Japanese literature

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Japanese literature spans a period of almost two millennia. Early works were heavily influenced by cultural contact with China and Chinese literature, often written inClassical Chinese. Indian literature also had an influence through the diffusion of Buddhism in Japan. Eventually, Japanese literature developed into a separate style in its own right as Japanese writers began writing their own works about Japan, although the influence of Chinese literature and Classical Chinese remained until the end of the Edo period. Since Japan reopened its ports to Western trading and diplomacy in the 19th century, Western and Eastern literature have strongly affected each other and continue to do so.
Contents
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1 History

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1.1 Ancient literature (Until 794) 1.2 Classical literature (794–1185) 1.3 Medieval literature (1185–1603) 1.4 Early-modern literature (1603–1868) 1.5 Modern literature (1868–1945)

2 Post-war literature 3 Significant authors and works

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3.1 Classical literature 3.2 Medieval literature 3.3 Early-modern literature 3.4 Modern literature

4 Awards and contests 5 Resources 6 See also 7 References 8 External links

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8.1 Online text libraries

a waka-poetry anthology. a work recording Japanese mythology and legendary history. and is found and raised by a bamboo cutter. Nihon Shoki (720). the imperial court particularly patronized the poets. can be considered an early example of protoscience fiction. Chinese characters were used in Japanese syntactical formats. In this time. as an essay about the life. now one of two standard orderings for the Japanese syllabary. the earliest form of kana. Another notable piece of fictional Japanese literature was Konjaku Monogatarishū. and Makura no Sōshi (990s). was also developed during the early part of this period.2 Resources [edit]History Japanese Literature can be divided into four main periods: ancient. Genji Monogatari (early eleventh century) by a woman named Murasaki Shikibu is considered the pre-eminent masterpiece of Heian fiction and an early example of a work of fiction in the form of a novel. Editing the resulting anthologies of poetry soon became a national pastime. These include Kojiki (712). Kaguya-hime. referred to as the golden era of art and literature. and pastimes of nobles in the Emperor's court. The protagonist of the story. The iroha poem. and the result was sentences that look like Chinese but are phonetically read as Japanese. [edit]Medieval [2] literature (1185–1603) . the poetry was elegant and sophisticated and expressed emotions in a rhetorical style. Taketori Monogatari. [edit]Classical [1] literature (794–1185) Classical Japanese literature generally refers to literature produced during the Heian period. She is later taken back to her extraterrestrial family in an illustrated depiction of a disc-shaped flying object similar to a flying saucer. Reflecting the aristocratic atmosphere. Other important writings of this period include the Kokin Wakashū (905). a collection of over a thousand stories in 31 volumes. the latter written by Murasaki Shikibu's contemporary and rival. and Man'yōshū (759). loves. medieval and modern. Chinese characters were further adapted. Sei Shōnagon. [edit]Ancient literature (Until 794) Before the introduction of kanji from China. One of the stories they describe is the tale of Urashima Tarō. or syllabic writing. The 10th century Japanese narrative. China and Japan.there was no Japanese writing system. is a princess from the Moon who is sent to Earth for safety during a celestial war. The earliest works were created in the Nara period. classical. which has been identified as the earliest example of a story involving time travel. a chronicle with a slightly more solid foundation in historical records than Kojiki. most of whom were courtiers or ladies-inwaiting. At first. creating what is known as man'yōgana.o 8. The volumes cover various tales from India. a poetry anthology.

