The Naturalist Avant-garde and the Formation of the Modern Bundan

  • Irena Powell
Part of the St Antony’s/Macmillan Series book series


The death of Kitamura Tōkoku marked an end to the period which for the purposes of this volume has been referred to as Meiji Japan, the hopeful period when ‘intellectuals in general had a high sense of national purpose, of obligation, of responsibility, and when there was a keenness, an enthusiasm, a zest for the adventure of modernisation, which made the intellectual a firmly wedded member of the leadership stratum’.1Tōkoku’s death symbolised the failure of the intellectual to participate in and influence the course of his nation’s history in the spirit of Western democratic liberalism.


Modern Literature Popular Literature Democratic Liberalism National Purpose Young Writer 
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  1. 8.
    R. Williams, The Long Revolution (New York: Harper & Row, 1966) p. 109.Google Scholar
  2. 10.
    Arima Tatsuo, The Failure of Freedom: a Portrait of Modern Japanese Intellectuals (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1969)p. 6.Google Scholar
  3. 14.
    Quoted in Yoshida Seiichi, Gendai Nihon bungakushi (Chikuma Shobo, 1965) p. 62.Google Scholar
  4. 26.
    Hirano Ken, ‘Shishosetsu niritsu haihan’ (The Antinomy of the I-novel), in Hirano Ken, Geijutsu to Jisseikatsu (Shinchosha, 1964) pp. 17–19. This is an important article discussing the history and theory of the I-novel.Google Scholar

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© Irena Powell 1983

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  • Irena Powell

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