This is an extremely ambitious anthology that fills a serious gap in resources for teaching modern Japanese literature. The translations represent sensitive and highly intelligent responses to some of the key texts of the period and constitute an enormous contribution to the field.(Stephen Snyder, University of California, coeditor of Oe and Beyond: Fiction in Contemporary Japan)|
This is a rich and comprehensive anthology of modern Japanese literature that includes not only the finest samples of poetry, drama and prose fiction but what are often considered marginal such as political accounts and detective stories. Almost completely isolated from the rest of the world at its beginning, poets and writers in Japan since the late 1860s have swung back and forth between the indigenous tradition and the newly imported forms and styles in every type of writing. From Soseki, Tanizaki, and Kawabata to authors translated here for the first time, they have each in his or her own way attempted to transmit to the readers degrees of their enthusiasm or reservations concerning imports from the West. They have created a kind of experimental laboratory thattests the universal validity of romanticism and naturalism, the idea of the individual and society, the rhetoric ofautobiographical confession, the debate over socialist realism, the role of art as memory, the poetics of gender and feminism, and so forth. This anthology provides the results of those experiments, showing an immense variety of literary scenes that illustrate stages of modernization in Japan.(Makoto Ueda, editor of Far Beyond the Field: Haiku by Japanese Women) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.