Refining Nature in Modern Japanese Literature

Refining Nature in Modern Japanese Literature : The Life and Art of Shiga Naoya

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This book examines the literature of Shiga Naoya, who is highly regarded in modern Japan for his unique style and methods of describing his personal experiences and emotions. Contributing new findings to the field of scholarship on Shiga, this study focuses in particular on Shiga's nature-inspired writings and discusses how he created some vivid images of nature that became famous and still linger in Japanese people's minds. Shiga's remarkable sensitivity toward nature and the influences he received from earlier writers in Japan and abroad is examined. The complexity and depth of his understanding of nature is further revealed in his fascination with the supernatural, which also contributed to the creation of his literary style.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 220 pages
  • 157.48 x 228.6 x 22.86mm | 430.91g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 1 Tables, unspecified; 1 Maps; 7 Halftones, black and white
  • 0739181025
  • 9780739181027

Table of contents

Introduction Chapter 1: The Nurturing of Shiga's Feelings for Nature Chapter 2: The Moon: Early Encounters with Nature Chapter 3: The Sun: In Pursuit of a Religiosity of Art Chapter 4: Nature Destroyed: The Ashio Copper Mine Pollution Incident Chapter 5: Plants: The Essence of Nature Chapter 6: Living Creatures: Mirrors of Human Nature Chapter 7: The Supernatural and Nature Chapter 8: Dreams: Nature Internalized Chapter 9: Lafcadio Hearn's Influence on Shiga's Literary Style Conclusion: Nature-Inspired Art and Artistic Nature Appendix 1: Chronology of Shiga Naoya's Life and Art Appendix 2: Map with Important Places in Shiga's Literature
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Review quote

Guo's study will remain a crucial contribution to such reception as exists by its focus on Shiga's deep love of nature. Monumenta Nipponica Nanyang Guo, thoroughly familiar with Shiga Naoya's writings, offers a new view of this very 'Japanese' writer. She goes beyond the 'I-novel' paradigm by taking us on a journey through his understanding of natural phenomena as a key to the psychology of living beings and situations. Guo aptly delineates Shiga's "subjective realism" as a key to his art. -- Irmela Hijiya-Kirschnereit, Freie Universitat Berlin
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About Nanyan Guo

Nanyan Guo is associate professor at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies in Kyoto, Japan. She has published eight books including, Japan's Wartime Medical Atrocities (2010), and Tsugaru: Regional Identity on Japan's Northern Periphery.
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