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Sometimes it represented complete submission to authority. Since the degree of compliance with authority differed with the different authors, incriminatory and recriminatory accusations, overt or implied, were voiced in the period after World War II.

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However, resistance to fascistic authority is discoverable in many of these authors, notably in Nakano, Tokunaga, Kubokawa, and Miyamoto Yuriko. The last two, along with Miki Kiyoshi and Nogami Yaeko, viewed the rising tide of war from the point of view of an alarmed humanism.

Necessarily, the work of these authors was carefully guarded in its tone. The Artistic Opposition to Proletarian Literature and to the Rising Tide of Nationalism In the twenties the writers of proletarian literature did not go unchallenged by the writers to whom literature was an art.

On the other hand, as Japan in the thirties invaded Manchuria and China, coalitions of artistic and liberal authors tried vainly to stem the rising tide of nationalism. Yokomitsu Riichi and Kawabata Yasunari were the leaders of the Neo-impressionist school in which literature was likened to music and painting. Fresh images, full of movement, were recorded by these authors.

Their descriptions are therefore sensual and lively, subjective and psychological. The ego receives a larger emphasis by far than is found in naturalist and proletarian writing. Poets of the highly imagistic haiku, like Bash6, inspired the Neo-impressionsits, who were also deeply affected by the newer literary and artistic movements of the West; they looked for a fresher view of life and nature in cubism, futurism, and Dadaism.

The Neo-impressionists were considerably influenced by Horiguchi Daigaku's translation of Paul Morand's Ouvert la nuit. Their concern with images, even though it was reinforced by Western influence, agreed with the livelier world brought about by mechanization. Images, in fact, were considered to exist at the very core of literature.

Neo-impressionism had its origins in a group of authors writing for the journal Bungei jidai Literary age , which began publication in October, Later adherents included Kon Toko and Inagaki Taruho. Considering its emphases, it seems natural that the work of the Neo-impressionists should be described by Ikuta Choko as being decadent and by Kataoka Yoshikazu as being a literature standing for dissection of reality and for the forfeiture of humanity. Tsunekawa Hiroshi stated the principles of the school in "Geijutsuha sengen Proclamation of The Artistic School ," in the April, , issue of Shincho.

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  4. The entire membership, numbering thirty-two writers, was joined by its opposition to Marxism at a time when proletarian literature was enjoying its greatest vogue and in its insistence that art, neglected by the Marxists, was autonomous and integral. However, no set combination of literary ideas was advocated. The Marxists accused this group of being bourgeois in its attitudes, and condemned its work because it was merely entertaining and dealt mainly with the more garish aspects of city life.

    The charge was made that it was filled with "eroguro-nansensu," that is, eroticism, the grotesque, and nonsense. Richardson became known in Japan.

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    The attempt to describe the ego through the stream of consciousness attracted Ito Sei and Hori Tatsuo. Ito was one of the translators of Joyce's Ulysses, and, along with Haruyama Yukio, discussed the stream of consciousness in writing. The Neo-socialist School Shin-shakaiha - X- X A second grouping of authors formerly associated with the Newly Rising Aesthetic School included Asahara Rokuro and Kuno Toyohiko who looked for a wider concern with social problems than those espoused by most of their associates.

    This group is known as the Shinshakaiha or New Socialist School. Actionism K6d6shugi XT 41 i A Following the decline of proletarian literature, literary circles in Japan felt the general unrest that seemed to seize a world waiting for war. On the one hand, the anxious philosophy of Lev Shestov had gained currency in Japan; and, on the other, the Japanese were attracted to the writings of Andre Malraux, author of Les conquerants, La voie royale, and La condition humaine, and of Andre' Gide, author of Retour de L'U.

    These French examples inspired some of the members of the Newly Rising Aesthetic School, notably Abe Tomoji and Funabashi Seiichi, to think anew of the role literary men might play in society. The hope was felt that the intellectuals of Japan, from a humanist point of view, might work toward the betterment of society. Abe and Funabashi established the journal Kodo Action in and won the support of Aono Suekichi, Kubokawa Tsurujiro, and Moriyama Kei, who had all played major roles in the proletarian literature movement, but the group was submerged under the nationalistic thought which prevailed in the thirties.

    Except for Funabashi's Daivingu Diving , nothing of stature remains of this K6d6shugi or Actionist movement. Prominent in the pages of this journal were the organizers, Kobayashi Hideo, Hayashi Fusao, and Takeda Rintar6, and their first colleagues, Uno Koji, Fukada Kyuya, Kawabata Yasunari, Hirotsu Kazuo, and Toyoshima Yoshio, a combination of authors who had previously shown realistic, Marxist, and modernistic tendencies and who were now joined in opposing the rising tide of nationalism.

    When Hayashi, who had been imprisoned, was freed in , the older authors Uno, Hirotsu, and Satomi Ton left the group, but a number of new ones joined it, so that the membership in came to twenty-nine in all. By , Takeda, alarmed at the oppressions which a Fascistic spirit was bringing about, started a second journal, Jimmin bunko People's literature. The writers who had formerly published Genjitsu Reality and who had not gone over to the nationalistically inclined Nihon Romanha Japanese Romantic School joined forces with Takeda, as did the authors writing for the journal Nichireki Solar calendar.

    A toughly realistic prose was demanded and a degree of social criticism was achieved but as the nation became engulfed in war the group turned more and more to genre fiction describing with very little criticism the manners and customs of the day. The Literature of Nationalism a. Yasuda had been one of the writers represented in the coterie journal Kogito Cogito , which had placed a high value on the Japanese classics and in particular had introduced German romanticism. Nakajima Eijir6 and It6 Sakio too came from Kogito. Kamei and Honj6 had formerly belonged to the group that had published Genjitsu Reality , and Dazai, Dan, and Yamagishi had been associated in Aoi hana Blue flowers.

