CDs in Japan are so damn expensive because the government says they have to be. A third confirmation of Gortuk's reasoning. The bonus tracks are to encourage Japanese to buy the Japanese edition. So how about CDs released in Japan of Japanese artists? Are they also as expensive as the CDs released in Japan of foreign artists? Do they have "extra" tracks too? They don't have extra tracks--although sometimes the production values are a bit nicer than those of American CDs; you get a very nice lyric book, or your CD in a nice box.
CDs by Japanese artists don't have an "import" version to compete in the marketplace, so they don't need to have the extra incentive to induce people to buy the Japanese version. Also - Japanese music industry is more singles driven than in the us. The large number of writers here included points to the wide acceptance of popular writing.
The purpose was to create a readable literature, which, however, was to be done by experts in the literary craft. Hayashi Fusao argued for the writing of literature which millions would read, and the magazines Sh6setsu shincho New tides of fiction , Oru yomimono All kinds of reading material , and Sh6setsu k6en Garden of fiction provided the stage for such works.
Critics like Nakamura Mitsuo, however, attacked this "mid-way fiction," saying that it was merely a means of escaping from the responsibility of writing more artistic literature and that its tendency to be satisfied with descriptions of society, without criticism, came in reality from an unsuccessful attempt to escape the practice followed in "private " fiction of describing the author's own actions and feelings. The Humorous Story Kokkei Sh5setsu -.? After one of its principal homes was the magazine Shin-seinen The new youth , founded by Morishita Uson. Elements of mystery and science creep into the stories, as in the West.
All of these writers made their start before Kerr, Guy de Maupassant, 0. Henry, Andre Gide, and S. Edogawa Rampo, contending that the detective story must not only possess high literary quality but contain evidences of the use of logic in solving riddles, is perhaps the leading critic as well as writer of the detective story. The Fleshly School Nikutaiha J 4 K In the first years of the post-war era one group of writers of genre fiction gave emphasis to the description of sexual desire.
The sensualness here is depicted for its own sake whereas in the writings of Sakaguchi Ango a somewhat more critical attitude is expressed; that is to say, Sakaguchi proposes that the fullness of youth can be realized and enjoyed only in dissipation. A mildly critical spirit informs the work of this group, which has been labeled the Shin-gisakuha or New School of Fiction. Sakaguchi Ango is sometimes classed with this group, and related tendencies are shown by Kitahara Takeo and Isonokami Gen'ichiro.
N6, Kabuki, and Shimpa The kabuki was the principal dramatic form at the time of Perry's arrival in Japan and has since continued to enjoy the highest popularity among all the Japanese drama types. The n6 drama, joruri or marionette play, and shimpa or "new school" drama, on the other hand, have continued a precarious existence. The n6 drama was preserved because of the support it received at various temples and from members of the aristocracy, and the j6ruri because of the patronage that came from its dwindling audiences at Osaka.
Especially damaging to the n6 was the bombing of Tokyo during World War II when most of the no theatres were destroyed. The marionette theater too has survived in postwar Japan chiefly because of the subsidies it has received from the national government. Except for a few new plays and a few dramatizations of older fiction such as the Tale of Genji , the repertory of the kabuki too has remained unchanged.
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The kabuki, no- and joruri thus continue as the classical dramatic forms. Standing in a very anamolous position is the shimpa, a strange kind of drama, now performed only a few months a year, in which men may play the roles of women as well as of men, and women too may appear as women. These illusory procedures are accepted by the devotees in the audiences in the same way that the all-male cast is received in the kabuki and the puppeteers, dolls, samisen players, and chanters in the puppet drama. In the shimpa theater, the use of men in women's roles comes from the fact that in the latter part of the nineteenth century, when shimpa had its beginnings, it was still difficult for women to find a place on the stage.
