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Dreams from below : Yumeno Kyūsaku and subculture literature in Japan Clerici, Nathen 2013

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DREAMS FROM BELOW: YUMENO KYŪSAKU AND SUBCULTURE LITERATURE IN JAPAN by Nathen Clerici  M.A., University of Colorado, 2004 B.S.B.A., University of Denver, 1999 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in The Faculty of Graduate Studies (Asian Studies) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver) May 2013 © Nathen Clerici, 2013  Abstract Since the middle of the 2000s and the rise of Cool Japan, manga, anime, video games, Japanese horror films and J-Pop music are more popular than ever throughout the world. Both in Japan and abroad, these popular culture products are often synonymous with subculture. Sabukaruchā, as it is known in Japan, is a hot topic even as the concept itself remains unresolved. In this context, what role does literature—a field no longer atop the cultural hierarchy—have to do with the ongoing negotiation of what subculture means in modern Japan? The elements of what we now consider subcultural media and narratives have roots in the literature of past decades, and in this dissertation I explore the possibility of a new analytical framework: “subculture literature.” By thinking of subculture as a reception category—not unlike cult film—rather than in terms of concrete genres such as manga or anime, I adopt the concept of “subcultural affects” to examine notions of marginality and how society defines itself (and responds to external definitions). Similar to what might be considered narrative elements in a literary context, subcultural affects are the aspects of a text that are drawn out by readers to form affective constellations predicated on minorness. As a case study, I turn to the texts and reception of Yumeno Kyūsaku (1889-1936), a writer of mystery fiction who, despite achieving modest popular success in the late 1920s and early 1930s, was largely forgotten until his writing was revived in the context of 1960s sub- and counterculture. For a politically-engaged youth, Kyūsaku offered an alternative model of being in the world: romantic and darkly comic, and engaged with questions of authority and madness. But how was his work received when it was written? Using the subcultural affects of henkaku, nansensu and dochaku, I consider the long-term reception of Kyūsaku’s work as a way to begin to bridge not only the gaps between historical eras, but between center and margin, major and minor, and popular and elite.  ii  Preface This dissertation is original, unpublished, independent work by the author, Nathen Clerici.  iii  Table of Contents  Abstract ........................................................................................................................................... ii Preface............................................................................................................................................ iii Table of Contents........................................................................................................................... iv Acknowledgements......................................................................................................................... v Introduction..................................................................................................................................... 1 Enter Subculture.......................................................................................................................... 5 Enter Sabukaruchā...................................................................................................................... 8 Subcultural Affects ................................................................................................................... 18 Genre, Cult and Bunka.............................................................................................................. 21 Introducing Yumeno Kyūsaku.................................................................................................. 30 Chapter Layout: Henkaku, Nansensu and Dochaku ................................................................. 33 Chapter 1: The Strangeness of Henkaku....................................................................................... 41 The Demon Emerges................................................................................................................. 41 Abnormality, Hentai and Henkaku ........................................................................................... 46 Tokyo Hentai ............................................................................................................................ 57 Henkaku in Oshie no kiseki....................................................................................................... 64 Henkaku Hell ............................................................................................................................ 74 The Mission of Henkaku Detective Fiction .............................................................................. 96 Chapter 2: Sensible Nansensu....................................................................................................... 99 Modern Nonsense ..................................................................................................................... 99 Two Essays on Nansensu........................................................................................................ 109 Nansensu Gets the Last Laugh................................................................................................ 121 Nansensu of War..................................................................................................................... 125 Nansensu and Noh .................................................................................................................. 138 Chapter 3: Down and Dirty with Dochaku ................................................................................. 146 Kyūsaku and Postwar Dochaku .............................................................................................. 147 Dog Gods, Gender Ambivalence, Politics and Coalmines ..................................................... 157 Merry Fellows......................................................................................................................... 173 Dochaku after the 1960s ......................................................................................................... 176 Conclusion .................................................................................................................................. 181 Subcultural Affects ................................................................................................................. 183 Yumeno Kyūsaku, Henkaku, Nansensu and Dochaku............................................................ 185 Dual Timeframes .................................................................................................................... 190 Bibliography ............................................................................................................................... 197  iv  Acknowledgements I could not have written this dissertation without the support I received from so many individuals and institutions. Thanks must first go out to my advisor, Sharalyn Orbaugh, whose insight and advice throughout the entire process has been just right. I would also like to extend thanks to my committee members, Ernest Mathijs, Stefania Burk and Joshua Mostow. I am grateful for the support of the UBC Asian Studies faculty, staff and graduate students, all of whom have contributed to my growth within the program. The resources at the UBC Asian Library ensured I was not lacking for materials, and librarian Shirin Eshghi is as good as they come. The Japan Foundation generously funded me for a year’s research at Hokkaido University. I benefitted tremendously from time spent with Oshino Takeshi, who graciously gave of his time and energy, and with the cadre of graduate students who helped me find a home away from home. Special thanks go out to Fujimori-kun, Inoue Kishō (Oyabun), Han Yeonsun, Shioya Masahiro, Irifune, the Saitōs at the Kōka café, and Adanonki-san. Sugiyama Mitsumaru not only ensured that I had access to special collections housed in the Fukuoka Prefectural Library, but his efforts brought Fukuoka and Yumeno Kyūsaku to life for me. And a special acknowledgement goes out to Takashima Masatake and Yamamoto Iwao for their generosity. I wish to thank numerous friends and colleagues who pushed me to think about my topic in new ways and otherwise made life more enjoyable: Nick Hall, Yuki Ohsawa, Gideon Fujiwara, Asato Ikeda, Dafna Zur, Kuroiwa Yūichi, Robban Toleno, Eisuke Shimo, Itō Riwa, Kevin Singleton, Josiah Wahlrab and Sidney Boquiren. Finally, I offer my deepest gratitude to my wife, Malia Cordel, my parents Sally and Jim Row and John Clerici, and to Peter and Judy Cordel. And even though he came late to the game, Keoni has inspired me in more ways than one.  v  Introduction We are Ashita no Jō. -- Tamiya Takamaro -March 30, 1970 On March 31, 1970, nine university students, all members of the Red Army Faction (Sekigun ha), hijacked Japan Airlines Flight 351 (aka Yodo-gō) at Haneda Airport in Tokyo and demanded to be flown to North Korea. During an emergency landing in Fukuoka to refuel, twenty-three women and children were released, after which the jet headed north with the remaining ninety-nine people (including crew and passengers). An attempt to trick the hijackers was made by landing in Seoul, but they realized the ruse and kept the hostages in the airplane for three days. Finally, on April 3 an exchange of the hostages for Vice-Minister of Transport Yamamura Shinjirō was negotiated. The jet then left for Pyongyang; the hijackers were able to defect and the crew and Yamamura returned to Japan. No one was physically injured in the whole ordeal, but the nation was riveted. Amidst the political intrigue, a popular manga (comic) called Ashita no Jō (Tomorrow’s Joe) was vaulted into the spotlight. One of the hijackers, Tamiya Takamaro, wrote a short manifesto titled Shuppatsu sengen (departure manifesto) the night before the incident. The final lines were a passionate call to arms in the standard rhetoric of the sort one would expect in a manifesto, but the declaration at the end was remarkable. It read: We will see through to the end this historic responsibility that has been bestowed upon us. Fellow Japanese comrades and people of the proletariat! Take back our comrades arrested for political crimes! Make an armed uprising the first step! The first step of an armed uprising = war of world revolution, banzai! The communist alliance and Red Army Faction, banzai! And let us affirm in the end that,  1  We are “Ashita no Jō.”  "  "  1  Ashita no Jō told the story of Yabuki Jō, an orphan from the slums with a hot temperament and a knack for fighting. Under the tutelage of a former boxing trainer, Jō channels his natural talent into boxing. His technique is raw, but his one-punch knockout power and never-say-die attitude make him a sensation. Jō works through the local, national and Asian ranks to earn a shot for the world title. Already showing signs of neurological damage in the lead up to the bout, Jō goes a full fifteen rounds in a brutal fight. His opponent is awarded the decision, but the final frames show Jō still sitting on the stool in his corner with a smile on his face. However, he looks ashen and his hair has turned white. Jō knew that he had been damaged from all the punishment of his fights, and earlier had said that he wanted to “burn out completely” (moetsukiru)—in the end he got his wish. Jō was, on the one hand, a victim of poverty in postwar Japan, abused and exploited, but on the other hand he was able to literally fight his way out of the slums and go out on his own terms. In March 1970, however, when the hijacking took place, Jō was still alive and working up the ranks. The series started in January 1968 and ran for over five years. The storyline had  1  The manifesto was printed in the Red Army Faction’s official journal and reprinted in the June 1970 edition of Bungei shunjū (an intellectual magazine devoted to literature, culture and politics). A note was added in the Bungei shunjū reprint to explain to readers that Ashita no Jō was a manga very popular with young people about a boxer who tries to get out of the slums and become a champion. 