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The marriage of Kaname and Misako is disintegrating: whilst seeking passion and fulfilment in the arms of others, they contemplate the humiliation of divorce. Misako's father believes their relationship has been damaged by the influence of a new and alien culture, and so attempts to heal the breach by educating his son-in-law in the time-honoured Japanese traditions of aesthetic and sensual pleasure. The result is an absorbing, chilling conflict between ancient and modern, young and old.
Chronicles the obsessive love of Joji, an engineer in his thirties, for a fifteen-year-old bar hostess who reminds him of Mary Pickford.
Related Titles SOME PREFER NETTLES (1955); THE MAKIOKA SISTERS (1957); SEVEN JAPANESE TALES (1963); QUICKSAND; THE KEY; THE SECRET LORD OF MUSASHI and ARROWROOT; DIARY OF A MAD OLD MAN
"The three worlds theory is perhaps still the basis for our dominant assumptions about geopolitical and geocultural order," writes Frederick Buell, "but its hold on our imagination and faith is passing fast. In its place, a startlingly different model—the notion that the world is somehow interconnected into a single system—has emerged, expressing the perception that global relationships constitute not three separate worlds but a single network." In the wake of disillusionment with anticolonial nationalism, and in response to a wide variety of economic, political, demographic, and technological changes, Buell argues, we have come increasingly to view the world as complexly interconnected. In National Culture and the New Global System he considers how the notion of national culture has been conceived—and reconceived—in the postwar period. For much of the period, the "three world" theory provided economic, political, and cultural models for mapping a world of nation-states. More recently, new notions of interconnectedness have been developed, ones that have had profound—and sometimes startling—effects on cultural production and theory. Surveying recent cultural history and theory, Buell shows how our understanding of cultural production relates closely to transformations in models of the world order.
This is the first book to translate a broad spectrum of the informal, improper and generally comic side of 31-syllable Japanese poetry called 'kyoka, ' or 'kyouka, ' literally, "mad-poems" or "madcap verse," representing in the words of Aston (1899), "absolute freedom both in respect of language and choice of subject." Literary anthologies have only translated a handful of kyoka to date, and the sole exception, recent catalogues of the color prints called 'surimono, ' stick to the rather tame kyoka of the early 19c that accompany the prints. The 2000 poems in Robin D. Gill's 740-page book include hundreds of "wild waka" ('waka' being the formal side of 31-syllable poetry) to help define the field and demonstrate how humors presence or absence depends upon our expectations and, in the case of an exotic tongue, our translation. "Mad In Translation" re-creates the wit of the originals in English on the one hand, while explaining what requires Japanese on the other. Many poems will delight those who appreciate the best of the Metaphysical Poets, the grooks of Piet Hein and all that might be called 'light verse for egg-heads.' Because of the narrow focus of most work published on kyoka in Japan, even specialists in Japanese literature may be surprised to discover in this book a brave old world of humor far larger and more entertaining than they might have imagined.
Jun'ichirō Tanizaki's In Black and White is a literary murder mystery in which the lines between fiction and reality are blurred. The writer Mizuno has penned a story about the perfect murder. His fictional victim is modeled on an acquaintance, a fellow writer. When Mizuno notices just before the story is about to be published that this man’s real name has crept into his manuscript, he attempts to correct the mistake, but it is too late. He then becomes terrified that an actual murder will take place—and that he will be the main suspect. Mizuno goes to great lengths to establish an alibi, venturing into the city's underworld. But he finds himself only more entangled as his paranoid fantasies, including a mysterious "Shadow Man" out to entrap him, intrude into real life. A sophisticated psychological and metafictional mystery, In Black and White is a masterful yet little-known novel from a great writer at the height of his powers. The year 1928 was a remarkable one for Tanizaki. He wrote three exquisite novels, but while two of them—Some Prefer Nettles and Quicksand—became famous, In Black and White disappeared from view. All three were serialized in Osaka and Tokyo newspapers and magazines, but In Black and White was never published as an independent volume. This translation restores it to its rightful place among Tanizaki's works and offers a window into the author's life at a crucial point in his career. A critical afterword explains the novel's context and importance for Tanizaki and Japan's literary and cultural scene in the 1920s, connecting autobiographical elements with the novel's key concerns, including Tanizaki's critique of Japanese literary culture and fiction itself.