The use of men in women's roles is reminiscent of the kabuki; the larger attention given to the individual desires of the characters depicted on the stage suggests a form that might develop into the modern play. Shimpa includes in its background not only the kabuki but the political novel and drama that enjoyed a brief vogue in the early years of the Meiji era.
Breaking from kabuki it included in its repertoire the plays. Shimpa even enjoyed a golden age in the first decade of the twentieth century when three of the greatest actors of the kabuki stage, Ichikawa Danjuro the ninth, Onoe Kikugoro the fifth, and Ichikawa Sadanji the fourth died at almost the same time and shimpa began to attract some of the surviving kabuki actors. However, Kawakami's death in foreshadowed a decline in shimpa's fortunes. The plays reflected the sense of giri obligation to a second person and ninj6 human feelings accepted in Meiji and Taisho times.
In the Sh6wa period an attempt has been made to incorporate into the shimpa repertory plays that in form and substance are modern dramas. Shimpa thus stands half-way between the kabuki and modern play. That it survives at all is something of a miracle, although in morality and sentiment, in its transvestite features, and in its interest as a museum for Meiji customs it no doubt makes a varied appeal.
The Beginnings of Modern Drama Modern drama in Japan began in and around , about twenty years later than its European counterpart. Various developments stimulated its growth. Tsubouchi Shoyo's Shingakugekiron Treatise on a New Drama was written in in protest against the traditional forms of drama. Asking for a more realistic type of drama, Tsubouchi characteristically tried to put his theories to practice and wrote Kiri hitoha One leaf of the paulownia in the same year. The first plays given by the Bungei Kyokai or Literary Association, formed in the same year in order to study drama as an art and to produce actors, included translations of Western dramas like Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice and Hamlet and Ibsen's Doll's House.
Here for the first time native playwrights and actors worked in cooperation with each other. Still another organization was the Geijutsuza or Art Theater, and a further development came when the shimpa actor, Fujisawa Asajiro, established a school for actors and the graduates started the Doy6 Gekij6 or Saturday Theater. At least ten new drama companies were formed by or But by deficiencies in acting, stage technique, and management brought about the demise of most of the companies devoted to the modern play, but not before some of the leading actors of the kabuki and shimpa stages had felt impelled to act in the plays written by the newer dramatists.
Modern drama was swiftly revived during World War I, when important authors of fiction began to devote a major part of their energies to the writing of plays. Most of the palys dealt with realistic social problems and Kikuchi for one showed an inclination toward iconoclasm, but few of the plays achieved the significance of the fiction of the time, and too many of the authors seemed to wish only to entertain. Among the interesting developments of the time was the Shinkokugeki or New National Drama which was in part a throwback to the kabuki or at least to some of the historical dramas produced on the kabuki stage because it specialized in sword-fighting.
Aside from the swordplays, the Shinkokugeki gathered together whatever else might be popular in appeal. Exciting dramatizations were thus staged of works as various as Dostoevski's Crime and punishment, Tolstoy's Resurrection, plays by Kikuchi Kan and Nakamura Kichiz6, and historical plays from the kabuki theatre.
Popular appeal based on physical conflict was of the essence of these productions, which are still given from time to time. The great earthquake of destroyed most of the theatres. But from the ruins rose almost twenty small theatrical groups. Although most of these failed, the Tsukiji Sh6gekij6 or Tsukiji Small Theatre soon earned a measure of popularity. Osanai had already worked vigorously at the importation of Western drama into Japan, and Hijikata had studied the work of the expressionist school in Germany during his travels abroad.
Although seating only viewers, the Tsukiji Little Theatre became the focal point for the development of the modern play in Japan. Prior to its opening Osanai had stated that modern Japanese plays meriting production were non-existent and that for a long time it would be his intention to produce only translations of Western drama. This called forth a violent reaction from such dranatistis as Kikuchi Kan, Yamamoto Yuz6, Kubota Mantar6, and Kishida Kunio who were already associated as regular contributors to the theatre magazine Engeki shincho or New tides in drama.