2  just taken a dramatic turn in February 1970 when Jō fought his rival and friend, Rikiishi Tōru. Rikiishi won the bout, but died immediately afterwards as a result of the combination of a massive punch to the temple delivered by Jō and the strain on his body from cutting weight in the lead up to the fight. Jō is shattered by his friend’s death, and as it would happen, so were legions of the manga’s fans. Terayama Shūji (1935-1983), an antiestablishment avantgarde playwright, poet, filmmaker and essayist, organized a real, public funeral for Rikiishi that was held on March 24, 1970. Steven Ridgely notes that, “over seven hundred people attended to watch an actual Buddhist priest perform the death rite and… [j]udging from photographs, the audience was a mix of elementary-school students and college-aged men.”2 The month before, Terayama had argued in an article that Rikiishi was a stand-in for the illusion of establishment authority, and that his death signaled the end of the antiestablishment movement, thereby precluding Jō’s ability to realize his dream of improving the conditions in the slums.3 The funeral for Rikiishi was steeped in the ethos of the counterculture, and as Ridgley writes, it was “consistent with [Terayama’s] efforts to demonstrate that the path between imagination and reality is not a unidirectional flow,”4 a consciousness exemplified in the Yodo-gō hijacking that took place just a week later. The leader of the Red Army Faction, Shiomi Takaya, recalled that the group was very fond of manga, but other factions and the upper echelons of the Communist Alliance (kyōsan shugisha dōmei) looked down on the Red Army Faction as “manga escapists” (manga teki kūsō ronsha).5 Sociologist Oguma Eiji remarks wryly that if another group pulled off the  2  Ridgely, Japanese Counterculture, 95. Ibid., 93-94. 4 Ibid., 95-96. 5 Oguma, 1968, vol. 2, 523. In addition to Ashita no Jō, members of the group praised Shirato Sanpei’s (b. 1932) Ninja bugei chō and works by various other artists, including 3  3  same act today and declared, “We are Gundam,” they would appear self-righteous and childish.6 Nevertheless, the radical leftists of the Red Army Faction found inspiration in the manga they read. Sharon Kinsella writes that in 1960s Japan, “Youth expressed their aspirations through radical political movements and a broad range of new popular cultural activities, in particular, the manga medium”7 According to Oguma, adults were shocked to see student protestors behind the barricades reading manga. University students had been seen as “adults” and “budding elites,” but they were unable to give up their love of manga from childhood.8 Rebellious university students read gekiga (“dramatic pictures”), a type of manga with adult themes and realistic images that emerged in the late 1950s, but they also read manga for younger audiences as a way of thumbing their noses at the establishment. Reading children’s manga came to be considered somewhat risqué and underground. Since [the 1960s] the qualities of introspection, immaturity, escapism, and resistance to entering Japanese society have been strongly equated with youth, youth culture, and manga.9 Of course not all manga could (or can) be lumped together under this rubric, but Ashita no Jō, which was published in a weekly (Shōnen magajin) that catered to boys from elementary school through college, seems to fill the bill. And judging by the newspapers’ cynical reaction to the staging of Rikiishi’s funeral,10 it is clear that manga could push buttons. Additionally, Oguma suggests that the influence of the senkimono (memoirs and stories about war) genre on protestors during the 1960s cannot be overlooked. Senkimono, which depicted the exploits of soldiers during WWII, were banned during the postwar occupation Tsuge Yoshiharu (b. 1937) and Mizuki Shigeru (b. 1922). These artists were associated with hard-edged and avant-garde adult-oriented manga. 6 Ibid., vol. 1, 112. 7 Kinsella, “Japanese Subculture in the 1990s,” 290. 8 Oguma, 1968, vol. 1, 112. 9 Kinsella, “Japanese Subculture in the 1990s,” 292. 10 Ridgely, Japanese Counterculture, 95. 4  (except for those that were critical of high-ranking military commanders), but the genre became popular from the late 1940s, and by the middle of the 1950s many senkimono had become bestsellers and were winning literary prizes.11 Following the success of the Zero-sen Tarō in 1961, a manga senkimono, other manga in the same genre proved to be very popular throughout the 1960s.12 The university students who read Ashita no Jō were the same people who had read senkimono for years. In this way, both the senkimono and Ashita no Jō can be seen in a continuum of narratives that valorize combat in the name of ideals. More than just comics for kids, manga had the potential to impact the real world—Terayama’s funeral for Rikiishi and the Yodo-gō hijacking are two high-profile examples. It would seem that manga was influential even at the ideological level of politics in the late 1960s.  Enter Subculture  The manga industry has grown prolifically since the 1960s, and (along with anime) is arguably the most widely consumed form of Japanese popular culture both domestically and abroad. However, manga has shed its countercultural image—instead, one is most likely to encounter manga in the context of “subculture.” Whereas the counterculture of the 1960s represented a particular historical period and was characterized by oppositionality, the concept of subculture has shown itself to be broader in terms of temporality and meaning. In fact, a frequent criticism of subculture is that it is too difficult to pin down, but conversely, this ambiguity has ensured its lasting presence in academic and popular discourses. In this introduction I consider briefly the valences of subculture—and the Japanese sabukaruchā— 11 12  Trefalt, Japanese Army Stragglers, 71. Oguma, 1968, vol. 1, 112. 5  in order to propose the possibility of a new framework, “subculture literature,” by which to approach the relationship between subculture and narrative. In doing so, I argue that we may better engage with diverse streams of cultural expression and grasp the ways that a society defines itself (and responds to external definitions). Our understanding of marginality and minorness are at the core of this project; by looking at the ebb and flow of what constitutes marginality in a particular time and place, my research will begin to bridge not only the gaps between historical eras, but between center and margin, popular and elite. Subculture is a relatively new term; it was not used until just after WWII but its antecedents can be traced back much further.13 Spearheaded by scholars Richard Hoggart and Raymond Williams, subcultural studies began to gain prominence in the 1950s, and the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS), which was formed in Birmingham, England in 1964, continued to expand the parameters of the discipline. The CCCS adopted a neo-Marxist methodology meant to revivify the British working class as a vanguard against mass culture. In the United States, the largest influence on subcultural studies came from scholars in the Chicago School who undertook criminological studies to identify deviance and delinquency within urban settings. The CCCS was dominated by Marxist approaches to society, thus the study of subcultures—usually youth culture—was a way to consider class and hegemonic struggle within a social totality. The pinnacle of CCCS subcultural study was Dick Hebdige’s Subculture: The Meaning of Style, a 1979 study of fashion in postwar British youth groups. As Gelder writes: It seems as if every academic commentator on subcultural issues has—right to the present day—returned almost obsessively to the work of CCCS commentators during the 1970s, Dick Hebdige’s especially, as if it constitutes a kind of ur-text that has cast its shadow over everything that follows… [I]t is as if the CCCS is like a (usually, bad) father with 13  See especially “Chapter Two: Subcultures: a vagabond history” from Gelder (2007). 6  whom subsequent researchers are condemned to play out some sort of defiant Oedipal struggle.14 Hebdige used the CCCS’s neo-Marxist approach (especially Gramsci’s hegemony and Althusser’s ideology), but took “subcultural studies in an entirely new direction: away from the earlier sociological and criminological interests… and towards a much more aesthetically focused approach, more akin to literary criticism.”15 Using the ideas of bricolage (LeviStrauss), the structural semiotics of Roland Barthes and the “semiotic guerilla warfare”16 of Umberto Eco, Hebdige tried to read the style of postwar British subcultures (most famously the punks). He was intent on showing the anti-hegemonic practice of subcultures through their appropriation of style and subversion of the conventional use of commodity items. Doing so “opens up the world of objects to new and covertly oppositional readings” and the “communication of a significant difference… of a group identity”; this is the “‘point’ behind the style of all spectacular subcultures.”17 Despite Hebdige’s romanticism, he recognized that such endeavors were bound to end in failure due to the ease with which the style of subcultural groups could be reincorporated back into the commodity market, and because “different youths bring different degrees of commitment to a subculture.”18 Following the strength of the CCCS in the 1960s and 1970s, the 1980s marked the beginning of the “post-subcultural commentators”19 who emphasized sociological approaches over those from cultural studies. Adopting a postmodern methodology that examined individuality and subjective values and goals within a 14  Gelder, 100. Ibid., 93. 16 Hebdige, Subculture, 105. 17 Ibid., 102. 18 Ibid., 122. 19 Gelder, Subcultures, 104. 15  7  fragmented society, studies since 1979 have made strategies for individual distinction their focus. For example, sociologist and cultural critic Sarah Thornton expanded on Pierre Bourdieu’s writing on taste and social structure by coining the term “subcultural capital” and characterizing subcultures as “taste cultures.”20 The distinctions made between one’s own group and anonymous others—whether a nebulous mainstream or other subcultures—are “never just assertions of equal difference; they entail some claim to authority and presume the inferiority of others.21” Subcultural capital is a form of “hipness” or “being in the know”22 in spheres outside the field of high art. Rather than serve as resistances to hegemonic control, the distinctions made possible by the procurement of subcultural capital show the “micro-structures of power entailed in the cultural competition… between… social groups.”23 As Gina Marchetti writes, “‘subculture’ has been increasingly identified with deviance theory” and refers to “any identifiable and cohesive group which is outside the dominant culture and its ideological norms because of differences of race, age, gender, sexual orientation, lifestyle or outlook.”24 In this way, subculture has come to be a word whose meaning is taken to be self-evident; it functions as a catch-all for any cultural scene an individual critic deems deviant or marginal.  Enter Sabukaruchā  Sabukaruchā, the Japanese iteration of subculture, entered the lexicon in the late 1960s and early 1970s in both academic and popular discourses. The earliest usage of sabukaruchā 20  Thornton, “The Social Logic of Subcultural Capital,” 184. Ibid., 185. 22 Ibid., 184. 23 Ibid., 191. 24 Marchetti, “Subcultural Studies and the Film Audience,” 406. 