Kodama Kagai
"The Suicide of an Unemployed Person"
"The Setting Sun"
Ishikawa Takuboku
"Better than Crying"
"Do Not Get Up"
"A Spoonful of Cocoa"
"After Endless Discussions"
Kawai Suimei
"Snowflame"
"Living Voice"
Kitahara Hakush
"Anesthesia of Red Flowers"
"Spider Lilies"
"Kiss"
Yamamura Bocho
"Ecstasy"
"Dance"
"Mandala"
Takamura Kotaro
"Bear Fur"
"A Steak Platter"
Kinoshita Mokutaro
"Nagasaki Style"
"Gold Leaf Brandy"
Yosano Akiko
"Beloved, You Must Not Die"
"In the First Person"
"A Certain Country"
"From Paris on a Postcard"
"The Heart of a Thirtyish Woman"
Poetry in Traditional Forms
Kanshi
Tanka and Haiku
Ishikawa Takuboku
Masaoka Shiki
Tanka
Haiku
Natsume Soseki
Wakayama Bokusui
Yosano Akiko
"The Dancing Girl"
"Spring Thaw"
Essays
Natsume Soseki
"The Civilization of Modern-Day Japan"
"My Individualism"
Yosano Akiko
"An Open Letter"
3. The Interwar Years
Fiction
Akutagawa Ryunosuke
"The Nose"
"The Christ of Nanking"
Arishima Takeo
"The Clock that Does Not Move"
Edogawa Ranpo
"The Human Chair"
Hori Tatsuo
The Wind Has Risen
Inagaki Taruho
One-Thousand-and-One-Second Stories
Ito Sei
"A Department Store Called M"
Kajii Motojiro
"The Lemon"
Kawabata Yasunari
"The Dancing Girl of Izu"
Kobayashi Takiji
"The Fifteenth of March, 1928"
Kuroshima Denji
"A Flock of Circling Crows"
Miyamoto Yuriko
"A Sunless Morning"
Origuchi Shinobu
Writings from the Dead
Shiga Naoya
"The Diary of Claudius"
"The Paper Door"
"The Shopboy's God"
Takeda Rintaro
"The Lot of Dire Misfortune"
Tani Joji
"The Shanghaied Man"
Tanizaki Jun'ichiro
"The Two Acolytes"
Uno Koji
"Landscape with Withered Tree"
Yokomitsu Riichi
"Mount Hiei"
Poetry in the International Style
Takamura Kotaro
"Cathedral in the Thrashing Rain"
Hagiwara Sakutaro
"On a Trip"
"Bamboo"
"Sickly Face at the Bottom of the Ground"
"The One Whoís in Love with Love"
"The Army"
"The Corpse of a Cat"
Miyazawa Kenji
"Spring & Asura"
"The Morning of the Last Farewell"
"November 3rd"
Nishiwaki Junzaburo
Seven Poems from Ambarvalia
No Traveler Returns
Kitasono Katsue
"Collection of White Poems"
"Vin du masque"
"Words"
Two Poems
"Almost Midwinter"
Kitasono's First Letter to Ezra Pound
Nakano Shigeharu
"Imperial Hotel"
"Song"
"Paul Claudel"
"Train"
"The Rate of Exchange"
Poetry in Traditional Forms
Akutagawa Ryonosuke
Kitahara Hakushu
Mitsuhashi Takujo
Ogiwara Seisensui
Okamoto Kanoko
Ozaki Hosai
Saito Mokichi
Shaku Choku
Sugita Hisajo
Taneda Santoka
Yamaguchi Seishi
Drama
Kishida Kunio
The Swing
Tanizaki Jun'ichiro
Okuni and Gohei
Essays
Kobayashi Hideo
"Literature of the Lost Home"
Sato Haruo
"Discourse on 'Elegance'"
4. The War Years
Fiction
Dazai Osamu
"December 8th"
Ishikawa Tatsuzo
Soldiers Alive
Kajiyama Toshiyuki
"The Clan Records"
Nakajima Atsushi
"The Ox Man"
ooka Shohei
Taken Captive
ota Yoko
"Fireflies"
Shimao Toshio
"The Departure Never Came"
Uno Chiyo
"A Wife's Letters"
Poetry in the International Style
Takamura Kotaro
"The Elephant's Piggy Bank"
"The Final Battle for the Ryukyu Islands"
Yoshida Issui
"Swans"
Kusano Shinpei
"Mount Fuji"
Oguma Hideo
"Long, Long Autumn Nights"
Poetry in Traditional Forms
Saitp Sanki
Toki Zenmaro
"Evidence"
Essays
Hagiwara Sakutaro
"Return to Japan"
Kobayashi Hideo
"On Impermanence"
"Taima"
Sakaguchi Ango
"A Personal View of Japanese Culture"

About the Author

J. Thomas Rimer is emeritus professor of East Asian languages and literatures at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of several works, including Traditions in Modern Japanese Fiction: An Introduction and A Reader's Guide to Japanese Literature.Van C. Gessel is professor of Japanese literature at Brigham Young University. He is the author of Three Modern Novelists: Soseki, Tanizaki, Kawabata and coeditor of The Showa Anthology: Modern Japanese Short Stories.