Memoirs, Diaries, and Personal Reflections From Meihi- Taisho Japan (1868-1926): A Selection Of, and Commentary Upon Literary Miscellanies of the kindai period

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Within Japan’s literary tradition, sketches on literary, psychological, and other miscellaneous topics enjoy considerable popularity. Western academia tends to dismiss such writings but they are crucial to understanding Japanese culture. This collection fills a critical lacuna in scholarship on Kindai literature.


“One gets a strong sense that Marcus is drawn to the kindai bundan on a private level, that his connection to them is as personal as it is academic. His long-term fascination with the inner lives of celebrated personalities derives, we imagine, from his interest in existential concerns endemic to the modern human condition..;.And as we absorb this “literature of self-exploration and psychological complexity,” it becomes as personal to us as it is to Marcus.”
-W. Puck Brecher,
Associate Professor of Japanese
Washington State University

Table of Contents

Introduction: Kindai Japan and the Empire of Words
 The Meiji Mission
Bunmei Kaika
 Fukoku kyôhei

 Meiji Society and Citizenry
 Empire of Words: The Kindai Bundan
 Selfhood, Psychology, Memory
 On This Book
 Endnotes
Chapter 1: Kijin: On Eccentricity, Ineffectuality, and Failure in the Kindai Bundan
 On Eccentricity
 Writing From the Margins: on Japanese Eccentricity
 Tokugawa Japan and the Rise of Kijin Culture
 Meiji Kijin: Eccentricity for the Modern Era
 The Bundan and Its Inward Turn
 Situating Failure in Meiji Japan
 Psychopathology and the “Medicalization” of Eccentricity
 The Late-Meiji Bundan and the “Invention of Failure”
 The Fugûsha Figure in Memoirs of the Kindai Bundan
 Wanderers and Unexpected Callers
- The Vagabond
- The Pheasant
- Craig

 Roan
 Remembering Futabatei
 Mourning Futabatei
- Mori Ȏgai: Hasegawa Tatsunosuke
- Natsume Sôseki: Hasegawa and I
- Shimazaki Tôson: Mourning Futabatei
 Conclusion
 Endnotes
Chapter 2: Telling Ailments: Kindai Writers and the Diseased State
 Doctors and Disease in Tokugawa Japan
 Meiji Medical Science
 Mori Ȏgai and the Restoration of the Jui Class
 The Convalescent Attitude: On Illness and Enlightenment
- Shiki
- Sôseki
-On Living Inside a Broken Body
-On Living Inside a Broken Society
-On Illness, Memory, and Medication
-The Sickbed Sanctuary

 Conclusion
 Endnotes
Chapter 3: Life Lessons: Shimazaki Toson and the Re-Collected Self
 Shimazaki Tôson: A Literary Life
- The Early Years
- Education
- The Young Romantic
- The Personal Turn
- The Mature Years
- Furusato: Returning Home
- Final Years
 The Re-Collected Selves of Shimazaki Toson
- Fictions of Self
- Kansôbun: Impressions and Observations
- Tales for Young People
- Recounting the France Sojourn for Young People
- The France Sojourn for Adult Readers
- Tales of Furusato and the Move to Tokyo
- Chikaramochi
- Raisuke
-The Megane Account
-The Chikaramochi Account
- The World of the Father
 The Tôson Legacy
 Endnotes
Chapter 4: War of Words: Russo-Japanese War on the Literary Front
 The War With Russia
Bushidô Redux
 Swords and Pens of War
 Futabatei
 Wars in Translation: Futabatei, Russian Literature, and the Bundan
 The Compunctious Idealist
 Wars With Numbers
 Endnotes
Chapter 5: I Am Not a Cat: Natsume Sôseki and His Umpampered Pets
 On Pets and Modernity
 Tales of the Natsume Pets
- The Java Sparrow
 The Dog as Antihero
- Hector
 The Natsume Cats
- The Cat’s Grave
- The Cat’s Recovery

 Sôseki’s Pets and the Domestic Space
 Endnotes
Chapter 6: The Dyspeptic Diarist: Reading Into the Sôseki Nikki
 Classical and Premodern Diaries in Japan
Kindai Diaries and the Modern Temper
 Reading Into the Sôseki Nikki
- 1909
- 1911
- A Daughter’s Cremation
- 1914
-The Spiteful Householder
 Conclusion: How to Read the Sôseki Nikki
 Endnotes
Postscript: Closing the Book on Kindai Literature
 Books and Bibliophiles
 Uchida Roan and the Bibliophile Essay
 Bibliocide: On Books in Harm’s Way
 Closing This Book
 Endnotes
Selected Bibliography

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