Event Title

Panel 1

Location

Executive Boardroom at University Campus Center (UCC) 2390

Start Date

5-10-2014 9:15 AM

End Date

5-10-2014 11:15 AM

Description

"Partners in Need: Personal Relationships as a Survival Method in the Late Meiji Bundan"

Alejandro Morales Rama, Sophia University

Izumi Kyōka (1873-1939) and Gotō Chūgai (1867-1938) became friends and later allies during the first decade of the 20th century, a moment in which the bundan started to be dominated by the Naturalist school. Originally brought together by their admiration of Ozaki Kōyō (1868-1903), they started to work more actively together from 1900, when Gotō became chief editor of the magazine Shin-shōsetsu (New Fiction), where Kyōka published some of his major works. Despite the fact that Izumi Kyōka considered himself a loner within the bundan, following no style in particular, he was caught up within the larger disputes between Naturalists and Anti-Naturalists to the point of being personally attacked. His friendship with Gotō and other critics during these turbulent times helped him emotionally as well as economically, providing him publications in Shin-shōsetsu at a time when many major magazines would not publish him. As a result, he compromised his lone writer position by publishing the essay “Romanticism and Naturalism” in April 1908—a few months before Gotō published his “Anti-Naturalism” manifesto in September—and even joined an association with him the following year. This paper aims to examine the inconsistencies within Izumi Kyōka’s ideas about the bundan and the degree of compromise in his relationships with critics and publishers, and to show the importance of personal relationships within a historical framework in which, rather than belonging to a particular school, they functioned as an efficient personal survival method within the ferocious disputes for control of the bundan.

Alejandro Morales Rama is a PhD student in the Doctoral Program in Cultural Interaction, Graduate School of Humanities at Sophia University, Japan. He graduated with a BA in English Philology and a BA in East Asian Studies from the Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain (2004 and 2007), and he received his MA in Japanese Studies in the Graduate Program in Global Studies at Sophia University (2012). His research interests include Modern and Contemporary Japanese Literature with a focus on discrimination, as well as Comparative Literature. He has also translated a collection of Izumi Kyōka’s short stories into Spanish that will be published this year.


“The Western Experience”

Susanna Fessler, State University of New York, Albany

At the turn of the 20th century, Anesaki Masaharu and Mori Ōgai debated each other in the Japanese press about the value of studying abroad. I have written about this debate (see Susanna Fessler. "The Debate on the Uselessness of Western Studies." The Journal of Japanese Studies 37.1 (2011): 61-90. Project MUSE. Web. 20 Dec. 2013. http://muse.jhu.edu/), but in that article I did not consider the later consequences to the men’s careers, or their respective areas of focus. Anesaki was a young, relatively uknown scholar at the time, and Ōgai was a well-established figure in the Bundan. However, Ōgai was writing from Kyushu, where he had been stationed, it was rumored, for being difficult in the army. Both men had their reputations on the line. Indeed, shortly after writing his attack on Anesaki, Ōgai was re-stationed to Tokyo. Anesaki, despite having written vehemently in more than one document that his two years in Europe were a pointless exercise, went on to a number of extended stays in the West: he traveled throughout the U.S. and Europe in 1907-1908, was a visiting scholar at Harvard 1913-14, and in his autobiography notes that the happiest time in his life was a five-year period when he was often traveling abroad, visiting friends. Ironically, Anesaki became much more the international scholar than Ōgai did. I propose to look deeper into these career trajectories of both men, and conclude whether their brief debate was a pivotal moment.

Dr. Fessler received her BA from Oberlin College and her PhD from Yale University. She has been a professor at the University at Albany since 1994. Her research focuses on late 19th and early 20th century Japanese literature, particularly the literature of travel. She is the author of Wandering Heart: The Work and Method of Hayashi Fumiko (State University of New York Press, 1998) and Musashino in Tuscany: Japanese Overseas Travel Literature, 1860–1912 (University of Michigan Center for Japanese Studies, 2004). She is also actively studying late Meiji Period intellectual history as it intersects with the work of Anesaki Masaharu.