crime stories. forms of popular drama developed which would later evolve into kabuki. A representative work is The Tale of the Heike (1371). Matsuo Bashō wroteOku no Hosomichi (1702). Genres included horror. Kyokutei Bakin wrote the extremely popular fantasy/historical romance Nansō Satomi Hakkenden in addition to other yomihon.Jippensha Ikku wrote Tōkaidōchū Hizakurige. perhaps Japan's most famous woodblock print artist. Santō Kyōden wrote yomihon mostly set in the gay quarters until theKansei edicts banned such works. and Okajima Kanzan were instrumental in developing the yomihon. Takebe Ayatari. and redemption through killing. Japan experienced many civil wars which led to the development of a warrior class. The jōruri and kabuki dramatist Chikamatsu Monzaemon became popular at the end of the 17th century. influenced by Chinese vernacular novels such as Three Kingdoms and Shui hu zhuan.During this period. and subsequent war tales. which is a mix of travelogue and comedy. and related stories. scholarly work continued to be published in Chinese. Two yomihon masterpieces were written by Ueda Akinari: Ugetsu monogatari and Harusame monogatari. an epic account of the struggle between the Minamoto and Taira clans for control of Japan at the end of the twelfth century. and he turned to comedic kibyōshi. mixing vernacular dialogue into his humorous and cautionary tales of the pleasure quarters. comedy. a travel diary. simple lifestyles. Tsuga Teisho. Due in large part to the rise of the working and middle classes in the new capital of Edo(modern Tokyo). Many genres of literature made their début during the Edo Period. the early Muromachi period. Ihara Saikaku might be said to have given birth to the modern consciousness of the novel in Japan. [edit]Modern [3] literature (1868–1945) . [edit]Early-modern literature (1603–1868) Literature during this time was written during the largely peaceful Tokugawa Period (commonly referred to as the Edo Period). histories. helped by a rising literacy rate among the growing population of townspeople. Although there was aminor Western influence trickling into the country from the Dutch settlement at Nagasaki. Other notable genres in this period were renga. Nevertheless. Both were rapidly developed in the middle of the 14th century. also illustrated fiction as well as his famous 36 Views of Mount Fuji. which was the language of the learned much as Latin was in Europe. it was the importation of Chinese vernacular fiction that proved the greatest outside influence on the development of Early Modern Japanese fiction. as in earlier periods. in the Tokugawa. or linked verse. which were historical romances almost entirely in prose. Work from this period is notable for its insights into life and death. Other important tales of the period include Kamo no Chōmei's Hōjōki (1212) and Yoshida Kenkō's Tsurezuregusa (1331). and Noh theater. Hokusai. and pornography— often accompanied by colorful woodcut prints. morality stories. as well as the development of lending libraries.

Hakushū Kitahara and so on in the early 1910s. the so called "god of the novel. Neoromanticism came out of anti-naturalism and was led by Kafū Nagai. who is often compared with Mori Ōgai. Wild Geese (1911). with some unusual protagonists such as the cat narrator of Natsume Sōseki's Wagahai wa neko de aru (I Am a Cat). Naturalism hatched "I Novel" (Watakushishôsetu) that describes about the authors themselves and depicts their own mental states. then later wrote historical novels. In the early Meiji period (1868–1880s). a favored disciple of Ozaki. Mori also wrote some modern novels including The Dancing Girl (1890). The introduction of European literature brought free verse into the poetic repertoire. Jun'ichirō Tanizaki. Ryūnosuke Akutagawa is known especially for his historical short stories. Humanism.Kyōka Izumi. Natsume Sōseki. wrote I Am a Cat (1905) with humor and satire. Kōtarō Takamura. Young Japanese prose writers and dramatists struggled with a whole galaxy of new ideas and artistic schools. a rare woman writer in this era. Shiga Naoya. and magazines Myōjō and Bungaku-kai in early 1900s. and a period of rapid industrialization. Then Realism was brought in by Tsubouchi Shōyō and Futabatei Shimei in the mid-Meiji (late 1880s– early 1890s) while the Classicism of Ozaki Kōyō. Saneatsu Mushanokōji. and Ichiyo Higuchi represent a strain of writers whose style hearkens back to early-Modern Japanese literature. Shiga's style was autobiographical and depicted states of his mind and sometimes classified as "I Novel" . Ichiyō Higuchi." and Mori Ōgai were instrumental in adopting and adapting Western literary conventions and techniques. Shimazaki shifted from Romanticism to Naturalism which was established with his The Broken Commandment (1906) and Katai Tayama's Futon (1907). Kyōka Izumi. Ozaki Kōyō. Romanticism was brought in by Mori Ōgai with his anthology of translated poems (1889) and carried to its height by Tōson Shimazaki etc. but novelists were the first to successfully assimilate some of these concepts. it became widely used for longer works embodying new intellectual themes. then depicted fresh and pure youth in Botchan (1906) and Sanshirô (1908). wrote short stories on powerless women of this age in a simple style in between literary and colloquial. A new colloquial literature developed centering on the "I novel". while pre-modern popular books depicted the quickly changing country. Fukuzawa Yukichi and Water Margin [clarification needed] authored Enlightenment literature.The Meiji period marks the re-opening of Japan to the West. Yamada Bimyo and Kōda Rohan gained popularity. Naoya Shiga and others founded a magazine Shirakaba in 1910. [dubious – discuss] Natsume Sōseki also wrote the famous novels Botchan and Kokoro (1914). pursued a flowing and elegant style and wrote early novels such as The Operating Room (1895) in literary style and later ones including The Holy Man of Mount Koya (1900) in colloquial. He eventually pursued transcendence of human emotions and egoism in his later works including Kokoro (1914) his last and unfinished novelLight and darkness (1916). They shared a common characteristic.

