Ogai: Youth and Other Stories

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University of Hawaii Press, 1994 - Fiction - 530 pages
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Ogai's (1862-1922) stature among modern Japanese writers is unparalleled, but until recently his work in translation has languished in scholarly monographs and journals. Japan scholar Rimer has gathered several of Ogai's best-known stories and the first complete translation of a major work, Seinen ("
 

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Contents

Utakatano ki A Sad Tale
25
Fumizukai The Courier
43
19091915
59
Hebi Snake
88
Kompira Kompira
102
Asobi Play
136
Dokushin A Bachelor
154
Moso Daydreams
167
19101911
214
Ka no yd ni As If 131
233
19091911 155
258
Hanako Hanako 174
274
Kamen Masks 191
291
Kaijin The Ashes of Destruction
312
Seinen Youth
373
Selected References in Youth
518

Hyaku monogatari Ghost Stories 18 1
182
Futari no tomo Two Friends
197
Glossary
527
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About the author (1994)

Born into a family of physicians, Ogai had a traditional education in the Chinese classics and was also well read in Japanese, German, and other Western literatures. He studied medicine in Germany for four years. Eventually he became head of the medical division of the Japanese Army Ministry. His literary production, which was often interrupted by official duties, falls into three main groups: 1909--12, semiautobiographical fiction; 1912--16, historical literature; and finally, biography. His Vita Sexualis (1972) is a philosophical look at the development of his sexual awareness and the place of sexual desire in life. Although not devoid of humor, this is a serious work that was also intended to chide writers of the naturalist school for their relentless, narrow scrutiny of their own lives. In his historical fiction, Ogai wrote about real people and real events, researching his subjects carefully and providing notes for readers. He was, however, a superb stylist and engaging storyteller. He was also an able translator. With the exception of his early romantic works, his writing is marked by an austere tone.

J. Thomas Rimer is professor emeritus of Japanese literature at the University of Pittsburgh. He has been the author, editor, or translator of many books, most recently two co-edited volumes, Traditional Arts and Culture: An Illustrated Sourcebook (2006) and The Columbia Anthology of Modern Japanese Literature (2005).

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