2001 Volume 43 Pages 48-60
Nakazato Tsuneko wrote in her essay that Katherine Mansfield was her favorite western author. She also admitted that the style and the content of her early works were regarded as similar to those of Mansfield. This paper examines how Nakazato came across Mansfield's works and was influenced by Mansfield.
Mansfield died in 1923 and in the same year, Hirata Tokuboku introduced her for the first time to Japan in the magazine Eigo Seinen. He also translated Mansfield's works and tried to make her popular in Japan as a prominent short-story writer. Mansfield became more popular in Japan through the translation by Sakiyama Seiki published in 1934 in an Iwanami pocket edition. This made Mansfield's works more accessible and Nakazato discovered them through this book in 1937.
Soon after she read Mansfield's short stories, Nakazato wrote“Noriai- basha (Stage-coach)” and “Nikkōshitsu(Sun-room)” and was awarded the Akutagawa Prize in 1939. Nakazato loved the content of Mansfield's books, which often described “womanly” things such as everyday affairs and the daily life of women and children. She especially empathized with Mansfield’s compassion for the poor and her concern and respect for all living things. She was also very much interested in Mansfield's style and its influence is evident in her works. She learned to express the delicate mentality of her characters utilizing “Represented Speech”, and developed the skill for graphic and detailed descriptions of living things. This helped Nakazato to write her stories in a fresh, new style.