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The Aesthetics of Japanese Fascism$
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Alan Tansman

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780520245051

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520245051.001.0001

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. Modernist Beginnings: Akutagawa Ryūnosuke and Kobayashi Hideo

. Modernist Beginnings: Akutagawa Ryūnosuke and Kobayashi Hideo

(p.34) 1. Modernist Beginnings: Akutagawa Ryūnosuke and Kobayashi Hideo
The Aesthetics of Japanese Fascism

Alan Tansman

University of California Press

This chapter considers the close connection between modernism and fascism in Japan. It discusses how Akutagawa Ryūnosuke's modernism displays the origins of a distinctly Japanese fascist aesthetic. Though Akutagawa died before Japan's entry into war and totalitarianism and never married those aesthetics to a politics of violence or death, we might wonder still whether his aesthetics would have led to such a politics. It is argued that Kobayashi Hideo's modernism, so richly informed by Akutagawa's, made that very turn.

Keywords:   Japan, fascism, modernism, fascist aesthetics, Kobayashi Hideo, Akutagawa Ryūnosuke

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