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Fiction created by and for the working class emerged worldwide in the early twentieth century as a response to rapid modernization, dramatic inequality, and imperial expansion. In Japan, literary youth, men and women, sought to turn their imaginations and craft to tackling the ensuing injustices, with results that captured both middle-class and worker-farmer readers. This anthology is a landmark introduction to Japanese proletarian literature from that period. Contextualized by introductory essays, forty expertly translated stories touch on topics like perilous factories, predatory bosses, ethnic discrimination, and the myriad indignities of poverty. Together, they show how even intensely personal issues form a pattern of oppression. Fostering labor consciousness as part of an international leftist arts movement, these writers, lovers of literature, were also challenging the institution of modern literature itself. This anthology demonstrates the vitality of the “red decade” long buried in modern Japanese literary history.
This book uses the haikai verse and paintings of the brilliant, innovative artist Yosa Buson (1716-1783) as a focal point from which to explore how Japanese writers competed for artistic authority in a time when popular responses to economic, technological, and social changes were creating the beginnings of a modern literature. The first part of the book discusses Buson's role in the Bash? Revival movement, situating his haikai in the context of the social networks that writers of his time both relied on and resisted. The second part explores Buson's "hokku," linked verse, and "haiga" (haikai painting). The book concludes with a discussion of Buson's reception in the modern period, and includes translations of his principal works.
Includes bibliographies.

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