By Shuichi Kato
A brand new simplified version translated via Don Sanderson. the unique three-volume paintings, first released in 1979, has been revised particularly as a unmarried quantity paperback which concentrates at the improvement of eastern literature.
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Additional resources for A History of Japanese Literature: Volume 3: The Modern Years
In 1825 Seishisai wrote Shinron (New Argument) advocating that the barbarians should be repelled. That year the Bakufu did in fact order that foreign ships should be driven away from Japan's shores. Seishisai's later work Jimusaku (Policies for the Times) of 1862, eight years after the Japan-America Friendship Treaty, supports trade with foreign countries. In 1837 Fujita Toko prepared the first draft of Nariaki's account of the work of the institute he had established for the formulation of the Mito political ideology, K6d6kanki (Records of the Kodokan), and, during a period of enforced idleness and house-arrest (following Nariaki's resignation and house-arrest), wrote a volume of personal reminiscence, Kaitenshishi (1844), and later Seiki no uta (Song of the Great Spirit, 1845) and Kodokan kijutsugi (Essential Records of the Kodokan, 184647).
His case, although it took place seventy years later and after the Restoration, has many similarities to the fate of the Dutch Studies·group. The consistency of the attitudes prevalent in Japanese culture, particularly towards minority opinion, is strikingly illustrated here. The most unforgettable parts of Memento are, however, those which describe the scene within the prison into which 'no sunlight fell' and through which 'no breeze blew': 'The heat was unbearable, the foul smell of the sick mingled with the various stenches of filth and uncleanliness.
This may be read as bitter irony and indeed Kazan omitted this passage and others critical of the Bakufu from the version that he eventually sent to Egawa. It is, however, the first draft that stands as one of the masterpieces of Tokugawa prose. A circle of students of Dutch Learning formed around Kazan, including Takano Choei and Ozeki San'ei as we have already mentioned. Kazan was in touch with Sakuma Shozan- he sent a picture to him in 1836 - and he also knew Kawaji Toshiakira (1801-68), a high official of the Bakufu who had a deep interest in the West, as well as Egawa Hidetatsu.