Cities Set Within Themselves: Thoughts on the Literary Landscape of Early Modern Tokyo
Dr. Robert Campbell
National Institute of Japanese Literature
The year 2018 marks the 150th anniversary of the fall of the Tokugawa-shogunate and Japan's rebirth as a modern nation. 2019 will witness the first abdication of an Emperor in modern times; and in 2020, Japan will host the Summer Olympic Games for the second time in half a century. All of these events will center on or take place in Tokyo, the nation's capital and, since the latter half of the nineteenth century, incubator of an immeasurable amount of tales and poems, many of which are familiar through translation around the world.
My talk starts with a rough overview of the historical geography of Edo-Tokyo, from which we can explore the ways writers and illustrators used the urban landscape to represent human life within the early twentieth century cycle of disaster and reconstruction. I will focus especially on the physical and literary constructions of the Ginza, a section of town near the main venues of the upcoming Games.
The Ginza was first erected in the 1870s as a brick-built western style "city within the city," and quickly grew to symbolize both the rapacious nature of modern capitalism and a searing nostalgia toward culture long past. Toward the end, I hope to touch upon how urban representation differed among Japanese and American writers during the Allied Occupation years.
The event requires pre-registration: https://guides.library.manoa.h
- Wednesday, February 28, 2018
- 3:00pm - 4:30pm
- Hamilton Library 301
- Hamilton Library