A Personal Matter in 1964 and became Japan's second winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. Ashihei Hino wrote lyrical bestsellers glorifying the war. War-time Japan saw the début of several authors best known for the beauty of their language and their tales of love and sensuality. Writers who opposed the war include Denji Kuroshima. Shōhei Ōoka won the Yomiuri Prize for his novel Fires on the Plain about a Japanese deserter going mad in the Philippine jungle. Avant-garde writers. began writing in the post-war period. and their struggles for change. comprising such writers as Takiji Kobayashi. One of them. Ryūnosuke Akutagawa. Denji Kuroshima. Osamu Dazai's novel The Setting Sun tells of a soldier returning from Manchukuo. and Jun Ishikawa. Mitsuharu Kaneko. and other downtrodden members of society. and Ineko Sata produced a politically radical literature depicting the harsh lives of workers. and represented Neo-realism in the mid 1910s. as a springboard to address spiritual problems. During the 1920s and early 1930s the proletarian literary movement. [edit]Post-war literature World War II. Yasushi Inoue also turned to the past in masterful historical novels of Inner Asia and ancient Japan. a master of psychological fiction. in order to portray present human fate. Yuriko Miyamoto. Roman Catholics in feudal Japan. Mitsuaki Inoue had long been concerned with the atomic bomb and continued in the 1980s to write on problems of the nuclear age. Kenzaburō Ōe wrote his best-known work. Yoshikichi Furui tellingly related the lives of alienated urban dwellers coping with the minutiae of daily life. deal with the American occupation in varying ways. loss of purpose. while Tatsuzō Ishikawa attempted to publish a disturbingly realistic account of the advance on Nanjing. women. Prominent writers of the 1970s and 1980s were identified with intellectual and moral issues in their attempts to raise social and political consciousness. while Shusaku Endo depicted the religious dilemma of the Kakure Kirishitan. who wrote fantastic novels such as Woman in the Dunes (1960). wrote short stories including Rashōmon (1915) with an intellectual and analytic attitude. Many authors wrote stories of disaffection. in the immediate aftermath of the war.Yasunari Kawabata. notably Jun'ichirō Tanizaki and Japan's first winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. deeply influenced Japanese literature. and Japan's defeat. while the psychodramas within such daily .in this sense. who was highly praised by Soseki. developed new inner visions. wanted to express the Japanese experience in modern terms without using either international styles or traditional conventions. Hideo Oguma. Yukio Mishima. Nobuo Kojima's short story "The American School" portrays a group of Japanese teachers of English who. peasants. well known for both his nihilistic writing and his controversial suicide by seppuku. such as Kōbō Abe. and the coping with defeat.

including all sorts of historical serials. the recent past (Pure. The 1988 Naoki Prize went to Shizuko Todo for Ripening Summer. Some of Murakami's best-known works include Norwegian Wood (1987) and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (1994–1995). widening the earlier novel's preoccupation with the narrator's consciousness. Although factual journalism predominated. Tokyo). Another best-selling contemporary author is Banana Yoshimoto. In international literature. There was a growing emphasis on women's roles. Children's works re-emerged in the 1950s. many of these works were interpretive. many old themes re-emerged. business stories. and some authors turned consciously to the past. and animal stories. Manga (comic books) have penetrated almost every sector of the popular market. reflecting a high degree of individualism. Many popular works fell between "pure literature" and pulp novels. war journals. humorous and surreal works have sparked fierce debates in Japan over whether they are true "literature" or simple pop-fiction: Kenzaburō Ōe has been one of his harshest critics. in sales of some ¥400 billion per year. Other award-winning stories at the end of the decade dealt with current issues of the elderly in hospitals. [edit]Significant authors and works . In Japanese fiction. a manga introduction to economics. His genredefying. plot development and action have often been of secondary interest to emotional issues. and the newer entrants into this field. the Japanese persona in the modern world. and pornography. had taken up residence in Britain and won Britain's prestigious Booker Prize.Hearted Shopping District in Kōenji. such as a multivolume high-school history of Japan and. Non-fiction covered everything from crime to politics. science fiction. Popular fiction. They include virtually every field of human interest. Although modern Japanese writers covered a wide variety of subjects. and the malaise of common people lost in the complexities of urban culture. many of them younger women. and children's literature all flourished in urban Japan in the 1980s. one particularly Japanese approach stressed their subjects' inner lives. information-packed docudramas. Haruki Murakami is one of the most popular and controversial of today's Japanese authors. for the adult market. a native of Japan. Buddhist attitudes about the importance of knowing oneself and the poignant impermanence of things formed an undercurrent to sharp social criticism of this material age. Kazuo Ishiguro. and the life of a Meiji period ukiyo-e artist. Strikingly. non-fiction. brought new vitality to it in the 1980s.life crises have been explored by a rising number of important women novelists. detective fiction. a story capturing the complex psychology of modern women. Manga represented between 20 and 30 percent of annual publications at the end of the 1980s. In keeping with the general trend toward reaffirming national characteristics. mysteries.

