Japanese Naturalism

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

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Kenneth George Henshall (University of Canterbury)

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Naturalism arose as a literary movement in Japan at the turn of the twentieth century, under the influence of Western models. It is usually seen as having two phases, referred to as “early naturalism” and “later naturalism”. Early naturalism appeared in 1900, effectively lasted only a couple of years, and was a relatively simplistic and not particularly successful attempt to adopt the deterministic approach – prioritising the effect of heredity and the environment on character and behaviour – of the French writer Émile Zola (1840-1902). The representative writer of this early movement was Kosugi Tengai (1865-1952). Later naturalism appeared in incipient form as early as 1901 but had its heyday around 1906-8, was more …

3554 words

Citation: Henshall, Kenneth George. "Japanese Naturalism". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 September 2009 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=7201, accessed 08 February 2023.]

7201 Japanese Naturalism 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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