21  8  is not exactly known, but it was used at least as early as 1968 by Kanesaka Kenji, a scholar on film and underground culture in America, and in 1971 it appeared in the Shūkan Yomiuri (Yomiuri Weekly) in the context of counterculture with the headline, “Boot that ready-made culture outta here!” (Kisei bunka nanka buttobashichae) and a smaller heading, “On the rise with the youth! Sub-culture” (Yangu ni ninki jōshōchū! Sabu-karuchā).25 The main picture showed the Banzai-tō (Banzai Party), a mock political group made of college-age people in weird outfits carrying flags, beating drums and clanging bells. The Banzai-tō would march down a street making a racket and shouting “Banzai!” for everything from sexual revolution to a storeowner who happened to see them march by. If a passer-by were to call them idiots, their refrain would be, “Banzai idiots!” Other pictures included a young man showing off his penis-shaped candles for sale, a group of shaggy-haired youth playing ethnic music at Hibiya Park, and a drawing with various “finger signs of the sub-culture factions.”26 According to the article, the participants in the various factions call their activities “subculture,” but “from the perspective of adults, subculture looks like low-voltage provincial theater.”27 The word nansensu (nonsense) is used repeatedly in the article. As one example, a group called the “Cancel Company (Kyanseru shōkai)” paints famous rocks along the seacoast the same color blue as the sea and sky to “cancel” them out, and the only items they sell are  25  “Kisei bunka nanka buttobashichae,” 34. Ibid., 35. Some of the factions mentioned in the article included a rock band on a television morning show destroying their equipment, people who pass out flyers with nonsensical messages (e.g. “Look behind me, the fire of revolution is burning” or “The reason I wanted revolution is that my younger sister is ugly”), marathon sessions of underground film exhibition, a theatre group trying to achieve “regeneration through dochaku” (a return to native ways) (36) by walking around with their faces up to the sky, an anticorporate rock music festival, the Zero-jigen (Zero-dimension) groups staging happenings around the country, makers of minikomi (“mini-communication” such as fanzines and newsletters). 27 Ibid., 37. 26  9  candles because they also get “canceled” when used. Nonsense is emphasized in the boxed inset underneath the headline, too. It reads: When “Nonsense” and “Apathy” married, a strange child named “Subculture” was born. Rebellious toward institutional culture, it appears that this Sabu-chan (“Little Sub”) has garnered tremendous popularity amongst the youth.28 The final paragraph of the article left open the question of whether or not all the “nonsense groups” would be able to change institutional culture, but there was no doubt that the number of such groups was on the rise. One of the examples of a “subculture faction” was people who dressed up like old sages, idiots or went naked to participate in a demonstration, only to wriggle about at the tail end of the march, and when confronted by police, take on a coy demeanor and say something like, “Iyaaaa, stop it! I hate violence. Hey, Mr. Policeman, let’s XXX, how about it, hey?”29 Subculture here is post-political by the standards of the 1960s; counterculture was giving way to subculture as a site of play and individual expression. Soon, sabukaruchā would be finding an early voice in critical and academic circles, too. Tsurumi Shunsuke (b. 1922), a Harvard-educated philosopher and cultural critic, was the editor of Shisō no kagaku (Science of thought), a journal for the intellectual club that he founded with his sister in 1946. The club was concerned with promoting knowledge of many kinds for the masses (avoiding a single political ideology) and citizens’ movements. Many members were involved in citizen activism, and Tsurumi himself was active with “the 1960 Anpo struggle, the anti–Vietnam War movement, and later mobilizations for Minamata mercury poisoning victims and wartime ‘comfort women.’”30 The April 1975 edition of  28  Ibid., 34. Ibid., 35. 30 Avenell, “From the ‘People’ to the ‘Citizen,’” 714. 29  10  Shisō no kagaku was titled Nihon no sabukaruchua (Japanese subculture).31 In addition to background articles on subcultural research abroad and in Japan up to that point, there were articles on subjects such as resident Korean neighborhoods, rural life, shamanism, the 1960s student movements and more. According to Tsurumi’s editor’s blurb on the back page, the inspiration for the special edition on subculture had come from discussions with Mita Munesuke and Kurihara Akira, two colleagues not in Japan at the time. Tsurumi recognized subculture as an American sociological term relating to class, ethnicity, race and particularities of place, but the idea for the special edition was to define Japanese subculture in its own way. In contrast to the bubun bunka of the American usage, Tsurumi suggests that ura bunka  (compartmentalized culture) focus (back-side culture) is more  appropriate in Japan.32 In other words, Tsurumi considered Japanese subculture to be the undercurrent of ‘the people’; his simple definition was, “the aspects of intellectual thought that are hard to name—and rarely taken up in intellectual circles—but which comprise the back-side culture that regulates the practical aspects of our way of living.”33 In January the following year, Tsurumi wrote a piece for the Yomiuri shinbun (Japan’s highest circulating newspaper) in which he reiterated the idea of ura bunka (or ura dōri bunka) as a culture that comes from the old ways of lived experience.34 The literary representatives of this culture included Inoue Hisashi, Terayama Shūji, Itsuki Hiroyuki (b. 31  In Japanese, sabukaruchā is written in katakana (phonetic script usually used for foreign loan words) as , but in its earlier iterations it was sometimes written as sabukaruchua ( ). 32 An example of ura bunka given by Tsurumi is the link between the passion for ryōka sai (high school dormitory song festivals) and the prewar school system. Another example is the comic fiction and drama of playwright Inoue Hisashi (1934-2010), a writer who was inspired by the literature and theater of the Edo period (1603-1868). 33 Tsurumi, “Henshū kōki,” 156. 34 Tsurumi, “Ura dōri no bunka kara omote dōri no bunka e.” 11  1932) and Nosaka Akiyuki (b. 1930), writers who used premodern and regional motifs. These writers had a significant following amongst the postwar youth despite generational differences, and Tsurumi believed that the Japanese youth—who had never encountered tough times—were attracted to a toughness in these writers that came from their having to survive dire circumstances during and immediately after the war. Thus Tsurumi writes, “if we call this ura dōri no bunka (back-side culture) a Japanese version of sabukaruchua, it may seem like it is just the popular mode of life for the young,”35 but ura dōri no bunka actually owed much to an immutable sense of the everyday, and its celebration showed a dynamic that was different from when intellectuals turned to foreign ideologies and technologies in the Meiji period (1868-1912). Tsurumi considered manga to be more representative of ura dōri bunka than literature or theater, and he highlighted the works of artists like Mizuki Shigeru (b. 1922), whose manga were famous for featuring yōkai (traditional Japanese monsters/spirits). In Shisō no kagaku and in this newspaper article, it is clear that Tsurumi wants to establish the notion of subculture in Japan as something with deep cultural roots. In the Shisō no kagaku special edition, Kano Masanao contributed Nihon no sabukaruchua kenkyūshi (History of subcultural study in Japan), and in it he suggested that the field goes back to the pre-WWII period, particularly in the areas of nativist studies (kokugaku), education and ethnography.36 The most famous scholar he listed was Yanagita Kunio (1875-1962), the founder of Japanese ethnography, but the common link among them all was a willingness to go outside traditional academic bounds to incorporate the perspective of daily life. Moreover, dating from the Taishō period (1912-1926), when “interest in 35 36  Ibid. Kano, “Nihon no sabukaruchua kenkyūshi,” 28. 12  sabukaruchua grew very quickly,”37 the “main stream of subcultural research came from the perspective of critiquing modernity (kindai hihan).”38 Other expressions of subculture not confined to research included the mingei (folk art) movement of Yanagi Sōetsu (1889-1961) and taishū bungaku (mass literature)—swashbuckling fiction that usually featured samurai heroes in premodern times—that enjoyed great popularity in the 1910s and 1920s. Kano concluded that Shisō no kagaku, with its focus on shimin bunka (culture of the people), itself represented postwar subcultural study.39 Tsurumi and his colleagues were staking out critical space, but despite Tsurumi’s insistence that subculture was not bubun bunka (compartmentalized culture), this is exactly how subculture would come to be defined by later critics. Anne McKnight observes that there are two primary models of postwar subculture in Japan: one that is zoku (tribe)-oriented and another that uses subculture as a way to historicize the evolution of Japanese culture.40 The former, McKnight argues, is centered on youth culture groups considered to be apolitical and ahistorical—they are simply modes of affiliation and differentiation. When literary critic Etō Jun (1932-1999) wrote an essay in July 1976 to slam the selection of Murakami Ryū (b. 1952) as the winner of a prestigious literary prize, he gave it the title, “The Nonsense of Murakami Ryū and the Akutagawa Prize: No literary impression to be found in the reflection of subculture.”41 He saw in Murakami’s novel nothing more than “sabukaruchua” as an  37  Ibid., 30. Ibid., 31. 39 Ibid., 37. 40 McKnight, “Frenchness and Transformation in Japanese Subculture, 1972-2004,” 127. 41 Ōtsuka, Sabukaruchā bungakuron, 11. 38  13  uncritical reflection of the “phenomenon of compartmentalized culture” (bubun teki na bunka genshō).42 The latter model still sees subculture as bubun bunka, but considers subculture important for what it can tell us about postwar legacies of “representation, citizenship, and popular sovereignty”43 whose narratives are formed with “compartmentalized cultures” and media formations since the 1970s. Critic and manga producer Ōtsuka Eiji advocates this viewpoint. He writes: [S]ubculture is a problem inseparable from “modernity” and “postwar,” and could likely be replaced with “hypothetical construct” (kakō)… Accordingly the problem I take up is “subculture” as the manifestation of the ethics of “history” and “literature,” and not subculture as a concrete cultural field…44 Anne McKnight observes that the difference between the two men is that Etō ultimately dismisses subculture because “it does not fit into history and is artificial.”45 Regardless of this break, the basic concern with postwar Japanese culture as “compartmentalized culture” holds for both. As Thomas Lamarre says, “the emphasis often falls on subculture as ‘small,’ both in terms of the number of producers and consumers and in terms of concerns (intimate and petty).”46 This view of subculture took hold in the early 1980s. An article in the Daily Yomiuri newspaper in 1984 reported that dictionaries had begun in recent years to include entries for characters from manga and taishū shōsetsu (mass literature), and that “sabu-karuchā” was becoming normalized as a field.47 The article noted that subculture in the late 1960s was 42  Ibid. 10. McKnight, “Frenchness and Transformation in Japanese Subculture, 1972-2004,” 127. 44 Ōtsuka, Sabukaruchā bungakuron, 7. 45 McKnight, “Frenchness and Transformation in Japanese Subculture, 1972-2004,” 127. 46 Galbraith and Lamarre, “Otakuology,” 367. 47 Yomiuri shinbun, “Sabu-karuchā.” 43  14  marked by the long hair and rock music of youth culture as an oppositional sensibility, but recently, “it has come to be used in relation to new customs (fūzoku); the age of mass-media, commercials, and so on voraciously absorbing subculture has arrived.”48 In the same year, 1984, noted literary critic Yoshimoto Takaaki (1924-2012) wrote Masu-imēji ron (A theory of the mass image), a book in which he analyzed popular culture and high culture together without privileging one over the other. In a roundtable discussion the following year, Yoshimoto said that it had become pointless to set high culture and mass culture in opposition to each other. I got the sense [when writing Masu-imēji ron] that we had reached the point where, if you were going to try to grasp cultural and social phenomena as a totality, it had become possible to do so by only looking at subculture (sabu-karuchā), or what you might call masu culture or mass culture (taishū bunka).49 Subculture was a hot topic from the early 1980s, but its parameters had largely become restricted to popular and youth culture. Subculture had appeared in fits and starts from the late 1960s, but there was never a sustained exploration of the meaning of the term subculture, so when sociologist Miyadai Shinji’s study, Sabukaruchā shinwa kaitai (The dismantling of the subculture myth), came out in 1993 (based on research from the late 1980s), it was difficult to grasp exactly what “myth” was being dismantled. Miyadai wanted to bring an academic approach to subculture by analyzing how subcultural media functioned to facilitate communication in society. He did not offer a hard definition of subculture, but in the methodological overview, it became clear that for him subculture was youth culture (wakamono bunka). His premise was that main (adult) culture and youth (sub) culture could 48  Ibid. Yoshimoto, Kasai and Kawamura, “Taidan intavyū: sabu-karuchā to bungaku,” 101. Yoshimoto uses two different words for “mass”: the transliteration of the English version as masu —the same word in the title of his 1984 book—and taishū , the Japanese translation. 