Appraising Genji: Literary Criticism And Cultural Anxiety in by Patrick W. Caddeau

By Patrick W. Caddeau

Murasaki Shikibu’s eleventh-century story of Genji is the main respected paintings of fiction in Japan. This e-book explores Genji’s reception through the years and its position in jap tradition.

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Extra info for Appraising Genji: Literary Criticism And Cultural Anxiety in the Age of the Last Samurai

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But what is most stunning about this rhetorical tour de force is the way she artfully translates issues concerning cultural identity and nostalgia, the hallmarks of the nativist school (kokugaku) interpretation of Genji more than two centuries earlier, into the language that speaks to the concerns of her audience. The quotation she provides in classical Japanese signals her familiarity with Genji’s original language. By implication, her engagement with the text on this level gives her the authority to convey to readers the “essence” and the “truths” to be found within the tale.

No mention is made as to why she left, but one can readily surmise that living conditions in the Fujiwara household were difficult at best. Throughout his life, Hiromichi remained unable to distance himself from the profound loss and economic hardship that defined his childhood.

One of the most prominent scholars of national learning associated with Okayama is Fujii Takanao (1764–1840). Coming from a family of Shinto officiates, Takanao began studying national learning under Kodera Kiyosaki (1748–1827) from an early age. In 1793, Takanao traveled to the town of Matsuzaka to study national learning under the leading scholar of his day, Motoori Norinaga. He was so taken with Norinaga’s work that even after returning to Okayama he continued an active correspondence and a scholarly dialogue with Norinaga.

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