Current Institutional Affiliation
Yale University

Award Information

Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Asian Languages and Cultures
Subversions of Daily Life: Literary Modernism in 20th Century Japan

This project reconsiders the relation between literary modernism and modernity by examining how Tanizaki Jun’ichirō, Yokomitsu Riichi, Hirabayashi Taiko, Kawabata Yasunari, and Hayashi Fumiko assimilated social language into their work and used experiments in narrative to critique ideologies of gender, ethnicity, and national progress. The project combines an empirical examination of the social discourses in the mass media of the 1920s with close readings of the narrative strategies employed in the literary works themselves. Through this method, this study demonstrates the way modernist writers actually embraced social language as a means to displace social ideology and thereby achieve genuine expressions of modernity.