49  15  be easily identified until the early 1970s, but with the fragmentation of popular/youth cultures since then, it had become more difficult to grasp.50 Since that time, Miyadai argues, Japanese subcultures, regardless of the specific scene, continue to be fragmented, and their primary function is for individuals to maintain a “homeostasis of the self” (jiko no homeosutashisu).51 A basic search in the National Diet Library database yields very few titles from before 1993 about subculture, but that year there were eleven hits, and the numbers would go higher throughout the 1990s.52 One of the objects of Miyadai’s analysis was the otaku, a figure that would in the 2000s come to be synonymous with subculture discourses in Japan. Azuma Hiroki, who wrote the influential Dōbutsuka suru posutomodan: otaku kara mita Nihon shakai (Animalizing postmodern: Japanese society from the otaku perspective) in 2001, used sabukaruchā interchangeably with popular culture, especially manga, anime and the world of the otaku. This trend is prevalent in contemporary English-language research of Japanese subculture, too. Towards the end of the 1990s, scholar Ueno Toshiya was a proponent of cultural studies—a discipline that had not previously caught on in Japanese academia. His methodology did not diverge much from English-language subculture, but he did note that, while “subculture” in English is usually associated with cultural aspects such as rock and pop music, drugs, movies, and so on, the Japanese sabukaruchā conveyed a “slightly more vulgar  50  Miyadai, Ishihara and Ōtsuka, Zōho, 15-43. Miyadai, “1992-nen ikō no Nihon no sabukaruchā shi ni okderu imiron no hensen,” 197. 52 The earliest hit comes from 1968, and the subsequent years yield between one and five entries. In 1975 the number jumped to twenty because of individual articles in the Shisō no kagaku special issue on subculture, but then there were only sixty-four more entries over the next sixteen years (an average of four per year). From 1995 to 2004, there were 237 (nearly 24 per year), and from 2005 to 2012, there were 398 (nearly 50 per year). 51  16  and dangerous assumption.”53 Moreover, Ueno found in subculture a politics of national identity, though it was different from Ōtsuka Eiji’s view of subculture and nation/history.54 Ueno was not particularly interested in historicizing; his approach followed the zoku model described by Anne McKnight. In addition to these academic developments in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Japanese subculture became a more visible commercial category, too. The sabukaruchā kōnā, or “subculture corner,”55 became a fixture at bookstores and still exists to this day. It is a miscellaneous category that runs the gamut from occultism to true crime, obscure music, pop stars, video games, mystery, popular culture trivia, sexual deviancy, manga, youth culture magazines and which includes both fiction and nonfiction. Non-academic publications got in on the act, too, staking claims to what was authentic subculture (or at times claiming that subculture’s time had passed). The meaning of sabukaruchā appears to be even more nebulous than that of English-language subculture, yet the commercial potential of sabukaruchā keeps it visible to a degree that surpasses what we see in North America.  53  Ueno and Mōri. Karuchuraru sutadīzu nyūmon, 107. Ueno relates the following anecdote. “Whenever I discuss subculture, youth culture or oppositional culture, I usually lapse into the following pattern… [I explain that] Japanese subculture, whether punk, hip-hop, techno or hardcore, lacks political or social nature… yet [the Japanese] are able to enjoy each genre… Within this reality, we are critical, conveying the enjoyment of learning [each subculture’s] background… The problem is that we consider ‘authentic’ subculture to be ‘out there somewhere,’ and we discuss the subcultural scenes ‘here now’ according to the standards of ‘out there somewhere’… Particularly, talking of differences in subculture that were conceived in Western social contexts and backgrounds as a matter of Japan’s ‘lateness’ is one more instance of Eurocentric universalizing. However, it is also not acceptable for us to turn this upside down by becoming boastful of our own Japanese culture… This difficulty is related to the ‘postmodern’ intellectual thought in which we have been raised, and in a sense, tells the tale of one more modernization (overcoming the modern).” See Ueno and Mōri, Jissen karuchuraru sutadīzu, 118-19. 55 Though called a “corner,” the sabukaruchā kōnā is actually a section of the bookstore, usually an aisle or two, filled with books. Typically, the sabukaruchā kōnā is on the main floor, presumably because it appeals to casual browsers. 54  17  Subcultural Affects  Subculture is shaped by many discourses, and in the case of Japanese sabukaruchā, this is especially evident. And further, subculture studies and literary studies have little overlap. As such, what is the role of literature in an age when subculture, which is associated predominantly with non-literary media, is dominant? I propose that we look to the fundamental level of narrative. We must ask what narratives actually do in the world, and what ideology shapes them. As we shall see, by thinking about subculture as a genre—or more accurately, a metagenre—the social function of both subculture and literature comes into focus. Subculture at its essence is about narratives of marginality. Ken Gelder writes: [E]very social group… which can be considered as in some way subcultural—carries a set of narratives about itself, some of which are generated internally while others, usually more visible and pervasive, are developed and deployed in and by the society around it… [A]ccuracy is beside the point. Narratives by or about a subculture come into being and produce a set of effects (or, affects) and reactions: fascination, envy, anxiety, disdain, revulsion, legislation, social reform, etc. They are never neutral.56 This quotation contains several points that shape my conception of subculture. Firstly, Gelder highlights the importance of narrative, and moreover that a particular narrative is not wholly self-determined. In other words, reception and self-definition are equally important, and neither is neutral—subculture is a site of contestation. And finally, the subcultural narrative produces a “set of effects”—or “affects.” The idea of the subcultural affect is key for connecting subculture with literature (and genre), and just as importantly, for allowing us to consider subculture in historical periods that precede the emergence of the term. I argue that there is nothing intrinsically subcultural about any text—subculture is a reception-based designation that depends on the affects it produces, and those affects derive from a 56  Gelder, Subcultures, 2. 18  combination of narrative content and meta-narrative elements such as an author’s reputation, the medium in which it is disseminated, and the ideology of the reader. I have just said that there is nothing intrinsically subcultural about any text, but in fact there must be narrative elements that—in a given context—work together with the metanarrative elements to inspire a subcultural reception. Gelder offers a clue as to what those elements might be in his parenthetical use of narrative “affects” to go along with the “effects” of subculture. The field of affect theory wrestles with notions of emotion, intentionality, conscious versus unconscious experience and the role of narrative, though usually in the realm of real-life experience. Brian Massumi, for example, belongs to the Sylvan Tomkinsinspired school that views affects as pre-cognitive, embodied “intensities” while Teresa Brennan considers the “transmission of affect” from one person to another. In literary analysis, affect is usually used as a lens by which the critic focuses on how a particular emotion functions in the text. Examples include Joseph Litzvak’s analysis of the role of resentment in Charles Dickens’s David Copperfield or Dawn Lawson’s examination of how shame functions in Floating Clouds, Japan’s first modern novel.57 However, I have found that these approaches do not quite correspond to Gelder’s usage of the word “affect” in this quote, which I interpret to be close to what might in a literary context be considered narrative elements (or the reader’s reactions to those elements). The difference is that a subcultural affect—like subculture itself—is a secondary category, which is to say that it inspires a certain emotive reaction such as anxiety or disgust, or a material effect such as legislation, but the affect itself does not have to be coextensive with the name of the emotional state. When a text or cultural scene is called “subculture,” it is because there is an aesthetic or  57  See Litzvak (“Unctuous,” 127-50) and Lawson (“Navigating the Inner Sea,” 185-200). 19  narrative element (or set of elements) that is drawn out by particular consumers within that given context and named as—or understood as—subcultural. An example of this kind of affect that has gained recognition in recent years is kawaii, or cute, culture. Viewing something that is kawaii may be linked to an emotional response—one experiences a particular set of positive feelings—but kawaii or cuteness is also a narrative or visual element from among many that becomes a focal point for a certain segment of society in its reception of a particular cultural product. Sianne Ngai identifies cuteness as a “minor aesthetic concept that is fundamentally about minorness (in a way that, for instance, the concept of the glamorous is not).”58 She notes that the “aesthetic [of cuteness] depends on a softness that invites physical touching” and that “it is only a short step to see how the formal properties associated with cuteness… call forth specific affects: helplessness, pitifulness, and even despondency.”59 The affective response to kawaii, or cuteness, is not an emotion that we call kawaii, but is rather a constellation of emotions, some of which are identified simply as joy, but most of which are more complex. As Ngai asserts, “cuteness might provoke ugly or aggressive feelings, as well the expected tender or maternal ones.”60 Marta Figlerowicz writes, “One aim of affect theory has been to ask what the relationship is between unconscious affect and… more conscious experiences.”61 Unconscious affects are non-intentional, which is to say that they exist outside reason and cognition. “Conscious experiences” refers to what is commonly considered emotion—the feeling is filtered through a socio-cultural awareness. The core tension between schools of affect theory in regard to  58  Ngai, “The Cuteness of the Avant-Garde,” 816. Ibid., 815-16. 60 Ibid., 816. 61 Figlerowicz, “Affect Theory Dossier,” 5. 