    More than thirty writers were joined in the Nihon R6omanha. Shunning realism and seeking a new romanticism, the group pronounced itself as being anti-progressive. Taking up the older literary classics and arts of Japan, it tried to restate the nature of "the Japanese spirit" and to work toward its revival. A Fascistic tendency was made apparent in Nakagawa Yoichi's work Minzoku bunka shugi The principles of a people's culture , published in , and went hand in hand with a rebirth of interest in Kokugaku, the "national learning" dating back to the eighteenth century.

    Financial difficulties brought about the demise of Nihon r6manha, but some of its authors joined with Hayashi Fusao, the former proletarian writer, in forming the Shin-Nihon Bunka no Kai Society for a New Japanese Culture whereas others went to the rightist Dait6juku Far Eastern School.

    Kamei sought the solace of Buddhism, and Yamagishi became a Christian as the Chinese war expanded. War Literature Senso bungaku A -' Zt The wars in China and the Pacific gave birth to a copious documentary literature characterized by realistic descriptions of battles and sieges, military occupation, the care of the sick and wounded in field hospitals and on hospital ships, and life on the home front. The output during the heat of the fighting was necessarily nationalistic. After the war, however, some of it began to express anti-militaristic ideas.

    In point of style, the writing emphasized a concise and graphic realism influenced by the neue Sachlichkeit advocated in Germany in and around The battles in China were covered by a large number of writers sent by the Army, the Naikaku Johobu or Information Section of the Japanese Cabinet, and by a group of magazines.

    The fighting at Nomonhan, the stories of nurses at the front, accounts of the wounded, and stories of war widows made their appearance at this time. Just before the attack on Pearl Harbor a group of twenty-seven authors were sent to the South Seas. Both the Army and Navy next issued detailed descriptions of battles in which the Japanese had emerged victorious. Writing for the services were Hino Ashihei and Iwata Toyoo.


    With defeat came various accounts of lost battles, fruitless strategy, evacuation from surrendered areas, life as prisoners of war, attempts at escape, the destruction wrought by American bombing including a literature of the atom bomb, and the misery of life on the home front. Writing on the atomic bombing were Agawa Hiroyuki and Ota Yoko, and telling of the incendiary bombs that fell on a provincial city was Maeda Sum i no koe Listen to the vocies of the sea was a widely read collection of letters written by students who had died at the front.

    Writing on the basis of his experiences as a prisoner-of-war was Ooka Shohei. Telling of the situation faced by the Japanese in post-war Manchuria were Tsuji Ryoichi and Takasugi Ichiro, and reciting the trials of those returning to Japan was Shinowara Seiei. Documentary war literature continues to be written down to the present day. The Literature of Non-conformance to Nationalism during World War II The humanistic-proletarian and literary-liberal resistance to the rising tide of nationalism has already been noted.

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    During World War II it was evidenced more by silence than by active opposition to authoritarianism. The Literature of Decadence Evidently feeling uneasy over the nationalistic atmosphere generated in connection with the war effort were several authors who devoted their talents to the production of a literature of decadence. The Artistic Resistance to Nationalism A group of authors insistent on artistic ideals also wrote a literature implicitly resistant to nationalist policy.

    Writers of every persuasion, including those who had languished in prison during the war years and those who had maintained a silent loyalty to literature as an art once more resumed their work. The older magazines, suspended during the war, were revived, and new ones begun; for a period of five or six years the only constriction felt by most of the publishing houses seemed to consist in the limited supply of paper. The postwar period found many of the older writers breaking the silences that they had maintained during the war years. Although changes are found in style and ideology, these changes for the most part consist in some small modification toward a heightening or amelioration of characteristics found in each author's earlier work.

    The first, it is said, no longer has the same penetrating strength that he had shown in Bokuto kidan Strange story east of the Sumida River , and Tanizaki, after producing Sasameyuki The delicate snow and Shosho Shigemoto no haha The mother of Lesser Commander Shigemoto , wrote a work entitled Kagi The key in which a middle-aged man, fearful of his loss of virility, and his over-sexed wife, who seeks the company of a younger man, write out their stories in a pair of diaries that are alternately quoted.


    Genre fiction depicting the manner s and customs of the day but concerned only to a limited extent with social criticism is written by a number of authors including Ishizaka Yojiro, Niwa Fumio, Ishikawa Tatsuz Hayashi Fusao, Hayas hi Seiichi, Inoue Tomoichiro, Hayashi Fumiko, and, to some degree, the humorous writer, Shishi Bunroku. Genji Keita, who deals with the office workers of downtown Tokyo, should also be listed among the writers of genre fiction. The Revival of Proletarian Literature One of the most vigorous of the schools to be revived in the postwar period was the school of proletarian literature.

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    This, however, was presented as "democratic literature" by the Shin-Nihon Bungakkai Society for a New Japanese Literature , which gathered together authors who held liberal and progressive as well as radical views. Shin-Nihon bungaku, first published in March, , was the organ for the society; except for Ozawa Kiyoshi and Atsuta Goro, its authors came largely from those writers who had already established a name for themselves in the past. Also, as time passed, those writers who did not hold to Marxist ideology seceded from the group, and among those who remained in the Shin-Nihon Bungakkai, there were certain authors who did not hold strictly to Marxist doctrine.