A large number of plays had been written since about , and these writers had all produced notable examples of their craft. Since the authors had considered the period prior to to have been a kind of golden age in modern drama, Osanai's statements were felt to be unnecessarily severe. But as Osanai saw it,. The Tsukiji Little Theatre came to an end in , a year after Osanai's death. Its varied offerings had served to introduce Western dramaturgy into Japan, and the publication of the two series entitled Sekai gikyoku zenshui Anthology of world drama and Kindaigeki zenshQ Anthology of modern drama , in the inexpensive "yen-books," too had served to stimulate the Japanese dramatists.
Proletarian drama The years during which Osanai and his supporters isolated themselves in their "laboratory for the drama" and worked for the development of modern drama in Japan was also a time when the proletarian literature movement was receiving its start. The Senkuza Advanced Theatre was an early leftist group. After the earthquake in , it was replaced by the Zen'eiza Advance Guard Theatre and by a traveling theatrical troupe,the Toranku Gekij6 Trunk Theatre.
In the latter group joined with the Proletarian Literary League in producing a version of Tokunaga Sunao's novel of the printing trade, Taiyo no nai machi A street where there is no sun. Toranku Gekij6 had at first been a mere gathering of amateur players. Although this play was given for only three days, the tremendous applause with which it was greeted astounded Osanai and his group; in the following year, Fujimori Seikichi's Nani ga kanojo o so saseta ka?
What made her do it? The walls of the "laboratory" had been broken. In Fujimori's play the daughter of a poor farmer undergoes many trying and even degrading experiences and at the end sets fire to a Christian church. Social evils are attacked by the author from a humanitarian viewpoint. The play strongly affected its viewers and immediately assured for Fujimori a position in the front rank of dramatists.
On March 15, , orders were issued for the arrest of all Communist Party members. The Zen'eiza which had once been dissolved now became the Sayoku Gekij5 or Left-wing Theatre, and took the initiative from the Proletarian Theatre Federation as far as the presentation of proletarian dramas was concerned. On the other hand, Osanai's death in brought about an aggravation of the internal troubles that had begun to upset the Tsukiji Little Theatre.
The members of this theatre company were now split into two groups, the first being the Gekidan Tsukiji Shogekijo Drama Troupe of the Tsukiji Little Theatre , which followed Osanai's wishes and worked for an academic theatre, and the second being the Shin-Tsukiji Gekidan The New Tsukiji Drama Troupe , which supported Hijikata Yoshi and devoted itself to political drama.
It was to be expected that the Shin-Tsukiji Gekidan, which became a part of the Proletarian Theatre Federation, should take direction from the Sayoku Gekijo Leftist Theatre in the kind of plays that were produced, and this was also true for a time of the Gekidan Tsukiji group. The period up to August, , when the authorities ordered the dissolution of the Sayoku Gekijb and Shin-Tsukiji Gekidan, was one in which leftist drama enjoyed its greatest prosperity. Although these plays are defective in structure and too obviously written for agitation and propaganda, they had the virtue of presenting subjects taken from actual society and of expressing strong feelings that could not be confined within the walls of a theatre.
It was at this time that the theatre began to appeal not only to the intellectual classes but to the proletariat. In Murayama's Boryokudanki, which had for its subject the differences between the warlords in control of the Peking-Hankow railroad in China and the laborers working on it, the workers act self-sacrificingly in order to bring the military to its heels.
Although the characters are mechanically contrived, the structure harmonizes rather well with the stringency inherent in the subject matter. In its depiction of the proletariat as hero, Murayama's play was hailed as an epoch-making work. The delicate diction with which this play reveals the subtle psychological moods found among the characters has retained its freshness down to the present day. In this respect it is like Odera gakko Odera's school , written in by Kubota Mantaro.