"Personal Politics of Interwar Modernism: Fights Between Kawabata Yasunari and Ryūtanji Yū”

Alisa Freedman, University of Oregon

Leading interwar author Ryūtanji Yū (1901-1992) has been forgotten because of fights with Kawabata Yasunari (1899-1972). After Ryūtanji’s debut novel Hōrō jidai (Wanderlust Period) won the 1928 Kaizō magazine award, Japan’s first literary prize, his peers regarded him as defining how literature should capture the excitement of urbanization and commodity capitalism. Ryūtanji organized coalitions to oppose Marxist trends, which he attacked for failing to convey realities of modern life and for writing propaganda rather than literature. Ryūtanji’s stories were similar in content and style to Kawabata’s novel Asakusa kurenaidan (The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa), deemed the quintessential work heralding the literary movements Ryūtanji desired to lead. Between 1928 and 1934, Kawabata and Ryūtanji published attacks of each other’s work and personal lives in literary magazines. After accusing Kawabata of plagiarism in 1934, Ryūtanji was alienated from the Tokyo literary world. He moved to Kanagawa Prefecture and devoted himself to studying cacti. Kawabata was later accused of plagiarism by other authors.

I explore how Kawabata and Ryūtanji’s fights epitomize a moment of intense rivalry between factions of authors and publishers, against the backdrop of increasing censorship and state control over cultural production. Literary clubs, primarily comprised by middle-class, intellectual men, were a means of launching a professional career, and literary magazines, particularly those published by the Shinchō and Bungei shunjū companies, portrayed young authors as the cultural vanguard. I question if such elegant, scathing authorial attacks should be regarded as part of a literary subgenre that influenced later literary criticism.

Dr. Freedman is an Associate Professor of Japanese Literature and Film at the University of Oregon. Her current research explores issues concerning globalization, gender, and urbanization in 20th and 21st century Japanese literature and popular culture. Her major publications include Tokyo in Transit: Japanese Culture on the Rails and Road (Stanford University Press, 2010), an annotated translation of Kawabata Yasunari’s The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa (University of California Press, 2005), and a co-edited volume on Modern Girls on the Go: Gender, Mobility, and Labor in Japan (Stanford University Press, 2013). She has published articles on Japanese modernism, urban studies, youth culture, media discourses about gender roles, television history, humor as social critique, and intersections of literature and digital media, along with translations of Japanese novels and short stories.

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May 10th, 9:15 AM May 10th, 11:15 AM

Panel 1

Executive Boardroom at University Campus Center (UCC) 2390

"Partners in Need: Personal Relationships as a Survival Method in the Late Meiji Bundan"

Alejandro Morales Rama, Sophia University

Izumi Kyōka (1873-1939) and Gotō Chūgai (1867-1938) became friends and later allies during the first decade of the 20th century, a moment in which the bundan started to be dominated by the Naturalist school. Originally brought together by their admiration of Ozaki Kōyō (1868-1903), they started to work more actively together from 1900, when Gotō became chief editor of the magazine Shin-shōsetsu (New Fiction), where Kyōka published some of his major works. Despite the fact that Izumi Kyōka considered himself a loner within the bundan, following no style in particular, he was caught up within the larger disputes between Naturalists and Anti-Naturalists to the point of being personally attacked. His friendship with Gotō and other critics during these turbulent times helped him emotionally as well as economically, providing him publications in Shin-shōsetsu at a time when many major magazines would not publish him. As a result, he compromised his lone writer position by publishing the essay “Romanticism and Naturalism” in April 1908—a few months before Gotō published his “Anti-Naturalism” manifesto in September—and even joined an association with him the following year. This paper aims to examine the inconsistencies within Izumi Kyōka’s ideas about the bundan and the degree of compromise in his relationships with critics and publishers, and to show the importance of personal relationships within a historical framework in which, rather than belonging to a particular school, they functioned as an efficient personal survival method within the ferocious disputes for control of the bundan.

Alejandro Morales Rama is a PhD student in the Doctoral Program in Cultural Interaction, Graduate School of Humanities at Sophia University, Japan. He graduated with a BA in English Philology and a BA in East Asian Studies from the Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain (2004 and 2007), and he received his MA in Japanese Studies in the Graduate Program in Global Studies at Sophia University (2012). His research interests include Modern and Contemporary Japanese Literature with a focus on discrimination, as well as Comparative Literature. He has also translated a collection of Izumi Kyōka’s short stories into Spanish that will be published this year.


