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Japanese Love

Anthony Thwaite

14 June 1990
Childhood Years: A Memoir 
by Junichiro Tanizaki, translated by Paul McCarthy.
240 pp., £15, February 1990, 0 00 215325 4
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The Great Mirror of Male Love 
by Ihara Saikaku, translated by Paul Gordon Schalow.
371 pp., $37.50, February 1990, 0 8047 1661 7
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... Junichiro Tanizaki (1886-1965) is rightly regarded as one of the handful of 20th-century Japanese novelists whose work has to be seen as of universal and not just Japanese interest. One can, indeed, number them quickly: Tanizaki’s senior, Soseki; his contemporary, Kawabata; his juniors, Endo, Abe and Mishima ...

Poles Apart

John Sutherland

5 May 1983
Give us this day 
by Janusz Glowacki, translated by Konrad Brodzinski.
Deutsch, 121 pp., £6.95, March 1983, 0 233 97518 7
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In Search of Love and Beauty 
by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala.
Murray, 227 pp., £8.50, April 1983, 0 7195 4062 3
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Listeners 
by Sally Emerson.
Joseph, 174 pp., £7.95, April 1983, 0 7181 2134 1
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Flying to Nowhere 
by John Fuller.
Salamander, 89 pp., £4.95, March 1983, 0 907540 27 9
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Some prefer nettles 
by Junichiro Tanizaki, translated by Edward Seidensticker.
Secker, 155 pp., £7.95, March 1983, 0 436 51603 9
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The Makioka Sisters 
by Junichiro Tanizaki, translated by Edward Seidensticker.
Secker, 530 pp., £9.95, March 1983, 0 330 28046 5
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‘The Secret History of the Lord of Musashi’ and ‘Arrowroot’ 
by Junichiro Tanizaki, translated by Anthony Chambers.
Secker, 199 pp., £7.95, March 1983, 0 436 51602 0
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... four of his works in three volumes, Secker and Warburg supply a generous retrospective sample of Junichiro Tanizaki’s (1886-1965) extraordinarily diverse achievement as a novelist. Some prefer nettles was first published in Japan in 1928, and in England in 1956. Frankly autobiographical, it records the author’s ambivalent attraction both to the ...

Michi and Meiji

Nobuko Albery

24 July 1986
Principles of Classical Japanese Literature 
edited by Earl Miner.
Princeton, 281 pp., £25, August 1985, 0 691 06635 3
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The Princeton Companion to Classical Japanese Literature 
by Earl Miner, Hiroko Odagiri and Robert Morrell.
Princeton, 570 pp., £39.50, March 1986, 0 691 06599 3
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Mitford’s Japan: The Memoirs and Recollections, 1866-1906, of Algernon Bertram Mitford, the First Lord Redesdale 
edited by Hugh Cortazzi.
Athlone, 270 pp., £18, October 1985, 0 485 11275 2
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... plays – to the point of knowing every line and gesture by heart. The great modern novelist, Junichiro Tanizaki, wondered if Japanese writers lacked the physical strength to construct a long plot, whilst Kafu Nagai emphasised the unpredictability of the Japanese climate and the resulting tendency to believe in coincidence and fate. Yasunari ...
1 March 1984
A History of Japanese Literature. Vol. I: The First Thousand Years 
by Shuichi Kato, translated by David Chibbett.
Macmillan, 319 pp., £20, September 1979, 0 333 19882 4
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A History of Japanese Literature. Vol. II: The Years of Isolation 
by Shuichi Kato, translated by Don Sanderson.
Macmillan, 230 pp., £20, October 1983, 0 333 22088 9
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A History of Japanese Literature. Vol. III: The Modern Years 
by Shuichi Kato, translated by Don Sanderson.
Macmillan, 307 pp., £20, October 1983, 0 333 34133 3
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World within Walls 
by Donald Keene.
Secker, 624 pp., £15, January 1977, 0 436 23266 9
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Modern Japanese Poets and the Nature of Literature 
by Makoto Ueda.
Stanford, 451 pp., $28.50, September 1983, 0 8047 1166 6
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Low City, High City: Tokyo from Edo to the Earthquake 
by Edward Seidensticker.
Allen Lane, 302 pp., £16.95, September 1983, 0 7139 1597 8
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... Japanese counterpart. Ueda is concerned with eight ‘writers’: Natsume Soseki, Nagai Kafu, Tanizaki Junichiro, Shiga Naoya, Akutagawa Ryunosuke, Dazai Osamu, Kawabata Yasunari and Mishima Yukio. It is difficult to say whether these writers were chosen because some works of theirs have been translated into English. Other writers from Mori Ogai to ...
19 November 2015
... the regimen of the controlled and the clean. ‘There is no denying the cleanliness,’ Junichirō Tanizaki laments of the Western toilet in his 1977 meditation In Praise of Shadows, ‘every nook and corner is pure white.’ Yet ‘the cleanliness of what can be seen only calls up the more clearly thoughts of what cannot be seen … I suppose I shall sound ...
22 October 1992
Rising Sun 
by Michael Crichton.
Century, 364 pp., £14.99, June 1992, 0 7126 5320 1
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Off Centre: Power and Culture Relations between Japan and the United States 
by Masao Miyoshi.
Harvard, 289 pp., £22.95, December 1992, 0 674 63175 7
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Underground in Japan 
by Rey Ventura.
Cape, 204 pp., £7.99, April 1992, 0 224 03550 9
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... yet insightful gaze at developments in post-war literature and film. He argues brilliantly that Junichiro Tanizaki’s apparent deference to the West, and his sense of Japan as a place of restriction and shadowy stagnation, is just one more example of his masochistic sensibility: ‘as he enjoys sexual humiliation, so he savours cultural ...
21 May 1981
The Tale of Genji 
by Murasaki Shikibu, translated by Edward Seidensticker.
Penguin, 1090 pp., £5.95, November 1980, 0 14 044390 8
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... poet, Yosano Akiko, in the first decade of this century; immediately after the war, the novelist, Tanizaki Junichiro, probably the best prose-writer of modern Japan (his is a beautiful translation which captures both the flowing quality and the ambiguities of the original text); and recently Enchi Fumiko, a writer of poignant tales concerning the female ...

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