59  20  intentionality also drives my notion of subcultural affects. Lauren Berlant’s commentary on the cultural work of affect theory is instructive: Since affect is about affectus, about being affected and affecting, and therefore about relationality and reciprocity as such, affect theory is inevitably concerned with the analysis of collective atmospheres… The reason so many queer theorists are interested in [affect theory], I think, is because while one can’t intend an affect, one can become attentive to the nimbus of affects whose dynamics move along and make worlds, situations, and environments. In attending to, representing, and standing for these alternative modes of being, we seek to provide new infrastructures for extending their potential to new planes of convergence. I hope!62 A person’s experience of a text may be embodied, a visceral reaction (e.g. sweaty palms and a quickened heartbeat; sobbing; a calm serenity) that the person cannot explain. But, I would counter that the experience did not happen in a vacuum—it is conditioned by many factors; the medium of the text; knowledge of the author; the person’s location; whether or not the person is alone or in a group, and so on. There are expectations that exist prior to the experience, and even were we to encounter a text (or narrative or aesthetic) completely fresh, we would still make meaning of it through past experiences. In this way, affects are not precognitive, but they are still embodied. For subcultural affects, which I have called a constellation of emotions not co-extensive with the name of the affect itself, the experience is mediated through multiple layers of cognition. As an affect, “resentment” is self-explanatory, but “kawaii” is more opaque, and consequently more complex.  Genre, Cult and Bunka  Another way to think about subculture and narrative is though the lens of genre. Traditionally, genre has been conceived as a classification scheme based on form and text 62  Berlant and Greenwald, “Affect in the End Times,” 88. 21  type, as “the form into which content is put,”63 which runs the risk of making genre into a normalizing and static concept, but it is also possible to think of genre in terms of what it does and the power it exerts. Scholar Amy Devitt writes, “Genres construct and respond to situation; they are actions.”64 Similarly, John Snyder asserts, “genres are given neither as inapplicable transcendental categories nor as formal schemas. Genres are given as historically generated and modified operations.”65 [W]hole genres and particular works, all possessing some generic dimension, are historical configurations of power, each genre operating in more or less its own distinctive way and exerting its special grade of violence, [thus] preserves literature’s historicity while allowing it to suffer no loss whatsoever in its aesthetic autonomy.66 Comparative literary critic Thomas Beebee frames the power of genre in terms of ideological struggle. He writes, “As a form of ideology, genre is also never fully identical with itself, nor are texts fully identical with their genres… [T]he struggle against or the deviations from genre are ideological struggles.”67 Genre—like subculture—is a site of contestation, and generic “differences are grounded in the ‘use-value’ of a discourse rather than in its content, formal features, or its rules of production,”68 thus we can see why Beebee would write, “No genre, no power.”69 He offers the example of genre classifications in the book aisle of a supermarket as having the use-value of market differentiation. If we think about the usevalue of subculture, the issue of differentiation remains, but the stakes are not necessarily as  63  Devitt, “Generalizing about Genre,” 574. Ibid., 578. 65 Snyder, Prospects of Power, 204. 66 Ibid., 212. 67 Beebee, The Ideology of Genre, 19. 68 Ibid., 7. 69 Ibid., 12. 64  22  tangible as material wealth. Rather, we can revisit Sarah Thornton’s notion of “subcultural capital.” Thornton considered differentiation among “taste cultures” as a claim to authority that made second nature the information and affects required of a particular subculture, explaining that the ideology of subcultural capital “reveals itself most clearly by what it dislikes and what it emphatically isn’t.”70 We can see that at the heart of subcultural capital is a claim to marginality or minorness in such a way that the possessor of that capital attains ideological power. At some point, this subcultural capital may become monetary capital—as in the case of sabukaruchā as a commercial category in Japanese bookstores, or when underground fashions or music or books become mainstream commodities—but it does not need economic benefit to be ideologically useful. Even as genres evolve, contexts change, and particular subcultural phenomena come and go, the concept of subculture as an ideological mode of distinction lives on. This is a reason to think of subculture as a metagenre rather than as simply a genre. A good example of this dynamic is evident in the category of cult film. Unlike the musical, western or melodrama, which are types of film generally recognized through semantic and thematic elements, a cult film is constituted by a complex relationship between textual and metatextual features (e.g. means of production and distribution, reception ritual). Movies from all existing genres can potentially become cult films depending on context and reception. Casablanca and The Wizard of Oz are listed in compilations of cult films alongside Evil Dead and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Traditionally, the audience’s interaction with a film over a long period of time was necessary for the “cult” aspect to  70  Ibid., 191. 23  emerge, but we also see the paradoxically named “instant cult classic” on occasion. These films have a B-movie look or push boundaries of taste, or are overly self-aware of the way they play with genre. Certain tropes or styles become associated with “cult,” just as subculture is sometimes reified as manga or anime. Of course this is only one type of cult film (after all, any film could garner a cult reception over time), but the idea that a cult movie can be identified by semantic elements shows that there are vested interests for harnessing the subcultural capital that goes with cult film; in the case of the “instant cult classic,” that interest is economic. “Paracinema,” a term coined by film scholar Jeffrey Sconce, is another example of a cinema not dependent on economic interests; as he describes it, paracinema is a “particular reading protocol, a counter-aesthetic turned subcultural sensibility devoted to all manner of cultural detritus… [with the] explicit manifesto… to valorize all forms of cinematic ‘trash.’”71 The “subcultural sensibility” that Sconce identifies is attributable to trash culture as bad taste or low cinema, but as scholar Joan Hawkins shows, Sconce’s categorization is too limited in scope because it misses the fact that avant-garde (high culture) films may achieve the same effect that audiences are after.72 Hawkins writes, “The operative criterion here is affect: the ability of a film to thrill, frighten, gross out, arouse, or otherwise directly engage the spectator's body. And it is this emphasis on affect that characterizes paracinema as a low cinematic culture,”73 and further, “If the operative criterion in paracinema culture is affect, the most frequently expressed patron desire is to see something "different.”74 In other words, audiences are not necessarily interested in a strictly “trash cinema” experience, but in 71  Sconce, “‘Trashing’ the Academy,” 101. Hawkins, Cutting Edge, 16. 73 Ibid., 4. 74 Ibid., 7. 72  24  the affective experience that is available from a variety of sources.75 Concrete subcultures may form around certain practices, for example Hawkins writes, “What is clear is that the catalog companies themselves comprise and address what Dick Hebdige might recognize as a true video subculture, a subculture identified less by a specific style than by a certain strategy of reading.”76 However, a methodology predicated on subcultural affect is slightly different from one that focuses on the actual subculture in that subcultural affects are akin to elements in a film (or text or other form of narrative) that make possible the emergence of the subculture or “a certain strategy of reading,” but in a given cultural context, the reason for the film’s appeal can vary. Hawkins gives the example of the journey that the film Freaks (1932) took from mainstream horror to (failed) exploitation to art to paracinema.77 The affective potential of Freaks changed over time. The combination of text, audience and the affective relationship between them (predicated on an ideology of marginality) is critical to this dissertation, and I adopt an approach that allows me to investigate these cultural negotiations with literary texts. A word on the relationship between “cult” and “subculture” is warranted here. The line between them is very fine, and at times indistinguishable. Cult receptions traditionally have revolved around rituals, but if anything, the definitions of cult—at least in the case of cult film—is more elastic than that of subculture. Whereas cult can range far into the cultural and social margins, subculture is still situated not too far from mainstream culture (perhaps as an uncanny version of perceived normality). Cultural studies scholar Matt Hills suggests that  75  Hawkins examined paracinema fanzines and mail-order catalogs from the middle of the 1990s to show how marketing strategies reflected the dissoluation of high/low cinematic hierarchies. 76 Ibid., 14. 77 Ibid., 25. 25  “rigorous definitions” of concepts such as fandom or cult media are a “potentially fatal error,”78 which is an assertion that I support. He continues: [T]erms… may not circulate simply as ‘labels’ for actual things or referents, but may instead form part of a cultural struggle over meaning and affect (by which I mean the attachments, emotions and passions of those who self-identify as ‘fans’, but who may also contest the description).”79 I have spelled out my own idea of what a subcultural affect is and how it works, but I also want to avoid the trap of dwelling too much on absolute definitions (such as those that require hard and fast rules between cult and subculture or fan). Addressing this issue, Hills suggests that cult fandom “relates not to the intensity, social organization or semiotic/material productivity of the fandom concerned, but rather to its duration, especially in the absence of ‘new’ or official material in the originating medium.”80 Hills’ concern with duration is also important to my study, as I shall demonstrate; the texts I take up have gone through many iterations of reception that range from genre entertainment to counterculture to avant-garde depending on time and place. The negotiation of cultural meaning through ideologies of marginality and affective receptions reflect the dynamism of culture more generally. Since genres form over long periods of time, and one of the aims of this study is to examine how concepts of marginality develop, I have approached the material with a dual timeline that can be divided roughly into 1920s/early 1930s and 1960s/1970s. It is too reductive to say that different eras are similar, and therefore blanket comparisons of those periods are unproblematic. No matter how similar some aspects may be, the nitty-gritty of the  78  Hills, Fan Cultures, xi. Ibid., xi. 80 Ibid., x. Hills offers the example of Star Trek, a show that could not have what he calls “cult fans” until after it had been canceled. 79  26  different contexts requires that parameters be tightly defined. In the case of subculture, I am interested in conditions that would make issues of marginality visible and socially relevant. One clue that may illuminate this aspect is the keyword bunka the Meiji era focus on bunmei  (culture). Following  (civilization), new literary cultures were taking shape  thanks to an increasingly cosmopolitan, urban society and booming print culture. As historian Harry Harootunian writes: If Taishō culture possessed any meaning distinct from Meiji civilization, it is to be found in the development and triumph of… private interest and atomized individuality… In short, it is to be found in the transformation of the distinctively political into the social… In fact, the term “culture” (bunka) was used on a wide scale for the first time in the Taishō period, in contrast to the associations raised by the description of Meiji Japan as bunmei kaika (civilized and enlightened)… Taishō culture, as it was conceived, evoked new associations related to the nuances of consumers’ life, to individualism, culturalism (bunkashugi), and cosmopolitanism.81 Historian and cultural critic Jordan Sand also points out the consumerist ideology at the foundation of pre-WWII bunka discourse: “Civilization” in Meiji was a unitary discourse. Intellectuals might debate the means of achieving it, but they had no dispute over the nature of “civilization” itself. Taishō “culture”… by contrast, provided the terms for an emergent competition over cultural goods… [U]nlike “civilization,” the material definition of “culture” fluctuated in the market, following the logic of fashion… “Culture”… possessed a capacity for positive appeal that prescriptions for reform lacked. So did the promise of new goods… And as canny advertisers began promoting a plethora of new “cultured” commodities, discourse of the “cultured life” too highlighted the allure of modernity’s tangible products.82 I would argue that the proliferation of “culture” amidst the strength of a market economy and new forms of media (e.g. cinema, radio, improvements in printing technology) made possible the emergence of various (sub)cultures.  