Literature, like food, is, in Terry Eagleton’s words, "endlessly interpretable," and food, like literature, "looks like an object but is actually a relationship." So how much do we, and should we, read into the way food is represented in literature? Reading Food explores this and other questions in an unusual and fascinating tour of twentieth-century Japanese literature. Tomoko Aoyama analyzes a wide range of diverse writings that focus on food, eating, and cooking and considers how factors such as industrialization, urbanization, nationalism, and gender construction have affected people’s relationships to food, nature, and culture, and to each other. The examples she offers are taken from novels (shosetsu) and other literary texts and include well known writers (such as Tanizaki Jun’ichiro, Hayashi Fumiko, Okamoto Kanoko, Kaiko Takeshi, and Yoshimoto Banana) as well as those who are less widely known (Murai Gensai, Nagatsuka Takashi, Sumii Sue, and Numa Shozo). Food is everywhere in Japanese literature, and early chapters illustrate historical changes and variations in the treatment of food and eating. Examples are drawn from Meiji literary diaries, children’s stories, peasant and proletarian literature, and women’s writing before and after World War II. The author then turns to the theme of cannibalism in serious and popular novels. Key issues include ethical questions about survival, colonization, and cultural identity. The quest for gastronomic gratification is a dominant theme in "gourmet novels." Like cannibalism, the gastronomic journey as a literary theme is deeply implicated with cultural identity. The final chapter deals specifically with contemporary novels by women, some of which celebrate the inclusiveness of eating (and writing), while others grapple with the fear of eating. Such dread or disgust can be seen as a warning against what the complacent "gourmet boom" of the 1980s and 1990s concealed: the dangers of a market economy, environmental destruction, and continuing gender biases. Reading Food in Modern Japanese Literature will tempt any reader with an interest in food, literature, and culture. Moreover, it provides appetizing hints for further savoring, digesting, and incorporating textual food.
Junichiro Tanizaki's Seven Japanese Tales collects stories that explore the boundary at which love becomes self-annihilation, where the contemplation of beauty gives way to fetishism, and where tradition becomes an instrument of voluptuous cruelty. A beautiful blind musician exacts the ultimate sacrifice from the man who is both her disciple and her lover. A tattooist turns the body of an exquisite young girl into a reflection of her predatory inner nature. A young man is erotically imprisoned by memories of his absent mother. Shocking in its content and lyrical in its beauty, these stories represent some of the finest work of one of Japan's greatest modern writers.
A seductive psychological thriller about obsession, jealousy and deceit, and a Japanese classic Sonoko Kakiuchi is a cultured Osaka lady in an uninspiring marriage. When she decides to take an art class in town she meets the extraordinary Mitsuko, a woman as beautiful and charismatic as she is cunning. They begin a passionate affair and Sonoko soon finds herself infatuated by Mitsuko, and ensnared in a web of sex, humiliation and deceit. With an introduction by Kristen Roupenian, author of 'Cat Person'
While recovering from a stroke, seventy-seven-year-old Utsugi turns to his diary to wryly record his struggle with his ageing body and his growing desire for his beautiful daughter-in-law Satsuko, a chic, Westernised dancer with a shady past. Shining with a self-effacing humour, Tanizaki's last novel is a tragicomedy about desire and the will to survive.
Tanizaki's masterpiece is the story of four sisters, and the declining fortunes of a traditional Japanese family. It is a loving and nostalgic recreation of the sumptuous, intricate upper-class life of Osaka immediately before World War Two. With surgical precision, Tanizaki lays bare the sinews of pride, and brings a vanished era to vibrant life.
A fully illustrated, beautifully produced edition of Junichiro Tanizaki's wise and evocative essay on Japanese culture. ‘We find beauty not in the thing itself but in the patterns of shadows, the light and the darkness, that one thing against another creates... Were it not for shadows, there would be no beauty.’ This book is in fact a portal. Reading it, you will be led by Junichiro Tanizaki’s light touch into a mysterious and tranquil world of darkness and shadows, where gold flashes in the gloom and a deep stillness reigns. If you are accustomed to equate light with clarity, the faded with the worthless and the dim with the dreary, prepare for a courteous but powerful realignment of your ideas. In Praise of Shadows is a poetic paean to traditional Japanese aesthetics – in a free-ranging style that moves from architecture to No theatre, and from cookery to lighting, Tanizaki teaches us to see the beauty in tarnished metal, the sombre dignity in unglazed pottery, the primacy of organic materials that bear witness to the regular touch of human hands. It is also astonishingly prescient, offering a gentle warning against the quest for airbrushed perfection, and reminding us that too much light can pollute and obscure our natural world. In this special edition, the text is accompanied by specially selected images to complement Tanizaki’s reflections and further illustrate the pattern and beauty of shadows.
Hailed as the greatest Japanese novel of the Twentieth century, THE MAKIOKA SISTERS is a subtle tale of domestic oppression worthy of Balzac or Chekhov, In this saga of the once prosperous but now declining Makioka family struggling to marry off one of their daughters, Tanizaki presents the picture of a family and a society striving to preserve their self-respect as they come to terms with disturbing new ways in a classic confrontation of innovasion and tradition. A wonderful portrait of Japanese life in the first half of the twentieth century.

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