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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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. An Aesthetics of Devotion: Kobayashi Hideo’s Cultural Criticism

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(p.194) 6. An Aesthetics of Devotion: Kobayashi Hideo’s Cultural Criticism
The Aesthetics of Japanese Fascism

Alan Tansman

University of California Press

Kobayashi Hideo was the pivotal Japanese critic of his time. The progenitor of literary and cultural criticism in Japan, Kobayashi blended serious reflection on aesthetics, literature, history, and politics with a poet's sensibility. His intellectual reach was immense: from Buddhist aesthetics to European classical music; from the entire history of Japanese and European literature to sculpture, pottery, and painting; from the politics of literature to the literature of war; from poetics to European and Asian thought. This chapter shows how Kobayashi, through his vertigo-inducing prose, and his particular version of the fascist moment, did his part in seeding an atmosphere of aesthetic fascism.

Keywords:   Japanese critic, aesthetic fascism, Japanese fascism, Kobayashi Hideo

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