Kenji Miyazawa's short story “Tsuchigami-to-kitsune” is open to a wide range of interpretations. In my class, for example, a student believes that the Birch prefers the Fox to the genius called Tsuchigami. Meanwhile I think that the Birch wants to have an equal but different relation to each of them. Such freedom of reading, however, very often falls into interpretive fallacy (Indeed my own interpretation is far from definitive; it completely ignores the amorous aspect of the story). Tsuchigami's impulsive murder of the Fox is most likely to invite us to commit such fallacy because it is so ambiguous that everyone can have his or her own view about why he has done it. But is there any right answer to it? The narrator himself tries in vain to specify his motive without reaching any conclusion. Then the narrator's interpretive dilemma over what he narrates tells us that there is something unreadable not only in others but also in ourselves.
In the article ““F” Is the Word” in the August 2015 issue of this magazine I described our functional relations to objects under the concept of “F” to analyze the way we can make sense of the world around us. Here I will apply the same concept to the educational field and examine functional relations in the teaching of kokugo. We may think that a kokugo class just consists of a teacher, students, and a textbook, but actually it is not possible without having direct or indirect relations to other units such as the institution of literature, the publishing industry, the family system, and the national policy of the government. In short, even the act of teaching is structurally caught in the economic and social network or the “F” system. But we the teachers may affect the status quo if we strategically take advantage of the very system which in principle has a potentiality to cause epistemological shifts through interactions between units.
Philosophically speaking, the world has innumerable aspects because it is discursively constructed. So we individually live in a different world or story. In other words, the world is polyphonically structured. This holds true with some literary texts, especially with Kenji Miyazawa's “Tsuchigami-to-kitsune.” This paper will analyze the polyphonic structure of the story which allows each reader to have his or her own way of reading.
There are some tales of the two mythic figures Homuchiwake and Homudawake in Nihon-shoki and Kojiki. Interestingly enough, they appear as an imperial heir in Kojiki although there is no such mention in Nihon-shoki. In the episode of Emperor Suinin, Homuchiwake fails to succeed to the throne because the wrath of the God of Izumo has made him dumb. In the episode of Emperor Chūai, however, Homudawake is destined to be an emperor by the oracle of Amaterasu. Both tales about the succession to the throne roughly correspond to the storyline of other ancient chronicles; a god's descent from heaven after a fierce struggle for the rule of the country. But the two different scenarios of the same plot in Kojiki point to historical contingency which the establishment of a new regime depends on.
This paper will examine the development of detective fiction in the 1930s that came from its ambivalent relations to journalism. In 1932 Rampo Edogawa and Shirō Hamao, both the major detective novelists, made comments on the dismemberment murder case at Tamanoi. While Rampo emphasized the grotesque nature of the crime, Hamao made a logical interpretation of it. Their discourses on the case reflected their style of writing or vice versa. Thus the genre of detective fiction was dynamically formed in interaction with journalistic representations of actual crimes.