81 82  Harootunian, “The Problem of Taishō,” 14-15. Sand, “The Cultured Life as Contested Space,” 99-101. 27  Then, following WWII, a devastated Japan devoted its collective efforts toward rebuilding—in effect, creating a new “civilization” built on democratic ideals and economic strength. The country entered a phase of high-speed economic growth from the middle of the 1950s, and soon, people could once again turn to the pursuit of bunka interests. From the middle of the 1970s, Japan entered what Takahashi Toshio calls an “age of culture” (bunka no jidai).83 This postwar version of bunka was—like the prewar version—tied up with the process of commodification (shōhinka “stimulation” (shigekiteki  ), but the keywords of postwar bunka were  ) and “activation/invigoration” (kasseika  ).84  Takahashi asserts that bunmei (civilization) had reached a crisis point characterized as a “state of saturation” (hōwa jōtai  ) in which everyone owned the goods of  civilization (e.g. refrigerators, televisions, automobiles, etc.) and bunka was the means by which this state was alleviated.85 In other words, bunka was not in opposition to bunmei, but was rather a new outlook on the commodity product, which was already a feature of bunmei. Takahashi suggests that, “the relationship between bunmei and bunka could be restated as ‘homogenization and differentiation,’”86 an association analogous to that of fashions and fads. From the middle of the 1970s, as differentiation became the dominant mood of the times, fads cycled in and out. “‘Catalog-style’ publications appeared” to help people manage their “labyrinthine sensation” (meiro kankaku  ) and navigate the flood of signs and  information.87 83  Takahashi, “Fasshon to bungaku,” 209. Ibid., 211. 85 Ibid., 209-11. 86 Ibid., 211. 87 Ibid., 213-14. Takahashi notes that fashion catalog-style magazines such as Anon, Non’no, Popeye, and BRUTUS were started at this time. 84  28  This iteration of bunka from the middle of the 1970s was not identical to the one that began in the 1920s, but I would argue that both “bunka no jidai” share some key aspects that made conditions conducive to the emergence of subculture (and subcultural affects): an emphasis on commodity products, differentiation and the expansion of print media. Sarah Thornton argues that the “critical difference between subcultural capital… and cultural capital (as Bourdieu develops it) is that the media are a primary factor governing the circulation of the former.”88 I would argue that this is the case in the bunka no jidai (in the pre- and postwar), and with the increased value of subcultural capital comes discourses of marginality and minorness that support the drive to differentiate. Many phenomena now designated as subculture, including manga fandoms, shōjo culture and various other youth culture scenes have their roots in the 1970s bunka environment. The 1960s was a transitional period for the postwar shift from bunmei to bunka, and Takahashi notes that there were two strains of bunka evident from the late 1960s until the middle of the 1970s: One that was actively critical of bunmei and one that was an invigoration of bunmei.89 The latter eventually won out, but the former is what I would interpret as counterculture; we can recall student protestors reading manga behind the barricades and Terayama Shūji organizing a real funeral for Rikiishi Tōru from Ashita no Jō. This is also the subculture championed by Tsurumi Shunsuke from the early 1970s. It was in this countercultural mode of subculture that prewar writer Yumeno Kyūsaku was rediscovered.  88 89  Thornton, “The Social Logic of Subcultural Capital,” 186. Takahashi, “Fasshon to bungaku,” 210. 29  Introducing Yumeno Kyūsaku  In this study, I examine the texts and reception of Yumeno Kyūsaku (1889-1936) as a test case for my vision of “subculture literature” and subcultural affects. Kyūsaku is known primarily as a writer of mystery fiction, but he worked in a broad range of genres that includes children’s stories, essays, noh criticism and theory, biography and reportage.90 He was born and raised in Fukuoka in northern Kyushu, a city far from Tokyo and a major trading port from ancient times with connections to the Asian continent. Kyūsaku,91 who was born Sugiyama Naoki and would later change his name to Sugiyama Taidō (“peaceful path”) at age twenty-six, was born into a family with samurai roots dating back several centuries (his ancestors had served as otogishū92 to lords in the Kuroda domain for generations). He was raised until the age of fourteen primarily by his grandfather, Sugiyama Saburōbei (18321903), a teacher of Confucianism and Mito-gaku nativism who wore his chonmage (samurai topknot) hairstyle for twenty years after the Meiji Restoration of 1868 (and the subsequent reforms that officially abolished the samurai class). Saburōbei was known for his frank  90  Biographical information in this section culled from several sources, including Tada, Yumeno ichizoku (1997), Tsurumi, Meikyū no jūnin (1989), Yamamoto, Yumeno Kyūsaku no basho (1986) and the chronologies in two compendia, the Yumeno Kyūsaku zenshū (1969-70) and Yumeno Kyūsaku chosakushū (1979-2001). 91 Yumeno Kyūsaku is a penname, and according to convention, authors with pennames are called by the second half of the name (e.g. Natsume Sōseki is called Sōseki). I follow this convention and use Kyūsaku throughout this dissertation. In secondary literature, he is variously called both Yumeno and Kyūsaku, a situation possibly owing to the striking imagery of Yumeno (the characters used are “dream” and “field.”) 92 Araki, “Otogishū: Yumeno Kyūsaku,” 180-81. Otogishū existed from the Warring States period (approximately the middle of the 15th century) through the Edo period. The job of an otogishū was to report political and military matters to the domainal lords, and also to be a storyteller. They told tales of military exploits, local folktales, anecdotes, moral instruction, and so on. The otogishū families were also responsible for maintaining and passing along all the stories, of which there could easily be over two thousand. 30  personality and for his skill at waka poetry and noh theater dancing and singing.93 Kyūsaku’s father, Sugiyama Shigemaru (1864-1935) was often absent, attending to his political career in Tokyo and abroad. As a child, Kyūsaku had an excellent memory and excelled in mathematics, but he was also a gifted artist. He pursued Western hobbies such as tennis and the harmonica, but his exposure to Japanese arts would have a greater impact on his worldview. Kyūsaku studied yōkyoku  (noh-style singing) with Saburōbei from age two  and would formally study with master Umezu Shien (1817-1910) from age nine to seventeen; Kyūsaku was a lifelong devotee of noh and, at age twenty-nine, became a noh instructor. In 1908, at the age of nineteen, Kyūsaku went to Tokyo for a one-year stint in the army to honor a promise to his father. He returned to Tokyo to study literature at Keio University in 1910 (age twenty-one). He would enroll the following year, but was forced by his father to dropout in 1913 and return to Fukuoka. The following year, Kyūsaku embarked on a period of wandering in which he traveled the country. While in Tokyo, he took the tonsure at Kifukuji, a zen Buddhist temple. He returned to Fukuoka to take over the family home in 1917 (age twenty-eight), and would live there for the rest of his life. He was active in haikai poetry circles, and from 1917 sporadically wrote essays and fiction for his father’s journal, Kyokubaku (Black and white). In the next few years he began to teach noh, got married and had a child, but he was not good at running the family farm. Thanks to his father’s connections, he became a reporter with the Kyūshū nippō (Kyushu Daily Report) newspaper in 1919 (age thirty). At the Kyūshū nippō, Kyūsaku wrote 144 children’s stories, most of them fantastic or allegorical, and he was also sent to Tokyo as a special correspondent to report on the  93  Many samurai were accomplished practitioners of various artistic pursuits. 31  aftermath of the Great Kantō Earthquake in 1923. By the time he made his debut under the penname Yumeno Kyūsaku in the modernist magazine Shinseinen in late 1926, he had already cut his teeth in several styles of writing in both journalistic and amateur (coterie magazine and poetry circle) contexts. Though Shinseinen published an array of fiction styles to go along with interviews, photos, illustrations and reviews of popular culture, it was associated most strongly with the detective fiction genre. From 1926 until his death on March 11, 1936 (age forty-seven) due to a brain hemorrhage, Kyūsaku built a reputation as a writer of unorthodox detective fiction more akin to what might now be considered gothic suspense. His stories featured crimes, mysterious happenings and eerie atmospheres, but puzzle-solving by an actual detective was not usually part of the plot. Under the name Yumeno Kyūsaku, he wrote prolifically, publishing not only in detective fiction magazines, but occasionally in newspapers and general interest magazines. His magnum opus, Dogura magura, was selfpublished in early 1935. Kyūsaku did not make his political affiliation known, but his father, Sugiyama Shigemaru, was known as a political fixer with an ultranationalist agenda, though it would be a mistake to assume that his brand of ultranationalism was the same thing as that of postwar right-wing factions. For example, he had worked behind the scenes to agitate for the Sino-Japanese War (1894-95), the Russo-Japanese War (1904-05) and the annexation of Korea in 1910, and he was a close friend of the leaders of the Gen’yōsha  (Dark Ocean Society), a Fukuoka-  based political association (not officially recognized by the central government) known for advancing a Pan-Asian agenda and using terrorist means to foment rebellion throughout Asia. At the same time, Sugiyama was not actually part of the Gen’yōsha—he acted alone—and contrary to the Gen’yōsha’s (and the central government’s) wishes, he was opposed to an  32  invasion of China, saying, “Leave Manchuria alone. Manchuria is the navel of the world, and if you push it, a big fart is going to come out—and that fart will ruin Japan!”94 It would also be a mistake to assume that Kyūsaku’s political views were the same as his father’s, and since he died in 1936, we can only speculate how he might have reacted to the beginning of full-scale war in China from the summer of 1937.  Chapter Layout: Henkaku, Nansensu and Dochaku  Immediately after Kyūsaku’s death, Ōshita Udaru (1896-1966) and Edogawa Ranpo (1894-1965), two fellow mystery writers, took the lead in organizing a ten-volume compendium of Kyūsaku’s works to be published by Kokubyaku Shobō, but only three were ever produced and the project was abandoned. Until his revival, which began with an article in Shisō no kagaku (Science of thought) in 1962, Kyūsaku was essentially a forgotten author who lived on in used bookstores and the memory of fans and fellow writers. By 1969, the Kyūsaku revival had proceeded apace and a seven-volume compendium was published by Sani’ichi shobō. Had Kyūsaku remained a forgotten author, I would not have turned to him as a test case for this study, but his long-term reception makes his texts appropriate for an examination of how subcultural affects work. In each chapter I deal with a single affect, analyzing both texts and pre- and postwar reception. The subcultural affects that I look at are henkaku, nansensu, and dochaku, words that translate loosely as “strange / unorthodox / inauthentic,” “nonsense” and “native / indigenous,” respectively. However, in order to avoid the connotation of the English  94  Tada, Yumeno Ichizoku, 287. 