My research examines the confluence of literature and thought in an historical conjunction that I call "Japan's Long 1930s," and considers how the unresolved tensions of language and ideas in these years lingered into the Cold War decades, and beyond. The study is premised on several previously unexamined dialogues among prominent writers and thinkers who shaped the cultural politics of 1920s-19 50s Japan. Reading novelists and poets in conversation with philosophers and public intellectuals, I argue that the literary imagination in these years transformed a range of abstract ideological sentiments and recondite philosophical arguments into concrete and appealing narratives. In making this claim, my five chapters show how ideas and languages converged in a not-so-distant past whose unresolved tensions still linger today. @@The project features dialogues between linguist Yamada Yoshio (1875-1958) and novelist Tanizaki Jun'ichiro ( 1886-1965), Marxist philosopher Tosaka Jun (1900-1945) and Marxist poet Nakano Shigeharu (1902-1979), philosopher Miki Kiyoshi (1897-1945) and novelist Yokomitsu Riichi (1898-1947), translator Edwin McClellan (1925-2009) and neoliberal economist Friedrich Hayek (1899-1992).