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- DescriptionOn a December morning in 1925, a newspaper journalist reported receiving 25 different handbills in an hour's walk in downtown Tokyo, advertising everything from Western-style clothing and furniture to sweet shops, charity organisations, phograph recordings, plays, and films. The activities of advertisers, and the new entertainment culture and patterns of consumption that they promoted, helped to define a new urban aesthetic emerging in the 1920s. This book examines some of the responses of Japanese authors to the transformation of Tokyo in the early decades of the 20th Century. In particular, it explores the themes and formal strategies of the modernist literature that flourished in the 1920s, focusing on the work of Hagiwara Kyojiro (1899 - 1938) and Hayashi Fumiko (1903 - 1951). William Gardner shows how modernist works offer new constructions of individual subjectivity amid the social and techlogical changes that provided the ground for the appearance of 'mass media'. Hagiwara's conception of the poem and poet as an electric-radio 'advertising tower' provides an emblem for the aesthetic tensions and multiple discourses of techlogy, media, urbanism, commerce and propaganda that were circulating through the urban environment at the time; while Hayashi's work, with its references to popular songs, plays and movies, suggests an understanding of 'everyday life' as the interface between individual subjectivity and a highly mediated environment.
- Author BiographyWilliam O. Gardner is an Assistant Professor of Japanese at Swarthmore College.
- Author(s)William O. Gardner
- PublisherHarvard University Press
- Date of Publication12/05/2006
- Series TitleHarvard East Asian Monographs
- Series Part/Volume NumberNo. 260
- Place of PublicationCambridge, Mass
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintHarvard University Press
- Content Note16 b/w illustrations
- Weight644 g
- Width180 mm
- Height232 mm
- Spine31 mm
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