. Modernist Beginnings: Akutagawa Ryūnosuke and Kobayashi Hideo

Alan Tansman

in The Aesthetics of Japanese Fascism

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780520245051
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520943490 | DOI:
. Modernist Beginnings: Akutagawa Ryūnosuke and Kobayashi Hideo

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This chapter considers the close connection between modernism and fascism in Japan. It discusses how Akutagawa Ryūnosuke's modernism displays the origins of a distinctly Japanese fascist aesthetic. Though Akutagawa died before Japan's entry into war and totalitarianism and never married those aesthetics to a politics of violence or death, we might wonder still whether his aesthetics would have led to such a politics. It is argued that Kobayashi Hideo's modernism, so richly informed by Akutagawa's, made that very turn.

Keywords: Japan; fascism; modernism; fascist aesthetics; Kobayashi Hideo; Akutagawa Ryūnosuke

Chapter.  6396 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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