Both agree in the appeal of their writing styles. However, Kishida's plan, to bring into Japan a fresh dramatic beauty inspired by the modern play in France, could not be realized at a time when the theatre-going public was still unprepared for it, and Kishida stood isolated both from the Tsukiji Little Theatre then enjoying a dominant position in Japan and from the leftist theatre. It seemed inevitable that he should turn to the writing of novels after Ushiyama Hoteru. The entire group was anti-leftist. Emphasizing paychological realism, their plays were concerned with the delicate interplay of thought and feeling found among the lesser citizens of a city.
Among the representative plays of the Gekisaku group are Nijurokubankan Building number 26 , written in by Kawaguchi Ichiro, in which the playwright recreates with great skill the life of some Japanese living in New York; Ofukuro Mother , written in by Tanaka Chikao, a play distinguished for the subtlety of its dialogue; Seto naikai no kodomotachi The children of the Inland Sea , by Koyama Yushi, a play likewise composed in and notable for its lyrical atmosphere; and Hanabanashiki ichizoku A prosperous family , by Morimoto Kaoru, , a light comedy full of psychological subtleties.
Among these playwrights, Morimoto in particular is known as a many-sided genius. It was at the Tsukijiza that the plays of the Gekisaku group were usually performed. There the husband and wife team of Tomoda Kyosuke and Tamura Akiko were the producers, and Kishida and Kubota the directors. The Drama Prior to World War II When Japan began her ventures on the Asian continent in , the government immediately took steps to quell the leftist movement and the Japanese Proletarian Theatre Federation was forced to disband along with the other proletarian groups.
Under these difficult circumstances, the members of the leftist theatre groups began to ask themselves whether their emphasis on political ideas had been proper. Taking his cue from the second Soviet Writers' Congress, which had discussed the theme of socialistic realism, Murayama Tomoyoshi proposed the amalgamation of all the groups working in modern drama.
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The works of such dramatists as Kubo Sakae, Hisaita Eijir6, and Miyoshi Juro, who had worked industriously since the beginning of the Showa era, were all produced by these two theatre groups. Hisaita's Hokuto no kaze A northeast wind , written in , took for the model of its chief character the textile manufacturer Muto Sanji, and showed how his warmly paternalistic attitude toward his workers, caught between the coldly calculating power of the capitalists and the growth of the proletariat, finally brought him to ruin. Hisaita's play seeks to show in miniature the whole development of capitalism in Japan, and so has a largeness of subject matter unusual in Japanese drama.
Kubo's work, Kazambaichi The ash terrace of a volcano , written in , has for its background the farming areas of Hokkaid6. Among the characters in this play are tenant farmers, makers of charcoal, and managers of farms, and a conscientious agricultural specialist working at the improvement of farms. The special characteristics of Japanese farming life are developed in this play, which is perhaps the most conspicuous example of socialistic realism in Japanese drama. Miyoshi Juro's Bui Buoy , written in , may not exhibit the same concern with social problems found in Hokuto no kaze and Kazambaichi, but it boldly takes up the problem of conversion faced by the leftists at the time of their suppression and searches deeply into the feelings and motivations of the people involved.
Reflecting on the proletarian movement which had been ruthlessly destroyed by the authorities, these authors still dealt with sociological problems and with the characters of men caught in them. In part too they constituted an artistic resistance against the approaching fascistic age. Among the more progressive social scientists and historians of the day, the nature of the development of Japanese capitalism was then being hotly debated. The dramatists, however, wrote such works as Fujimori Seikichi's novel, Watanabe Kazan, and Nagata Hideo's play, Daibutsu kaigan The opening of the eyes of the great image of Buddha , in which may be seen an unwillingness on their part to deal with modern-day problems at a time when freedom of expression was being severely restricted.
Because of its insistence on the artistic nature of its efforts and its refusal to deal with social and political problems, it was permitted to continue its existence even during the Pacific War. These were successful plays in which he deliberately emphasized a traditional morality and an exciting plot, and so appealed directly to public favor.
