Musings of a Literary Pilgrim

Christopher T. Keaveney

in Beyond Brushtalk

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print November 2008 | ISBN: 9789622099289
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9789882206656 | DOI:
Musings of a Literary Pilgrim

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This chapter explores the impact of travel to China of Tanizaki Jun'ichirō. Tanizaki visited China on two occasions (1918 and 1926). The pieces resulting from the first visit fall neatly into the kikōbun (travel diary) and nikki (literary diary) varieties and are representative examples of a body of such work penned by Japanese writers in the modern period based on their travels. On the other hand, the most significant work produced following Tanizaki's second visit constitutes a valuable record of cultural exchange between the Chinese and Japanese literary communities during the twenties. Moreover, the chapter investigates Tanizaki's perspective on the significance of his encounters with those Chinese writers from the vantage point of the War period. In general, the writings Tanizaki produced in conjunction with his travels in China show his versatility, the works produced from each journey being suited to the particular circumstances he encountered. Although the works resulting from his two journeys to China must be considered minor accomplishments in relation to his more celebrated works of fiction, they do offer insights into Tanizaki's abiding fascination with China and provide an intriguing glimpse into Sino-Japanese cultural relations in the interwar period.

Keywords: Tanizaki Jun'ichirō; China; kikōbun; nikki; travel; cultural relations; interwar period

Chapter.  9417 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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