1025): The Tale of Genji [edit]Medieval   literature Yoshida Kenkō (c.717–785): Man'yōshū Sei Shōnagon (c.Famous authors and literary works of significant stature are listed in chronological order below.10??): The Pillow Book Murasaki Shikibu (c. 1837) [edit]Modern         literature Mori Ōgai (1862–1922) Ozaki Kōyō (1867–1903) Natsume Sōseki (1867–1916) Kyōka Izumi (1873–1939) Yonejiro Noguchi (1875-1947) Naoya Shiga (1883–1971) Takuboku Ishikawa (1886–1912) Jun'ichirō Tanizaki (1886–1965) . For an exhaustive list of authors see List of Japanese authors: [edit]Classical    literature Ōtomo no Yakamochi (c. in accordance with Wikipedia's Manual of Style for Japanese Names).1283–1352): Tsurezuregusa The Tale of the Heike (1371) [edit]Early-modern            literature Ihara Saikaku (1642–1693) Matsuo Bashō (1644–1694) Chikamatsu Monzaemon (1653–1725) Ueda Akinari (1734–1809) Yokoi Yayū(1702-1783) Santō Kyōden (1761–1816) Jippensha Ikku (1765–1831) Kyokutei Bakin (1767–1848) Nakane Kōtei(1839-1913) Edo Meisho Zue (travelogue. (Note that names of people born after 1868 are listed Western style.973–c. 1834) Hokuetsu Seppu (work of human geography.~966–c.

                            Ryūnosuke Akutagawa (1892–1927) Edogawa Rampo (1894-1965) Eiji Yoshikawa (1892–1962) Mitsuharu Kaneko (1895–1975) Kenji Miyazawa (1896–1933) Denji Kuroshima (1898–1943) Shigeji Tsuboi (1898–1975) Jun Ishikawa (1899–1987) Yasunari Kawabata (1899–1972) Yuriko Miyamoto (1899–1951) Sakae Tsuboi (1900–1967) Hideo Oguma (1901–1940) Takiji Kobayashi (1903–1933) Tatsuzō Ishikawa (1905-1985) Ango Sakaguchi (1906–1955) Osamu Dazai (1909–1948) Shōhei Ōoka (1909-1988) Sakunosuke Oda (1913-1947) Shusaku Endo (1923–1996) Kōbō Abe (1924–1993) Yukio Mishima (1925–1970) Hisashi Inoue (1933–) Kenzaburō Ōe (1935–) Michiko Yamamoto (1936–) Kenji Nakagami (1946–1992) Haruki Murakami (1949–) Ryū Murakami (1952–) Banana Yoshimoto (1964–) [edit]Awards and contests Main article: List of literary awards#Japanese literature [edit]Resources .

Earl Roy. and Morrell. Criticism. Robert E. Grove Press.). Stanford. Columbia University Press © 1993 reprinted 1999 ISBN 0-231-11441-9  McCullough.  Donald Keene   Modern Japanese Literature. 1985. : Princeton University Press. 1956. N.. Birnbaum. Drama. Classical Japanese prose : an anthology. Columbia University Press © 1976 reprinted 1999 ISBN 0-231-11467-2  Dawn to the West: Japanese Literature in the Modern Era. (ed. A. The Princeton companion to classical Japanese literature. . 1990. Kodansha International (JPN). Calif. Princeton. ISBN 0-384-17254-X World Within Walls: Japanese Literature of The Pre-Modern Era 1600–1867. Columbia University Press © 1989 reprinted 1999 ISBN 0-231-11437-0  Seeds in the Heart: Japanese Literature from the Earliest Times to the Late Sixteenth Century. Poetry. ISBN 0804716285  Miner.J. Helen Craig. : Stanford University Press. Columbia University Press © 1984 reprinted 1998 ISBN 0-231-11435-4  Travellers of a Hundred Ages: The Japanese as Revealed Through 1.. Odagiri. Hiroko. Monkey Brain Sushi: New Tastes in Japanese Fiction.000 Years of Diaries.

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