Modernism And Japanese Culture

Paperback | November 15, 2011

byRoy Starrs

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Offering an in-depth and comprehensive account of the complex history of Japanese modernism, in this book Roy Starrs considers the concept of modernism as encompassing not just the aesthetic avant-garde but a wide spectrum of social, political and cultural phenomena. He looks at Japanese modernism from the mid-19th century 'opening to the West' until the 21st-century, globalized world of 'postmodernism'; from the early Meiji 'cult of modernity' to the early Showa attempt to 'overcome modernity'. In this way, the book presents the history of Japanese modernism not as a straightforward, linear narrative of progressive acceptance and adaptation but more as a dialectical, back-and-forth oscillation between the two poles of acceptance and rejection, modernism and anti-modernism. Furthermore, Starrs shows that Japanese modernism was not simply the outcome of the passive reception of a unidirectional modern Western influence but of a complex cross-cultural interchange between East and West, modernity and tradition. In particular, he shows that traditional Japanese culture was very much part of that cultural mix, and a prime source of inspiration for modernists in both Japan and the West. Thus the book also convincingly demonstrates that Japan served as an active agent at certain key moments in the history of world modernism.

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Offering an in-depth and comprehensive account of the complex history of Japanese modernism, in this book Roy Starrs considers the concept of modernism as encompassing not just the aesthetic avant-garde but a wide spectrum of social, political and cultural phenomena. He looks at Japanese modernism from the mid-19th century 'opening to ...

ROY STARRS teaches Japanese and Asian Studies at the University of Otago, New Zealand. He has published widely on Japanese literature, art and culture, including books on Yukio Mishima, Yasunari Kawabata and Naoya Shiga. He has also edited three books on Japanese and Asian nationalism and globalization. His edited book, Politics and R...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:344 pages, 7.92 × 5.04 × 0.78 inPublished:November 15, 2011Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230346448

ISBN - 13:9780230346444

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
Introduction: Modernity and Modernism in a Japanese Context
PART I: CONSTRUCTING ‘MODERNITY’ AND ‘TRADITION’: MODERNISM AND ANTI-MODERNISM IN MEIJI JAPAN, 1868-1912
Constructing Meiji Modernity
The Anti-Modernist Backlash: Constructing Meiji Tradition
The Novel as Modernist Medium: Modernity and Anti-Modernity in Meiji Fiction
PART II: HIGH MODERNISM AND THE FASCIST BACKLASH, 1912-1945
The Japanese Modernist Generation, 1912-1931
The Historical Context of Japanese Modernism
The Legacy of Japonisme in Japan Itself
Kawabata as Modernist and Anti-modernist
Overview
Crystal Fan¬tasies: Kawabata and the Modern Condition
Snow Country: Kawabata and the Overcoming of Modernity
PART III: THE RIVAL MODERNISMS OF POSTWAR JAPAN, 1945-1970
Modernist Missionaries: The Americans in Japan, 1945-1952
Japanese Responses to American Missionary Modernism
The Occupation in Fiction
French as an Alternative to American Modernism
Oe Kenzaburo’s ‘Ambiguous’ Utopianism
Responses from the Right: The Empire Strikes Back
The Reactionary Modernism of Mishima Yukio
PART IV: EMPTY AND MARVELLOUS: JAPAN IN THE ‘POSTMODERN AGE’, 1970-2010
Defining the ‘Postmodern Condition’
‘Postmodernity’ in Japan
National Culture and Identity in a ‘Postmodern’ Age
A Goethean Conclusion
Afterword: Japanese Modernism Today