Nagai kaf spent the years 19038 in the united states

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Unformatted text preview: “realistic” writers, The Fruits of Modernity 277 although obviously they differed greatly in their conceptions of what constituted realistic writing. Certain authors of the 1890s, often loosely called romantics, insisted, for example, that an accurate and truthful depiction of man could only be achieved through analyses of the psychological motivations and feelings of individuals and not simply by portrayals of certain types or categories of people. Behind this attitude lay the vexing problem of individualism in modern Japan. It is significant that many of the leading prose writers, poets, and critics of the most prominent journal of Japanese romanticism, Bungakukai (The Literary World, published from 1893 until 1898), were either converts to or strongly influenced by Protestant Christianity, the only creed in late Meiji Japan that gave primacy to the freedom and spiritual independence of the individual. The absolutism embodied in the Meiji Constitution demanded strict subordination of the interests of the individual to those of the state; and the hopes of many intellectuals and artists that the people’s rights movement might provide a legitimate channel for personal dissent were severely reduced, if not entirely dashed, when, from about the time of the Sino-Japanese War, the political parties began to abandon their strong opposition to the oligarchs and to pursue instead the “politics of compromise.” The feeling of frustration engendered by a society that placed such preponderant stress upon obedience to the group, especially in the form of filial piety toward one’s parents and loyalty to the state, no doubt accounts for much of the sense of alienation observable in the works of so many modern Japanese writers. These writers have been absorbed to an unusual degree with the individual, the world of his personal psychology, and his essential loneliness. In line with this preoccupation, novelists have perennially turned to the diary-like, confessional tale—the so-call...
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This note was uploaded on 02/08/2013 for the course ANTH 142 taught by Professor Hans during the Spring '13 term at The University of British Columbia.

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