This work, delving deeply into the feudalistic relationships found among the families of a farming village, suddenly established its author's position as a front-rank dramatist. First concerned with rural life, Mafune now turned his attention to the city and portrayed a number of urban character-types, satirically, in a series of plays. These included Hadaka no machi A naked town and Mishiranu hito The stranger.
The last half of the s was a period during which the Gekisaku circle headed by Kishida Kunio was opposed by the dramatists gathered in the Shinky6 Gekidan and Shin-Tsukiji Gekidan groups. This opposition repeated in drama the conflict between the artistic and ideological groups found in fiction. The playwrights, nevertheless, mutually influenced each other and the age was one of considerable fruitfulness. However, both the Shinkyo Gekidan and Shin-Tsukiji Gekidan groups suffered severe restrictions in , and Gekisaku too was obliged to cease publication.
This was the situation in , when the Pacific War began. By about the older playwrights who had written for the kabuki theatre had almost all died. Only Mayama Seika remained to complete Genroku chishingura The Genroku treasury of loyal retainers in Among the younger men Uno Nobuo, ably depicting the feelings of city folk in Edo times, was the principal successor to these playwrights.
The writers of popular dramas intended only to thrill or amuse their audiences included Kikuta Kazuo, Yagi Ryfuichir6, and H6j6 Hideji. Drama during World War II and in the Post-war Era During World War II many plays were written with the intention of raising popular enthusiasm for the fighting, but almost nothing remains of any consequence. However, Iizawa Tadasu's Choken kassen War between the birds and beasts , written in and lightly satirizing the war effort, gave a measure of entertainment to the citizens of Tokyo who were already under bombardment.
The real legacies of the wartime period were published only after the war was over; these include Kinoshita Junji's Fiiuro Wind and waves and Kato Michio's Nayotake Pliant bamboo. Furo depicted a group of young samurai in Kumamoto in the early years of the Meiji era anguished over the problem how they might best live at a time when society was suffering so many changes.
Nayotake, based on the ancient Taketori monogatari Tale of the bamboo-cutter , unfolded a beautiful fantasy. Although differing in their structure the two plays agree in crystalizing the sentiments of young dramatists filled with anguished thoughts during the dark years of the war. Kinoshita also wrote a masterful play based on an ancient legend, Yuilzuru The crane in the evening , in , but it was still not so important, ideologically, as Furo.
Kat6, believing that his creative years had come to an end, committed suicide in It is possible to argue that the path followed by Kinoshita and Kato depicts in brief the history of drama after World War II. The playwrights were faced with the problem of surpassing the socialistic realism of Kazambaichi and the psychological realism of the Gekisaku school. This they discovered to be a virtually impossible task.
Most of the theatres of Tokyo, including the Tsukiji Little Theatre, were destroyed in the wartime bombing. The revival of drama in the postwar period therefore faced unusual difficulties. Still, Chekhov's Cherry Orchard was produced jointly by the several theatre companies in late , and in , the Shinkyo Gekidan, reorganized after the war, the Bungakuza, which had continued production even during the wartime period, and the Haiyuza, formed in the latter years of the war, were able to resume their work.
It was as if the public were placing great expectations in the modern play with the changes that had come about in society. Later, the Shinky6 Gekidan, which might have been expected to show the greatest amount of activity, suffered the resignation of many members. This became one of the three principal drama companies along with the Bungakuza and Haiyuza. The Bungakuza continues to stand on the platform enunciated at the time of its formation, that it would provide spiritual entertainment for educated adults, and has enjoyed the support of a fairly large audience.
The Haiyuza, holding that the drama should not be made the servant of politics, attempts to build a new dramatic tradition after experimentation with various stage techniques. Today it commands the highest position among the Japanese dramatic companies. At the beginning, Mingei appeared to be only a chance assemblage of actors, but it has now settled down to a fixed program of production.
