JapanKnowledge is an extensive database, mostly in Japanese, with information about Japanese language, culture, history, and more. It Includes encyclopedias, dictionaries, ebooks, news articles, and multimedia.
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A Companion to World Literature by Ken Seigneurie (Editor-In-Chief)A Companion to World Literature is a far-reaching and sustained study of key authors, texts, and topics from around the world and throughout history. Six comprehensive volumes present essays from over 300 prominent international scholars focusing on many aspects of this vast and burgeoning field of literature, from its ancient origins to the most modern narratives.
Publication Date: 2020
Licentious Fictions : Ninjō and the Nineteenth-Century Japanese Novel by Daniel PochNineteenth-century Japanese literary discourse and narrative developed a striking preoccupation with ninjō—literally “human emotion,” but often used in reference to amorous feeling and erotic desire. For many writers and critics, fiction’s capacity to foster both licentiousness and didactic values stood out as a crucial source of ambivalence. Simultaneously capable of inspiring exemplary behavior and a dangerous force transgressing social norms, ninjō became a focal point for debates about the role of the novel and a key motor propelling narrative plots. In Licentious Fictions, Daniel Poch investigates the significance of ninjō in defining the literary modernity of nineteenth-century Japan. He explores how cultural anxieties about the power of literature in mediating emotions and desire shaped Japanese narrative from the late Edo through the Meiji period. Poch argues that the Meiji novel, instead of superseding earlier discourses and narrative practices surrounding ninjō, complicated them by integrating them into new cultural and literary concepts. He offers close readings of a broad array of late Edo- and Meiji-period narrative and critical sources, examining how they shed light on the great intensification of the concern surrounding ninjō. In addition to proposing a new theoretical outlook on emotion, Licentious Fictions challenges the divide between early modern and modern Japanese literary studies by conceptualizing the nineteenth century as a continuous literary-historical space.
Publication Date: 2020
Locating Heisei in Japanese Fiction and Film by Marc YamadaThis book provides the first interdisciplinary examination of the popular fiction and film of the "lost decades" of Japan's Heisei period (1989-2019). Presenting original analysis of major Heisei writers, filmmakers, and manga artists, the chapters examine the work of Urasawa Naoki, Kurosawa Kiyoshi, Murakami Haruki, and Shinkai Makoto, among others. Through the work of these cultural figures, the book also explores the struggle to define the history of Heisei--three decades of economic stagnation, social malaise, and natural disaster. In particular, it explores the dissonance between the dominant history of Japan's recent past and the representation of this past in the popular imagination of the period. In so doing, this book argues that traumatic events from the years leading up to Heisei complicate the narration of a cohesive sense of history for the period, requiring works of fiction and film to explore new connections to the past. Incorporating literary and film theory to assess the works of culture, Locating Heisei in Japanese Fiction and Film will be useful to students and scholars of Japanese culture, society, and history.
Fukushima Fiction: The Literary Landscape of Japan’s Triple Disaster by Rachel DiNittoFukushima Fiction introduces readers to the powerful literary works that have emerged out of Japan's triple disaster, now known as 3/11. The book provides a broad and nuanced picture of the varied literary responses to this ongoing tragedy, focusing on "serious fiction" (junbungaku), the one area of Japanese cultural production that has consistently addressed the disaster and its aftermath. Examining short stories and novels by both new and established writers, author Rachel DiNitto effectively captures this literary tide and names it after the nuclear accident that turned a natural disaster into an environmental and political catastrophe. The book takes a spatial approach to a new literary landscape, tracing Fukushima fiction thematically from depictions of the local experience of victims on the ground, through the regional and national conceptualizations of the disaster, to considerations of the disaster as history, and last to the global concerns common to nuclear incidents worldwide. Throughout, DiNitto shows how fiction writers played an important role in turning the disaster into a narrative of trauma that speaks to a broad readership within and outside Japan. Although the book examines fiction about all three of the disasters--earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdowns--DiNitto contends that Fukushima fiction reaches its critical potential as a literature of nuclear resistance. She articulates the stakes involved, arguing that serious fiction provides the critical voice necessary to combat the government and nuclear industry's attempts to move the disaster off the headlines as the 2020 Olympics approach and Japan restarts its idle nuclear power plants. Rigorous and sophisticated yet highly readable and relevant for a broad audience, Fukushima Fiction is a critical intervention of humanities scholarship into the growing field of Fukushima studies. The work pushes readers to understand the disaster as a global crisis and to see the importance of literature as a critical medium in a media-saturated world. By engaging with other disasters--from 9/11 to Chernobyl to Hurricane Katrina--DiNitto brings Japan's local and national tragedy to the attention of a global audience, evocatively conveying fiction's power to imagine the unimaginable and the unforeseen.
Publication Date: 2019
The Rise and Fall of Modern Japanese Literature by John Whittier TreatThe Rise and Fall of Modern Japanese Literature tells the story of Japanese literature from its start in the 1870s against the backdrop of a rapidly coalescing modern nation to the present. John Whittier Treat takes up both canonical and forgotten works, the non-literary as well as the literary, and pays special attention to the Japanese state's hand in shaping literature throughout the country's nineteenth-century industrialization, a half-century of empire and war, its post-1945 reconstruction, and the challenges of the twenty-first century to modern nationhood. Beginning with journalistic accounts of female criminals in the aftermath of the Meiji civil war, Treat moves on to explore how woman novelist Higuchi Ichiyō's stories engaged with modern liberal economics, sex work, and marria≥ credits Natsume Sōseki's satire I Am a Cat with the triumph of print over orality in the early twentieth century; and links narcissism in the visual arts with that of the Japanese I-novel on the eve of the country's turn to militarism in the 1930s. From imperialism to Americanization and the new media of television and manga, from boogie-woogie music to Yoshimoto Banana and Murakami Haruki, Treat traces the stories Japanese audiences expected literature to tell and those they did not. The book concludes with a classic of Japanese science fiction a description of present-day crises writers face in a Japan hobbled by a changing economy and unprecedented natural and manmade catastrophes. The Rise and Fall of Japanese Literature reinterprets the "end of literature"--a phrase heard often in Japan--as a clarion call to understand how literary culture worldwide now teeters on a historic precipice, one at which Japan's writers may have arrived just a moment before the rest of us.
Location: Mugar Stacks PL726.55 .T68 2018
Publication Date: 2018
Japanese Stories for Language Learners by Anne McNulty; Eriko Sato; Rose Goldberg (Illustrator)A great story can lead a reader on a journey of discovery--especially if it's presented in two languages! Beautifully illustrated in a traditional style,Japanese Stories for Language Learners offers five compelling stories with English and Japanese language versions appearing on facing pages. Taking learners on an exciting cultural and linguistic journey, each story is followed by detailed translator's notes, Japanese vocabulary lists, and grammar points along with a set of discussion questions and exercises. The first two stories are very famous traditional Japanese folktales:Urashima Taro (Tale of a Fisherman) andYuki Onna (The Snow Woman). These are followed by three short stories by notable 20th century authors: Kumo no Ito (The Spider's Thread) by Akutagawa Ryunosuke (1892-1927) Oborekaketa Kyodai (The Siblings Who Almost Drowned) by Arishima Takeo (1878-1923) Serohiki no Goshu (Gauche the Cellist) by Miyazawa Kenji (1896-1933) Reading these stories in the original Japanese script--and hearing native-speakers read them aloud in the accompanying free audio recording--helps students at every level deepen their comprehension of the beauty and subtlety of the Japanese language. Learn Japanese the fun way--through the country's rich literary history.