a gathering of resources for the Japanese writing intensive
DS 800-899 Japanese history and geography
N 7350-7359 Japanese art
NX 584 Japanese art, modern
PL 500-899 Japanese language and literature
PN 2921-2928 Japanese theater
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The Brittle Decade
Call Number: N7355.5.M64 B75 2012
Publication Date: 2012-07-31
Modernity took many forms in 1930s Japan, but in the tumultuous years before militarism pushed the country toward global aggression, it was most visibly associated with a glittering consumer culture. Inundated with western jazz-age trends and new technologies, Japan's big cities, especially Tokyo, offered the most enticing attractions to a newly liberated generation: bustling streets of department stores, cafés and teahouses, movie theaters and ballroom dance halls. Modern architecture, industrial design and fashion overshadowed traditional arts as Japan strove to take its place in a cosmopolitan world. The Brittle Years examines the different ways in which designers and artists visualized what it meant to be modern in Japan in the years leading up to World War II. Its 160 full-color illustrations of paintings, textiles and graphic arts are astonishing not only for their great visual impact but also for the insight they provide into a rapidly transforming nation. Among the more surprising images are kimonos bearing patterns of tanks or futuristic cityscapes, paintings of fashionable Japanese women with bobbed hair in western dress and handbills of factory and agricultural workers joined in solidarity. Essays by leading experts on Japanese art and history, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning author John W. Dower, elucidate the many tensions within Japanese society and show how and why such images of power, progress, and beauty helped the nation celebrate and divert modernity to new purposes during these brittle years.
Call Number: PL862.E7 Z82 2010
Publication Date: 2011-01-04
Terayama Shuji (1935-1983) was an avant-garde Japanese poet, dramatist, film director, and photographer known for his highly provocative work. In this inventive and revealing work, Steven Ridgely examines Terayama's life and art to show that a conventional notion of him does not do full justice to the meaning and importance of his wide-ranging, often playful body of work. Ridgely places Terayama at the center of Japanese and global counterculture and finds in his work a larger story about the history of postwar Japanese art and culture. He sees Terayama as reflecting the most significant events of his day: young poets seizing control of haiku and tanka in the 1950s, radio drama experimenting with form and content after the cultural shift to television around 1960, young assistant directors given free rein in the New Wave as cinema combated television, underground theatre in the politicized late 1960s, and experimental short film through the 1970s after both the studio system and art house cinema had collapsed. Featuring close readings of Terayama's art, Ridgely demonstrates how across his oeuvre there are patterns that sidestep existing power structures, never offering direct opposition but nevertheless making the opposition plain. And, he claims, there is always in Terayama's work a broad call for seeking out or creating pockets of fiction-where we are made aware that things are not what they seem-and to use otherness in those spaces to take a clearer view of reality.
Flowers of Grass
Call Number: PL850.K8 K813 2012
Publication Date: 2012-04-24
Outside Tokyo, a tuberculosis sanatorium in the village of K has a six-bed ward that the narrator, an aspiring poet, shares with a student of linguistics and budding writer named Shiomi. After the stubborn Shiomi insists on undergoing a dangerous surgical procedure and dies in the process, two notebooks turn up in his bed-sheets. Flowers of Grass unfolds as the narrator reads them, asking himself if Shiomi’s death was a sort of suicide, and learning the details of his late friend’s two great loves: for a brother and sister, both of whom reject him. Fukunaga himself spent seven years recuperating from tuberculosis following World War II, and drew on his own experiences to create a fully realized portrait of a young man of fastidious intelligence and great sorrow, and how it is possible, seeing reality from the side of death and despair, to still choose life.
Detective Fiction and the Rise of the Japanese Novel, 1880-1930
Call Number: PL726.6 .S285 2012
Publication Date: 2012-04-09
In Detective Fiction and the Rise of the Japanese Novel, Satoru Saito sheds light on the deep structural and conceptual similarities between detective fiction and the novel in prewar Japan. Arguing that the interactions between the two genres were not marginal occurrences but instead critical moments of literary engagement, Saito demonstrates how detective fiction provided Japanese authors with the necessary frameworks through which to examine and critique the nature and implications of Japan’s literary formations and its modernizing society. Through a series of close readings of literary texts by canonical writers of Japanese literature and detective fiction, including Tsubouchi Shoyo, Natsume Soseki, Shimazaki Toson, Sato Haruo, Kuroiwa Ruiko, and Edogawa Ranpo, Saito explores how the detective story functioned to mediate the tenuous relationships between literature and society as well as between subject and authority that made literary texts significant as political acts. By foregrounding the often implicit and contradictory strategies of literary texts-choice of narrative forms, symbolic mappings, and intertextual evocations among others-this study examines in detail the intricate interactions between detective fiction and the novel that shaped the development of modern Japanese literature.