In addition, the Bud6 no Kai, led by Kinoshita Junji, is attempting to establish itself as a fourth important producing group. Giving support to these dramatic companies, which today are responsible for a more active modern theatre than Japan has ever enjoyed, are many small amateur companies, and it is possible to state that modern drama has at last established itself.
Not to be outdone by the two young playwrights, Kato and Kinoshita, the dramatists who had already established their positions in the years before the war have also resumed their writing. Thus Kishida Kunio wrote Hayami jojuku The Hayami private school for girls in and some other works, but the lively dialogue of his earlier plays is gone, and his most important work in the postwar years seems to consist in the establishment of the Kumo no Kai Cloud Society , an organization that seeks an interchange of views between the writers of fiction and drama.
Mafune Yutaka composed the satirical comedies Kiiroi heya A yellow room and Tatsu no otoshigo A sea-horse in and respectively, but has since become lost in the writing of radio dramas. Kubo Sakae wrote Ringoen nikki A diary about an apple orchard directly after the war, and in produced Nihon no kish5 Japan's weather , but without too much response from his audiences.
In Sono hito o shirazu We don't know the man , Miyoshi Jur6 pictured a number of desperate people living an almost animal-like existence in the first postwar years, but was unable to escape the criticism that his work was artistically crude. Those who had previously belonged to the Gekisaku group made a late appearance in the years after World War II.
Uchimura Naoya, after one or two attempts at serious drama, turned to radio and television, and Koyama YUshi, who won critical approval for Futari dake no but6kai A dance party for two only in , is perhaps too lyrical for the complicated dramatic tastes of the postwar world. Tanaka Chikao, who wrote Bizen fudoki Record of Bizen province in , seems, on the other hand, to possess a wider appeal.
Deserving special mention is the work of the newest dramatists appearing in recent years. Coming from the world of fiction and criticism are such writers as Mishima Yukio, Fukuda Tsuneari, Shiina Rinzo, and Abe Kobo, all of whom possess qualities that are not to be found in the authors coming from before the war. Mishima's collection of modern no plays are one-act masterpieces abounding in a mystic symbolism.
In Ryu o nadeta otoko The man who stroked the dragon , Fukuda borrowed his plot from T.
Eliot's Cocktail Party and. Shiina and Abe too are writers of dramas with high intellectual content. This section should perhaps close with a roster of the dramatists whose plays have been produced by the various theatrical groups. The Background Many of the older poets writing in the Shbwa era began their careers in the early years of the twentieth century. A review of the influences under which they worked shows the close relationship which obtains between the history of fiction and the history of poetry. In both genres, the principal developments seem to follow one on the other in virtually the same chronological succession.
For poetry the years were characterized by romanticist writing; by naturalism; by evidences of decadent tendencies; by an idealist reaction; and by intellectualist and ideological concerns. By and large these predilections are as evident in fiction as in poetry. The long poem in the Sh6wa era is rather sharply distinguished from the long poem in the Meiji and Taish6 periods. This is true not only of the long poem but of literature in general; however, since the long poem is by nature a form of advanced art in Japan, the distinction seems to be most conspicuous here.
Both the tanka and haiku also belong in the realm of poetry, but as they follow traditional forms they do not show the same sharp changes found in the history of the long poem. When the Meiji era opened, the thirty-one syllable tanka and the seventeen-syllable haiku were the dominant poetic forms in Japan; moreover, their overwhelming popularity had long been accompanied by a strange reluctance on the part of the poets to try poems of greater length.
Having ceased to write the choka long poems in the early tenth century or thereabouts, the Japanese waited until the impact of Western influence to attempt poems in their own language that were longer than the tanka and haiku. For it was in this work, with its fourteen translations from Western poetry and five Japanese originals, that the three collaborators, Toyama Chuzan, Yatabe Ry6ichi, and Inoue TetsujirO dramatically demonstrated to their readers that a revolution in Japanese poetry had taken place.
