In this wide-ranging study of Japanese cultural expression, Alan Tansman reveals how a particular, often seemingly innocent aesthetic sensibility - present in novels, essays, popular songs, film, and political writings - helped create an 'aesthetic of fascism' in the years leading up to World War II. Evoking beautiful moments of violence, both real and imagined, these works did not lead to fascism in any instrumental sense. Yet, Tansman suggests, they expressed and inspired spiritual longings quenchable only through acts in the real world. Tansman traces this lineage of aesthetic fascism from its beginnings in the 1920s through its flowering in the 1930s to its afterlife in postwar Japan.
Alan Tansman is Agassiz Professor of Japanese in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of The Writings of Koda Aya, a Japanese Literary Daughter and editor, with Dennis Washburn, of Studies in Modern Japanese Literature: Essays and Translations in Honor of Edwin McClellan.
Preface List of Abbreviations Introduction: The Aesthetics of Japanese Fascism 1. Modernist Beginnings: Akutagawa Ryjnosuke and Kobayashi Hideo 2. The Beauty of Violence: Yasuda YojjrQ's "Japanese Bridges" 3. Objects of the Sublime in Literary Writing: Yasuda YojjrQ, Yanagi S etsu, Kawabata Yasunari, and Shiga Naoya 4. The Rhetoric of Unspoken Fascism: The Essence of the National Polity 5. Sentimental Fascism on the Screen: Mother under the Eyelids 6. An Aesthetics of Devotion: Kobayashi Hideo's Cultural Criticism 7. Filaments of Fascism in Postwar Times Coda: Reading Fascist Aesthetics Notes Index