33  translations, I use the original Japanese words throughout. In the first chapter, I argue that henkaku  , which was used as part of the term henkaku tantei shōsetsu  (unorthodox detective fiction), was rooted in the discourses of hentai of the day. In particular I look at abnormal psychology (hentai shinri abnormal sexology (hentai seiyoku  , or abnormality, ) and  ). Hentai discourses dealt with a wide range of  topics, from occultism and madness to sexual perversion, genetics and criminology. In Kyūsaku’s time, henkaku, as a genre of unorthodox detective fiction, was set against honkaku tantei shōsetsu  (orthodox/authentic detective fiction), but for readers in the  1920s and 1930s, henkaku was also an exploration of emotion and anxiety—it made pulses race. Kyūsaku probed the conscience and took readers inside the mentally unstable mind. The “hells” that he wrote about resonated in the postwar, too. Fictional worlds of deviancy, insanity and transgression were celebrated by the postwar youth. Nansensu  , the least appealing of the ero guro nansensu (erotic grotesque  nonsense) catchphrase that took hold in 1920s and 1930s Japan, was also the least understood. Unlike ero and guro, which were immediately visual and titillating tropes, nansensu was a kind of anti-sense (or meaninglessness) characterized by a light cheeriness, as in the nansensu bungaku (nansensu literature) genre that captured the public’s fancy for a short time in the late 1920s. Whereas ero and guro often made the primitive (and colonial) body the object of its gaze, nansensu was considered more of-the-moment and Americaninfluenced. When Shinseinen magazine shifted its emphasis to nansensu in 1927, it was done in the spirit of capturing the essence of the modan, or modern. But nansensu was not all humor and lightness—it was driven at times by a desire to compete to the point that people pushed beyond the standard limits of what a human mind and body could endure. Pain and 34  cruelty were the flipside of nansensu, and they were always close at hand. Kyūsaku’s nansensu exemplified this double nature, and moreover, he identified noh theater, a premodern art form, as the ultimate expression of nansensu. Attempting to harness the affective potential of “pure feeling”95 in a noh performance, Kyūsaku’s nansensu-inflected texts “made strange” the common sense of his readers. Dochaku  is a word that is nowhere to be found in Kyūsaku’s texts. Dochaku came  into use in the postwar period as a concept that signified an indigenous, premodern (or antimodern) philosophy as an alternative to postwar politics. It came to be understood as native, everyday lived experience that came before the influence of European and American power and Japan’s Meiji-period modernization project. As a kind of pragmatic (rather than essential) ethnic nationalism, dochaku stressed the power of the “people.” As an aesthetic, dochaku, which is written with characters that can be interpreted to mean “wearing dirt” or “stuck to the land,” was dirty and grotesque, mysterious and irrational. In Kyūsaku’s case, a kind of provincial modernism with an anti-authoritarian bent appealed to postwar counterculture types. I should like to add another word on how I came to use the subcultural affects that I did. In choosing henkaku, nansensu, and dochaku, a certain amount of subjectivity on my part was necessary. I performed a kind of discourse analysis whereby I chose to focus on key words in Kyūsaku’s reception and writing. Henkaku, nansensu, and dochaku allowed me to explore a range of texts and channels of reception while contextualizing dual time periods. My approach bears some similarity to scholar Karl Erik Rosengren’s study of Swedish literature in which he sought to bring an empirical approach to the study of culture by  95  Rubin, “The Art of the Flower of Mumbo Jumbo,” 520. 35  graphing “mentions” of writers in newspaper reviews from the years in and around the 1880s and 1960s. He was able to graph the “literary frame of reference” in these periods by showing how frequently writers from different eras (who were consequently associated with particular characteristics) were invoked in various periods.96 The writers’ names compose what Rosengren calls the literary “lexicon,” and he used this not only to track the waxing and waning of literary trends of the past, but even to predict future patterns. My own project is not as empirical or grand in scope; like Rosengren I look at two time periods, but my focus is on a single author and I took the responsibility of identifying useful terms (henkaku, nansensu and dochaku) rather than graph a very large number of possible terms. In other words, I have limited my “lexicon.” Nevertheless, I follow Rosengren’s assertion that: The point is not to render as faithfully as possible the myriads of minute details of the development of the literary frame of reference. On the contrary, the point is precisely the opposite one: To produce an overall picture of the main features of that development.97 Like Rosengren, I am interested in patterns of reception and the “lexicon” available to readers and critics because they can reveal relations between society, culture and literature. Culture is a qualitative category, and introducing an empirical element, even if limited, is a productive exercise. My “overall picture” of Japanese frames of literary reference is not as broad as Rosengren’s, and tracking a mobile concept like subcultural affects will not yield the neat ebb and flow that Rosengren discovered in his study of literary history. Instead, following particular constellations of affects that surround a single author like Kyūsaku over time can show us the use-value of those affects to segments of society. In 1975 Nishihara Kazumi (b. 1942), a scholar and self-avowed Kyūsaku fan, edited a compilation of secondary material on Kyūsaku, Yumeno Kyūsaku no sekai (The world of 96 97  Rosengren, “Time and Culture,” 238. Ibid., 241. 36  Yumeno Kyūsaku), as a way to take stock of his reception up to that point. Nishihara culled material from pre- and postwar sources, separating them into three categories: 1) contemporaneous with Kyūsaku’s writing, 2) the initial postwar reception (1962-1969) and 3) after the compendium that was released in 1969. Nishihara points out that the 1960s view of Kyūsaku as “obscure and misfortunate” (fugū  )98 led many to believe that this is how  he was received in the 1930s, too, but in fact Kyūsaku was a respected figure in mystery writing circles. Nishihara illustrates this point by comparing blurbs written by the publishers upon the release of the compendiums in 1936 and 1969. The blurb from 1936 was reverential, possibly due to Kyūsaku’s recent passing, but he was called “the greatest author produced by Japanese mystery writing circles” and his works “an eternal monument (fumetsu no kinjitō) in the history of mass literature (taishū shōsetsu).”99 By contrast, in 1969 he was described as “the elusive ‘phantom author’ (maboroshi no sakka)” whose world could be instructive for “we readers who have in recent years been forced to face crises of literature and reality.”100 The blurb continued: Bursting out of the bounds of basic mystery fiction, the 8,000 pages of Yumeno Kyūsaku’s collected works wander through a wilderness of spiritual abandonment and the hell of madness—they are sure to shock us… We are entering the season in which we do not question the world of Yumeno Kyūsaku—we are to be questioned by him.101 There was a roughly thirty-year period between Kyūsaku’s initial prewar reception and his rediscovery in the 1960s. Before the 1969 compendium was published, access to Kyūsaku’s writing was sporadic, and many of the commentaries at the time expressed excitement at the chance to get a complete picture of the Kyūsaku world. In the third phase that Nishihara 98  Nishihara, “Kaisetsu,” 498. Ibid., 500. 100 Ibid., 500. 101 Ibid., 500. 99  37  described, the post-compendium reception, the general tenor was slightly cooler (what Nishihara called the “honeymoon phase”) as critics and fans took stock of what they read. Nishihara writes that “Yumeno Kyūsaku would not have been resurrected if not for 1960,”102 asserting that in the wake of the failure to prevent the renewal of the security treaty, many people “sought rebellious philosophies of art and politics… and Yumeno Kyūsaku seemed to be thrusting one leg out from the darkness of the 1930s into the philosophical vacuum of the 1960s.”103 If Kyūsaku’s reception in the 1960s was predicated on his use-value as a countercultural figure, then what would be his trajectory afterward? Nishihara, curiously, does not acknowledge the deflation of the protest movements and counterculture in the early 1970s, but he does signal a shift away from the overt politics of the 1960s. Nishihara writes that the connection between Kyūsaku and contemporary people is getting stronger: Oh Kyūsaku, oh Yumeno Kyūsaku. As I close my eyes, alone in the deep of night, and inwardly whisper his name, my heart is thrown into turmoil by the faces of each of the dear, familiar characters in his stories… Yes, the fates of Kyūsaku’s characters align with those of the pure-hearted (kokoro yasashiki) youth of this era who, because of their pureness, have their bodies tortured by an age that is rushing quickly toward the fires of hell… At the point when Yumeno Kyūsaku’s kindness became unable to sustain its own weight and turned into a violent swell, the image of violence exploded in his literature… At this point, Kyūsaku’s writing appeared before us as anti-authoritarian literature (hankenryoku no bungaku), anti-establishment literature (hanchitsujo no bungaku) and lawless literature (higōhō no bungaku). Yes, Yumeno Kyūsaku is quite simply, without a doubt, one of our generation, none other than a writer of this age.104  102  Ibid., 503. Nishihara is referring to 1960 as the year that the security treaty between the US and Japan, which had been written during the postwar occupation, was renewed. The agreement was renewed, keeping US military bases in Japan. There was widespread opposition by various segments of the Japanese population, and there would be again leading up to the 1970 renewal. 103 Ibid., 503. 104 Ibid., 504. 38  Nishihara’s appreciation of Kyūsaku is nothing if not a passionate expression of affect. His self-identification with characters in Kyūsaku’s stories even recalls Tamiya Takamaro’s proclamation, “We are Ashita no Jō,” in his manifesto for revolution. However, by 1975, when Nishihara wrote this, the antiestablishment movements were mostly a thing of the past. The following year, Etō Jun would criticize Murakami Ryū’s literary debut for being subculture, by which he meant that Murakami was depicting a facile reflection of compartmentalized culture; clearly the valence of subculture as counterculture was rapidly on the wane. The 1970s is now remembered for the turn inward, away from politics, and the ascent of popular culture and differentiation (e.g. the bunka no jidai). Nishihara’s emphasis on Kyūsaku’s characters may have been signaling a shift toward the trend in later years for fans to identify closely with kyara (characters) in popular culture. Today, cosplay is a good example of this phenomenon. Another aspect of popular culture reception that has grown in the intervening years is the desire to catalog the histories and fill in the gaps of the official narratives in fictional worlds.105 It is telling that much of Kyūsaku’s reception since the 1970s is centered on the very long and complex novel, Dogura magura, to try to piece together what actually happens in the story. Moreover, the sense of Kyūsaku’s fiction having a particular worldview is  105  There is a genre associated with this sort of reception, called nazobon, literally “puzzle books.” Nazobon are usually based on a particular fictional work (or series) or author, and they function like unofficial guidebooks that catalog and investigate all aspects of the chosen subject. Most nazobon are based on anime or manga works, and over time effectively become histories of the works they chronicle. They typically feature many lists and charts, information on characters, hidden symbolic meanings, timelines, etc., and cater to dedicated fans. This kind of activity is linked to otaku-style consumption, both because of the commitment to cataloguing details (a database) and because the subjects are associated with entertainment media. The most famous example of a nazobon is Isono-ke no nazo (Puzzles of the Isono family), a 1992 work based on the manga Sazae-san that sold over two million units. 