The Japanese poems too reached far beyond the limits of the tanka. Included were a war song, a poem "on the principles of sociology," some verses written before the Buddha at Kamakura, an ode to the four seasons, and a poem on the encouragement of learning. The Shintaishish6 opened the way to great activity in the long poem. A pronounced vigorousness, unknown to the tanka and haiku, is found in the works of Yuasa Hangetsu, Komuro Kutsuzan, Ochiai Naobumi, and in the translations of Ochiai, Mori Ogai, and other poets found in Omokage Images , a collection published in Christian hymns, songs written in the manner of the Buddhist imayo ballad-like hymns , popular songs, and war songs were written, and the work entitled Shintaishisen Selections of poems of new form , published in by the Ken'yuiisha or Society of Inkstone Friends, followed the light and clever rhythms of the folk-song.
The shi or long poem adjusted itself to Japanese poetic tradition in its tendency to favor the alteration of lines containing seven syllables and five. Up to the end of the Sino-Japanese War in , the long poem was in fact characterized by a strongly archaic or classical emphasis. Although Toyama wrote some prose poems and free verse, and Inoue, Shioi, and Takeshima were not without their poetic moments, most of their work was characterized by trite diction, fixed rhythms, and a poverty-stricken imagination. Contributing to Joj6shi Lyric poetry and Kokumin no tomo Friend of the people were certain poets of the Waseda School who wrote more simply and innocently, and with more pitiable effects.
These poets, more than the Teikoku Daigaku poets, anticipated the romantic movement, but it must be said that they too preserved traditional rhythms and diction. The Romantic Movement It was the romantic movement centered in the journal Bungakkai Literary world that finally created a poetry that was truly modernized in its content.
To quote Shimazaki Toson, "It was like a beautiful dream All of the poets seemed to be intoxicated with their brightness, their new voices, and with their fancies.
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Love and the beauties of nature, sentimentally viewed, were the principal subjects, but Tsuchii Bansui gave voice to nationalist ideals. Yosano Tekkan wrote "masculine" poems, and in November, , organized the Tokyo Shinshisha or Toky6 School of the Long Poem, with the magazine Myojo Bright star , first published in April, , as its organ.
Yosano's wife Akiko soon became the principal representative of the Myojo group, with her burning feelings expressed both in the long poem and in the tanka. The romanticist movement held sway from about to ; Kitamura Tokoku was the major theorist. Outside Myojo, Susukida Kyukin wrote quiet, elegant, and highly refined verse, sometimes in the sonnet form. Kambara Ariake was a symbolist poet, delicate and dreamlike in his melancholy. The Naturalist School Even as romanticism achieved its highest popularity, a naturalist reaction became evident in Mori Ogai's Uta nikki Poem diary , published in These poets took the humbler objects of everyday life for their subject matter and adopted an impressionistic technique.
A vigorous realism and directness in feeling were demanded. Some, like Iwano H6mei, combined naturalism and symbolism. Kitahara Hakushu and Nagata Hideo, who left the Shinshisha when Myojo published an article attacking naturalism in December, , were influenced by the plein-air or open air school of painting.
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Analyzing the world of phenomena into color and sound, they seemed to distort them in their representations. They looked for humble subject matters and wrote free verse, but not in the spoken language. The Decadents The poetry of the decadent school, predominant in the years , is a prolongation of the romanticism found in Myojo.
This decadent poetry was centered in three magazines: Two other magazines, publishing the work of splinter groups, were Mita bungaku Mita literature and Shinshicho New currents of thought. Influenced by naturalism, the decadents found beauty in things that were corrupt, degenerate, or decayed, and believed that realistic pains and disturbances might be swept away through sharp observation and intense stimulation. Nature was judged to be illusory, the world clothed in rampant, almost pathologically distorted colors.