“The Western Experience”

Susanna Fessler, State University of New York, Albany

At the turn of the 20th century, Anesaki Masaharu and Mori Ōgai debated each other in the Japanese press about the value of studying abroad. I have written about this debate (see Susanna Fessler. "The Debate on the Uselessness of Western Studies." The Journal of Japanese Studies 37.1 (2011): 61-90. Project MUSE. Web. 20 Dec. 2013. http://muse.jhu.edu/), but in that article I did not consider the later consequences to the men’s careers, or their respective areas of focus. Anesaki was a young, relatively uknown scholar at the time, and Ōgai was a well-established figure in the Bundan. However, Ōgai was writing from Kyushu, where he had been stationed, it was rumored, for being difficult in the army. Both men had their reputations on the line. Indeed, shortly after writing his attack on Anesaki, Ōgai was re-stationed to Tokyo. Anesaki, despite having written vehemently in more than one document that his two years in Europe were a pointless exercise, went on to a number of extended stays in the West: he traveled throughout the U.S. and Europe in 1907-1908, was a visiting scholar at Harvard 1913-14, and in his autobiography notes that the happiest time in his life was a five-year period when he was often traveling abroad, visiting friends. Ironically, Anesaki became much more the international scholar than Ōgai did. I propose to look deeper into these career trajectories of both men, and conclude whether their brief debate was a pivotal moment.

Dr. Fessler received her BA from Oberlin College and her PhD from Yale University. She has been a professor at the University at Albany since 1994. Her research focuses on late 19th and early 20th century Japanese literature, particularly the literature of travel. She is the author of Wandering Heart: The Work and Method of Hayashi Fumiko (State University of New York Press, 1998) and Musashino in Tuscany: Japanese Overseas Travel Literature, 1860–1912 (University of Michigan Center for Japanese Studies, 2004). She is also actively studying late Meiji Period intellectual history as it intersects with the work of Anesaki Masaharu.


"Personal Politics of Interwar Modernism: Fights Between Kawabata Yasunari and Ryūtanji Yū”

Alisa Freedman, University of Oregon

Leading interwar author Ryūtanji Yū (1901-1992) has been forgotten because of fights with Kawabata Yasunari (1899-1972). After Ryūtanji’s debut novel Hōrō jidai (Wanderlust Period) won the 1928 Kaizō magazine award, Japan’s first literary prize, his peers regarded him as defining how literature should capture the excitement of urbanization and commodity capitalism. Ryūtanji organized coalitions to oppose Marxist trends, which he attacked for failing to convey realities of modern life and for writing propaganda rather than literature. Ryūtanji’s stories were similar in content and style to Kawabata’s novel Asakusa kurenaidan (The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa), deemed the quintessential work heralding the literary movements Ryūtanji desired to lead. Between 1928 and 1934, Kawabata and Ryūtanji published attacks of each other’s work and personal lives in literary magazines. After accusing Kawabata of plagiarism in 1934, Ryūtanji was alienated from the Tokyo literary world. He moved to Kanagawa Prefecture and devoted himself to studying cacti. Kawabata was later accused of plagiarism by other authors.

I explore how Kawabata and Ryūtanji’s fights epitomize a moment of intense rivalry between factions of authors and publishers, against the backdrop of increasing censorship and state control over cultural production. Literary clubs, primarily comprised by middle-class, intellectual men, were a means of launching a professional career, and literary magazines, particularly those published by the Shinchō and Bungei shunjū companies, portrayed young authors as the cultural vanguard. I question if such elegant, scathing authorial attacks should be regarded as part of a literary subgenre that influenced later literary criticism.

Dr. Freedman is an Associate Professor of Japanese Literature and Film at the University of Oregon. Her current research explores issues concerning globalization, gender, and urbanization in 20th and 21st century Japanese literature and popular culture. Her major publications include Tokyo in Transit: Japanese Culture on the Rails and Road (Stanford University Press, 2010), an annotated translation of Kawabata Yasunari’s The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa (University of California Press, 2005), and a co-edited volume on Modern Girls on the Go: Gender, Mobility, and Labor in Japan (Stanford University Press, 2013). She has published articles on Japanese modernism, urban studies, youth culture, media discourses about gender roles, television history, humor as social critique, and intersections of literature and digital media, along with translations of Japanese novels and short stories.