The Kiso Road: The Life and Times of Shimazaki Tōson

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University of Hawaiʻi Press, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 664 pages
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William E. Naff, the scholar of Japanese literature widely known for his translations of the writings of Shimazaki Toson (1872-1943), spent the last years of his life writing a full-length biography of Toson. The Kiso Road provides an account of this novelist who, along with Natsume Soseki and Mori Ogai, formed the triumvirate of writers regarded as giants in Meji Japan, all three of whom helped establish the parameters of modern Japanese literature. Professor Naff's biography places Toson in the context of his times and discusses every aspect of his career and personal life, as well as introducing a number of untranslated works.

Toson's long life, his many connection with other important Japanese artist and intellectuals, his sojourn in France during World War I, and his later visit to South America, permit a biography of depth and detail that serves as a kind of cultural history of Japan during an often turbulent period.

J. Thomas Rimer is professor emeritus of Japanese literature at the University of Pittsburgh. He has been the author, editor, of translator of many books, most recently two coedited volumes.

Janet A. Walker is professor of comparative literature at Rutgers University. She has published essays on both classical and Japanese literature, on the novel, and on South Asian literature.

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The Meiji Literary Scene
Before 1872

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About the author (2011)

William E. Naff (1929-2005) was founding chair of the Department of Asian Languages and Literatures at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he was professor of Japanese literature. His translation of Toson's Before the Dawn (Yo-ake mae) was awarded the 1987 JapanŻU.S. Friendship Commission Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature.

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