Immoderate fleshly pleasures became a favorite subject matter. The past was recalled with pleasure; at the same time, both the poet and reader were carried into areas of feeling associated with the city and with foreign lands. The Idealists The poetry of the idealists was at first characterized by the same kind of spirit that moved the Shirakaba or White Birch school. It was based on strongly human feelings and hopes as opposed to the nihilism of most of the naturalists and the love of enjoyment that moved the decadents. Takamura K6tar6's D6tei Itinerary , published in , Kitahara Hakushi's Hakkin no koma Platinum top , published in , and Miki Rofu's religious poetry are all idealist in their tendencies.
Senke Motomaro and Ozaki Kihachi represented the Shirakaba school, which was not noted for its poetry. Mur5 Saisei, like Kitahara, came from the school of decadence. Yamamura, somewhat like Takamura, became a Christian. Fukushi Kojir6 and Noguchi Yonejir6 also belong to this somewhat diverse group of idealists. Intellectualist Poetry Combining a free verse form with poetic images and everyday language with unusual ideas and perceptions were a group of poets who prided themselves on their symbolist and classical styles.
According to Hinatsu K6nosuke, poetry "points the way toward discovery of the high road to the temple of God," but much of his ideology was heretic, and in general he followed an art-above-all philosophy. Sorrow and nihilism characterized his spirit. In his poems around , he recorded his anarchistic anger in poems descriptive of Japanese scenery. With Kambara Ariake he ranks as Japan's finest symbolist poet.
The Older Poets in the Early Showa Era With the advent of the Sh6wa period many of the poets of the long poem who had begun their careers in Meiji and Taisho times continued to produce works of outstanding quality. These poets include Takamura Kotar6, Hagiwara Sakutaro, and Horiguchi Daigaku, all of whom published anthologies that enhanced their fame. However, there is no real change evidenced in the work of these poets. They continued their writing outside of the newer trends found in the long poem. Dadaism and Similar Influences from the West The newer developments in the long poem came through the influence of the various fresh views of art arising in Europe both before and during World War I.
In December, , Hirado Kenkichi issued his Nihon miraiha dai-ikkai sengen First proclamation of the Japanese futurist school. The same year saw the first publication of the journal Aka to kuro The red and the black , in which Hagiwara Kyojiro, Okamoto Jun, Tsuboi Shigeji, and Ono Tosaburo joined in pursuing the aims of Dadaism.
Both in spirit and in form of representation, these poets denied completely the artistic tenets of the older schools; anarchistically, they demanded the destruction of these ideals simply for the purpose of destruction. These poets differed greatly from the more popular people's poetry which made up the main current of verse in the Taish6 era. Coming in at almost the same time with Dadaism were compositionalism, representationism, and cubism.
The Beholdmyswarthyface Encyclopedia of Modern Japan (PDF)
Dadaism lasted only a few years. As the Showa period dawned, two main streams of the long poem became evident. The first is found in the proletarian school which denied all artistic assumptions and tried to dissect Japanese society with a highly critical eye, and the second in the artistic schools that looked toward a revolution solely in the spirit in which poetry is composed.
Proletarian Poetry The birth of proletarian poetry is found in the journal Bungei sensen Literary battle-line which was first published in Its development continued in Aozora The blue sky and Roba Donkey , first issued in and respectively. However, with the exception of Nakano Shigeharu of the Roba group, none of the poets was able to write a poetry of ideas based on the existence of the social classes, and most of their work resulted from a broadly humanistic point of view. At the beginning of the Showa era, the proletarian poets divided themselves into two main groups.
Standing on a platform of anarchism, they wrote long poems that were characterized by a completely iconoclastic spirt. The second group, more representative of the entire group of proletarian poets, adopted Marxism for its ideology. In time Tsuboi likewise shifted from anarchism to this group. In , after NAPF's reorganization, the publication of Senki passed to the Senkisha, and in a new journal, Nappu, became the organ for the league.
In addition, the journals Puroretaria-shi Proletarian poetry , Puroretaria bungaku Proletarian literature , and Bungaku shimbun Literary news also published the works of the proletarian poets, who looked upon their poems as being weapons in the war between the classes.
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