. An Aesthetics of Devotion: Kobayashi Hideo’s Cultural Criticism

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:
. An Aesthetics of Devotion: Kobayashi Hideo’s Cultural Criticism

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Kobayashi Hideo was the pivotal Japanese critic of his time. The progenitor of literary and cultural criticism in Japan, Kobayashi blended serious reflection on aesthetics, literature, history, and politics with a poet's sensibility. His intellectual reach was immense: from Buddhist aesthetics to European classical music; from the entire history of Japanese and European literature to sculpture, pottery, and painting; from the politics of literature to the literature of war; from poetics to European and Asian thought. This chapter shows how Kobayashi, through his vertigo-inducing prose, and his particular version of the fascist moment, did his part in seeding an atmosphere of aesthetic fascism.

Keywords: Japanese critic; aesthetic fascism; Japanese fascism; Kobayashi Hideo

Chapter.  28171 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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