Tayama Katai (1872-1930) was a major writer in Japan's modern history. He was the leader of the (later) naturalist movement around 1906-1912, and author of its representative novel Futon (1907), which established a trend of autobiographical novels. His perception of 'nature' changed through the years from natural beauty to the 'natural individual' - on which Japanese later naturalism was based, following German models rather than French - and ultimately fate, time and religion. All his writings are naturo-centric in one sense or another.
In this ground-breaking study, In Search of Nature, Kenneth G. Henshall provides a 'cradle-to-grave' account of Katai and his prose fiction, and also corrects the mistaken belief that Japanese naturalism was a failure.
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Kenneth G. Henshall, FRHS, Ph.D. (1977) Sydney, is Professor of Japanese Studies at Canterbury University NZ. He has published widely on Japan-related topics ranging from script etymology to history to literature, and has translated Katai's memoirs and two of his novels.
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