From Flight to Self-destruction

  • Irena Powell
Part of the St Antony’s/Macmillan Series book series


Thus, the theory of the bundan evolved in the first post-war years in the writings of men like Itō Sei, Hirano Ken, Nakamura Mitsuo and others. The escapist character of life in the Japanese literary community forms the nucleus of this theory, which examines the roots of escapist behaviour and its link with traditional oriental patterns of thought. Equally it examines the bundan’s artistic ideology — the belief in the supreme value of art and the effect which it had on the artists themselves.


Rubber Ball Modern Writer Indigenous Tradition Comparative Literary Study Japanese Writer 
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  1. 3.
    Yamamoto Kenkichi, Shishōsetsu sakka ron (Kadokawa Shoten, 1957).Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    Translated from Kasai Zenzō, Ko o tsurete, in Nihon bungaku zenshū vol. 31 (Shueisha, 1969).Google Scholar
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    Katō Shūichi, A History of Japanese Literature: The First Thousand rears ( Kodansha, 1979; London: Macmillan, 1979 ) p. 16.Google Scholar
  4. 10.
    See Itō Sei’s workTōbō dorei to kamen shinshi, in Gendai bungaku taikei vol. 49 (Chikuma Shobo, 1965). The expression kamen shinshi is rather elliptical and ‘gentleman in a mask’ is only an approximate translation. It could equally denote someone hiding behind a ‘gentleman’s mask’.Google Scholar
  5. 19.
    Fukuda Tsuneari, ‘Kamura Isota’, inFukuda Tsuneari hyōronshū vol. 13 (Shinchosha, 1966) p.137.Google Scholar
  6. 20.
    Dazai Osamu, Villon’s Wife, in D. Keene (ed.), Modern Japanese Literature ( Tokyo: Charles E. Tuttle, 1957 ).Google Scholar
  7. 21.
    Dazai Osamu, No Longer Human ;quoted by Minami Hiroshi, Psychology of the Japanese People (University of Tokyo Press, 1971) p. 71.Google Scholar

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© Irena Powell 1983

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  • Irena Powell

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