Mother-Tongue in Modern Japanese Literature and Criticism

Toward a New Polylingual Poetics

  • Takayuki Yokota-Murakami

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Takayuki Yokota-Murakami
    Pages 79-99
  3. Takayuki Yokota-Murakami
    Pages 101-114
  4. Takayuki Yokota-Murakami
    Pages 115-136
  5. Takayuki Yokota-Murakami
    Pages 137-160
  6. Takayuki Yokota-Murakami
    Pages 161-167
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 169-183

About this book


This book examines how early research on literary activities outside national literatures such as émigré literature or diasporic literature conceived of the loss of ‘mother-tongue” as a tragedy, and how it perpetuated the ideology of national language by relying on the dichotomy of native language/foreign language. It transcends these limitations by examining modern Japanese literature and literary criticism through modern philology, the vernacularization movement, and Korean-Japanese literature. Through the insights of recent philosophical/linguistic theories, it reveals the political problems of the notion of “mother-tongue” in literary and linguistic theories and proposes strategies to realize genuinely “exophonic” and “translational” literature beyond the confines of nation. Examining the notion of “mother-tongue” in literature and literary criticism, the author deconstructs the concept and language itself as an apparatus of nation-state in order to imagine alternative literature, genuinely creolized and heterogeneous. Offering a comparative, transnational perspective on the significance of the mother tongue in contemporary literatures, this is a key read for students of modern Japanese literature, language and culture, as well as those interested in theories of translation and bilingualism.


Japanese Literature and Mother-tongue Modern Japanese Literature Gembun-icchi and Vernacularization Korean Japanese Literature Diasporic and Emigre Japanese Literature Globalisation and Literature in Asia Ethnic Literature and the Mother Tongue

Authors and affiliations

  • Takayuki Yokota-Murakami
    • 1
  1. 1.Osaka UniversityToyonakaJapan

Bibliographic information