In Genji-monogatari the style of handwriting works in the same way that poetical language does. In the chapter of “Tamakazura,” for example, the court ladies write their poems in pale India ink. They do so not because of their calligraphic awkwardness but because of artistic effects to heighten sharp contrasts in poetical expression. Thus the act of writing in pale ink becomes an important literary technique to exquisitely represent the female poets' feelings.
Kaihan-shishin is a manual and record of censorship that had been made on published material since the reform of the Tempō Period. In June of the thirteenth year of the Tempō Period, the government ordered the academic center at Shōheizaka to censor books in the name of “academic uplift” which was later criticized by Utagawa-Kuniyoshi and Gaikotsu Miyatake. The key person of this restrictive measure seems to be a town magistrate Tsutsui-Masanori. Citing articles on the reform issued by the center, contemporary publishing trade papers, and other primary sources, here I will delineate the cultural control that was executed on freedom of expression in the publishing scene of the late Edo Period.
In 1887 Soho Tokutomi started his magazine Kokumin-no-tomo in which he wrote a series of literary essays and offered many writers an opportunity to publish their works. In the course of such literary contribution, Tokutomi came to be called the “patron of literature” or the “advocator of enlightenment.” But his real aim was to challenge the popularity of political novels which seemed to him very heretical. It may endorse his reputation as a self-interested writer, but it is also true that no one was more eagerly engaged in the promotion of literature at that time than he. Thus his effort can't be adequately grasped merely in light of utilitarianism.
Toska is a Russian word for “sadness” or “melancholy,” but it has been used with various shades of meaning in Russian literature since the early nineteenth century. The word became to be known in Japan through “Fusagi-no-mushi,” Shimei Futabatei's translation of Maxim Gorky's “Toska” in 1906. Then it had also been turned into an important literary term and used in many works of the prewar period. This paper will historically examine the concept and signification of the Russian word in the Japanese literature of the early twentieth century.