Aarhus Universitetsforlag

Return to Japan

From Pilgrimage to the West

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363 pages ill.
ISBN 87 7288 837 7

Edited by

With contributions by
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About the book

This fascinating book presents 17 modern writers, critics and intellectuals from Mori Ôgai to Ôe Kenzaburo and Murakami Haruki, who analyse the issues surrounding the concepts of the West as fantasy and Japan as nostalgia. This collection is the result of a conference held in Copenhagen in 1998.

Many Japanese writers have journeyed to the West in praise of Western civilization, the editor explains in his Foreword, only to revert to their conception of 'true' Japanese spiritual, social, cultural and aesthetic values. The book aims at describing and clarifying these movements to and from Japan in both the spiritual and physical senses. This idea can be seen as a Japanese search for cultural identity during the modern period.

Table of contents

Foreword, Yoichi Nagashima

Interior Travels - Pilgrimage, Nostalgia, Identity and Quest, Ian Reader

I. Prototypes:

Return to Japan or Return to the West? - Lafcadio Hearn's "A Conservative", Sukehiro Hirakawa
Supplementary Remarks on Hearn's "A Conservative", Sukehiro Hirakawa
Following the Traces of Ôgai’s "Return to the Japan of Nostalgia", Yoichi Nagashima
Return to Japan - the Case of Okakura Tenshin, Hae-Kyung Sung
Kunikida Doppo - A Site of No Return, Stephen Dodd
The Pilgrimage of Nagai Kafû to the US and France and His Life of Exile in Japan, Katsuya Sugawara
Between "Nostalsie" and "Sehnsucht", Shigemi Inaga
A Pilgrimage to the West and Return - the Case of Tanizaki Junichirô, Kinya Tsuruta
The Fabricated Japan, Shigemi Nakagawa

II. Variations:

Kobayashi Hideo's "Return to Japan", Matthew Königsberg
The Fictional West and "True" Japan, Keiko Kockum
Return to Japan, Noriko Thunman
Agape and Eros, Takao Hagiwara
The Looping Movement of Kaiki in Etô Jun, Reiko Abe Auestad
A Female Urashima Tarô, Sharalyn Orbaugh
Hybrid Identities, Susan Napier
An Allegory of Return, Susan Fisher


Concluding Remarks: Sukehiro Hirakawa
List of contributors

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