Eigoken ni okeru Hagiwara Sakutaro: Sono shijinzo to hyoka (Representations of Hagiwara Sakutaro: the poet and his work in the English speaking world)

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    Abstract

    Part of a special volume on the work of the great Japanese modern poet Hagiwara Sakutarō (1886-1942), published by the respected poetry journal Gendaishi Techō (Contemporary Poetic Notebook), this chapter is included in a section entitled, "Umi o Koete" (From over the Sea), in which a number of foreign academics examine the impact of Sakutarō's work beyond Japan's borders. Crowned by Donald Keene, in his seminal work on Japanese cultural history Dawn to the West, as "the first truly successful poet" in the modern Japanese, Sakutarō has been celebrated by critics and translators alike as the 'father of modern Japanese poetry'. Poet, musician, critic, aphorist, essayist, amateur magician, dilettante, modernist —all are part of the splintered persona of Hagiwara Sakutarō. Standing as he did at the crossroads where the modern diverged from the traditional, his work is celebrated within the Japanese literary canon, both for his success in introducing colloquial idiom into his poetry without sacrificing artistic merit, and for his ability to give voice to the alienation and despair of the intellectuals of his age, delving into the psyche of the 'modern' man. This chapter explores how and when the work of this great poet has been translated into English and how it has been discussed in English academic discourse. Focusing on the early introductions of his work into English both through translation and academic critiques written in the 1950s, it considers the way in which a number of important academic critics and translators - including Keene, Graeme Wilson, Harold Wright and Robert Epp - have positioned Sakutarō's work within the body of modern Japanese literature available in English, and how these early presentations have continued to impact on the way his work is presented and discussed today.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)119-125
    JournalGendaishi techo
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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