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Influence of neo-Сonfucian views of Kaibara Ekiken on Tanizaki Jun’ichiro’s creative work

M.G. Selimov
80,00 ₽

UDC 821.521       


Selimov Mazay G.,

PhD student of Asia and Africa Literatures Department

Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences



This article is devoted to the gender issue of the early 1930s, which was reflected in the works of Japanese writer Tanizaki Jun’ichirō, who was very sensitive to needs of the Era. Under the influence of popular treatises “Precepts for Children” (和俗童子訓, Wazoku dōjikun, 1711) and “The Great Learning for Women” (女大学, Onna daigaku, с. 1711–1714) of the Confucian scholar of the late XVII century Kaibara Ekiken. Tanizaki Jun’ichirō created the image of a submissive woman, that was demanded by new time. The writer, who in the early 1920s was interested of erotic images of women freed from shackles of the past, together with a whole Japan made a sharp turn towards traditional views of life: he began to form the image of faithful wives and wise mothers, joining the general flow ‘returning to the roots’ of that time. However, almost immediately after the collapse of the militaristic regime, the writer turned away from the traditional Confucian thought of Kaibara Ekiken, reviving his favorite motif — the image of the ‘femme fatale’. Nevertheless, Tanizaki Jun’ichirō retained a special Japanese aesthetic, which he came to the early 1930s: the Japanese woman was still dressed in a kimono, but the evolution of morals and the lack of unspoken requirements for participation in the formation and strengthening of certain ideological standards, which the national state indulged, allowed Tanizaki Jun’ichirō to say that the traditional Japanese woman can be not only a faithful wife and a wise mother, but also an infernal woman who destroys men and instills voluptuous thoughts in minds of her children. After the Second World War, there was a new stage in the development of Tanizaki Jun’ichirō’s creative work.

Keywords: Japanese literature, Kaibara Ekiken, Tanizaki Jun’ichirō, Neo-Confucian thought of the Tokugawa period, gender relations in Japan in the early 1930s.



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