39  signaled in words such as “Yumeno Land” (Yumeno rando),106 “wonderland” or “Q-saku rando”107 that are used by commentators. In the 1960s and 1970s, the image of Kyūsaku as an eccentric, romantic writer from the provinces who died young encouraged his reception as a minor—and even resistant—figure. For certain readers, Yumeno Kyūsaku as a fictional construct was most important (thus the potential problem of Kyūsaku’s closeness to the ultranationalist Gen’yōsha political association was irrelevant for most), and even as his countercultural cachet decreased, the image of marginality remained his calling card; his works have been revisited and adapted by independent, experimental filmmakers and by a handful of non-mainstream manga artists. In the chapters that follow, I examine not just Kyūsaku’s postwar image, but how those narrative elements—the subcultural affects—that have been conducive to his reclamation as a subcultural figure were seen in the 1920s and 1930s. Deployments of genre (as power) are contextually and historically contingent, and through the lens of “subculture literature” and subcultural affects, I turn my gaze to the dynamic between text and audience as well as the texts themselves as I delve into the potential impact of Kyūsaku’s writing in the real world.  106  Tada, Yumeno ichizoku, 422. These words are used in the titles of edited volumes that delve into the background of Kyūsaku’s life and writing. See Yumeno Kyūsaku: Kaijin Q-saku rando / Merry Q-Sack Land), edited by Yamamoto Iwao (1994) and Q-Sack Yumeno Wonderland, edited by Nishihara Kazumi (1988). 107  40  Chapter 1: The Strangeness of Henkaku  The Demon Emerges  In January 1926, a modernist magazine known as the premier venue for detective fiction, Shinseinen (New youth), announced a contest (sponsored by publisher Hakubunkan) and requested submissions of detective stories from the general public. “Ayakashi no tsuzumi” (The demonic hand drum) tied for second place (there was no first place awarded) and was published in Shinseinen in October 1926, thus introducing readers to a new writer called Yumeno Kyūsaku and establishing him as an author of tantei shōsetsu (detective fiction).108 “Ayakashi no tsuzumi” takes the form of a letter written by Otomaru Kyūya sometime in the 1920s. Kyūya has been accused of murdering three people, and has written the letter to absolve himself and reveal the true culprit: a cursed tsuzumi (handheld drum used in noh theatre). The drum, made by Kyūya’s great-grandfather, Otomaru Kunō, one hundred years earlier in Kyoto, is made of oak (kashi) with a grain that looks like a twill weave (aya), but the word ayakashi is also a homophone for a term used in noh to refer to mysterious things or  108  Kyūsaku had previously written under an assortment of names for his father’s journal, Kyokubyaku, and as a journalist and writer of children’s stories for a Fukuoka-based newspaper called the Kyūshū nippō. According to Kyūsaku’s eldest son, Sugiyama Tatsumaru, the name Yumeno Kyūsaku came from Kyūsaku’s father, Sugiyama Shigemaru. In March 1926, Kyūsaku showed his draft for “Ayakashi no tsuzumi” to his father, Shigemaru, and he responded by saying, “It’s like a novel written by a yume no kyūsaku-san” (see Tada, 244 and Tsurumi, Yumeno Kyūsaku, 160). In the Hakata (Fukuoka) dialect, a yume no kyūsaku can refer to, “someone with a face as vacant as a spring sky who is standing around with a smile on his face, a person looking at something in the distance, the kind of person who says things that others do not even think of, a person who says ridiculous things, or an idle person with no business acumen” (Tsurumi, Yumeno Kyūsaku, 160). 41  to a mask for roles involving spirits and the dead.109 Kunō was jilted by Ayahime (“Twill Princess”), a talented young tsuzumi player who led him on before marrying into the wealthy Tsuruhara family instead. Kunō made the ayakashi drum for her as a wedding present, but she soon become obsessed with it, playing it all hours of the day and night. Not long after she committed suicide, and her husband, Tsuruhara, become tubercular and died spitting up blood. Kunō tried unsuccessfully to retrieve the drum, and before dying, asks his son retrieve and destroy it. I made that drum to produce a sound that expresses my feeling of emptiness at having been jilted. The sound it makes is unlike the lively sound of a normal drum. I thought to have the person I cared for beat this drum and think of my “dead even while living” mood. I did not intend to leave a curse.110 However, nobody heeds Kunō’s words. Kunō’s grandson (Kyūya’s father) has a son who is adopted into the Takabayashi family (famous noh drum players in Tokyo), and several years later, in 1903, Kyūya is born. His mother dies giving birth, and his father carries on unhappily, dying in 1916 of pneumonia. Before his death, he tells Kyūya about the ayakashi drum and warns him to stay away from it. Kyūya indulges him, but promptly forgets about the conversation. Left alone, Kyūya is adopted by Takabayashi-sensei, the same person who took in his older brother long ago, but there is no reunion because Kyūya’s older brother had gone missing seven years prior. As fate would have it, one day Kyūya is sent on an errand to the Tsuruhara household, where the widow Tsuruhara Tsuruko lives with Tsumaki, her nephew. Kyūya remembers the story of the drum, and he becomes taken with the desire to find it. In a twist, though, it is  109  The opening lines of the story explain the double meaning of ayakashi. For the nohrelated meaning, Kyūsaku uses kanji normally read as yōkai, a word translated variously as ghost, demon or monster. 110 Yumeno, “Ayakashi no tsuzumi,” 8. 42  revealed that Tsumaki is not actually Tsuruko’s nephew, but is Kyūya’s missing older brother, and Tsuruko is a blood descendant of Ayahime’s. She is a sadist who has already killed her husband. Now she keeps Tsumaki as a sex slave and tortures him with a whip; he was bewitched by her eroticism and the allure of the cursed drum in her possession, but now he is too weak to escape. As the blood lineages and the true identities of the characters are revealed, Tsuruko, Kyūya and Tsumaki are all together at her house. Tsuruko has been plotting to leave Tsumaki, now a used-up husk, and run away with Kyūya. When Kyūya hesitates, saying that he must atone for his ancestor’s curse, she becomes aggressive—at that fateful moment Tsumaki emerges to kill Tsuruko with a knife and narrowly spare Kyūya the fate of becoming the next “victim to [Tsuruko’s] hentai seiyoku  (abnormal sexual  desire).”111 Kyūya flees as Tsumaki commits suicide and burns down the house, but Kyūya later reads in a newspaper that he is suspected of arson and double murder. Kyūya goes on the run for two years, his health declining due to consumption and his tireless obsession with chasing after women who look like Tsuruko. Following the Great Kanto Earthquake, Kyūya returns to Tokyo for the first time and covertly arranges to meet with Takabayashi-sensei, the man who had adopted him and his older brother. However, Kyūya finds that Takabayashisensei has hanged himself and left a note next to the drum—it is his apology for getting Kyūya and his brother involved with the curse. The newspapers are now reporting that Kyūya is wanted for the murders of Tsumaki, Tsuruko and Takabayashi. Reading the stories, Kyūya starts to feel as though perhaps he really is a criminal; after all, who would blame a drum? Knowing there is no escape, Kyūya has decided that he will destroy the drum and himself, thus ending the bloodline and the curse. In the final lines of “Ayakashi no tsuzumi,”  111  Ibid., 37. 43  Kyūya writes, “I feel as though in a dream when I think that I may have been born for no other reason than to leave behind a piece of this fateful story (in’nen banashi).”112 Several motifs in “Ayakashi no tsuzumi” show up repeatedly throughout Kyūsaku’s career. For example, the story is structured as a letter in which the narrator attempts to explain the circumstances whereby he or she is on the verge of death or madness; this device produces potentially unreliable narrators with limited points of view and ambiguous endings to the stories. Hereditary curses and the importance of bloodlines are important sub-themes. Premodern art, in this case the noh theatre, is central to the plot, and it is presented in a way that is interesting for the contemporary reader who presumably does not know much on the subject. Another conspicuous element in “Ayakashi no tsuzumi” is “abnormal sexual desire,” or hentai seiyoku. Tsuruhara Tsuruko is the first of many femme fatales to appear in Kyūsaku’s stories, though as in Tsuruko’s case, they have usually been wronged in some way, and their behavior (sexual perversion and madness) is a reaction to tough circumstances. “Ayakashi no tsuzumi” was received well enough by the judging panel to get published, the individual reactions of the panelists ranging from ambivalent to harshly critical.113 Kōga Saburō, who ranked “Ayakashi no tsuzumi” first in the contest, praised its “gurotesukuna kibun” (grotesque mood) and “shinpi” (mystique), but at the same time he wrote that it was “most unfortunate that [the story] is more of a kaiki shōsetsu  (bizarre or strange  story) than a tantei shōsetsu (detective story).”114 Nobuhara Ken wrote that some would not even classify “Ayakashi no tsuzumi” as a real detective story, while Kosakai Fuboku wrote 112  Ibid., 43. The six judges were writers Edogawa Ranpo (1894-1965), Kōga Saburō (1893-1945), Hirabayashi Hatsunosuke (1892-1931), Kosakai Fuboku (1890-1929), Nobuhara Ken (18921977) and Shinseinen editor-in-chief Morishita Uson (1890-1965). 114 “Tōsensaku shokan,” 265. 113  44  that he would classify it as a “henkaku (unorthodox) detective story.”115 Fuboku stated that he was unable to remember any plot details and that, “the only thing that remained [after reading] was a feeling of beauty.”116 Kōga and Hirabayashi Hatsunosuke both used the phrase mono tarinai, or “something lacking,” and Hirabayashi added that “Ayakashi no tsuzumi” ends up sounding like “an old auntie from the countryside recounting silly old tales about the land.”117 Fuboku, despite his overall praise, suggested that instead of attributing the curse in the story to hentai seiyoku (abnormal sexual desire)—a move that might satisfy readers—Kyūsaku should have gone all out with more mugen-teki (dreamlike, phantasmagorical) descriptions.118 However, the harshest assessment came from Edogawa Ranpo, the biggest name in Japanese detective fiction even at this early stage in his career. I simply was not favorably impressed by this story. I found it somewhat odd to hear that others considered this an excellent work and recommended it for first place. Just in case, I read it a second time, but sure enough, my efforts were in vain. I do not see the goodness (yosa) of this work.119 For Ranpo, whose review of “Ayakashi no tsuzumi” was twice as long as any of the others, the story was immature; it was big in scale but lacking in fleshed out character motivations, leaving him “with the feeling of watching a clever donchō shibai (low-class play)” with questionable plot developments and a “sophism (kojitsuke) that permeates the story.”120 Further, he notes that Kyūsaku relies too much on the use of madness to drive the plot, thereby giving the narrative a “capricious” (kimagure) aspect that keeps it from fitting into the conventions of either an old-fashioned otogibanashi (fairy tale) or contemporary realism. 115  Ibid., 268. Ibid., 267. 117 Ibid., 266. 118 Ibid., 268. 119 Ibid., 263. 120 Ibid., 264. 116  45  Ranpo writes, “If it is to be an otogibanashi, then make it an otogibanashi.”121 Both Ranpo and Kōga bring up Izumi Kyōka (1873-1939), a writer renowned for romantic, gothic tales of suspense, as a comparison, but as one might expect, Kyūsaku does not compare favorably.  Abnormality, Hentai and Henkaku  These comments may have signaled a less than auspicious start for Kyūsaku’s career as a mystery writer, but they set the tone for how his work would be received over the next ten years. The “lack” and in-between-ness of Kyūsaku’s prose, as well as his ability to leave the reader with a vague, lingering feeling at the expense of detailed memories of the plot, were to become hallmarks of his style. In this sense, Kyūsaku’s stories were suited to an affective reception in which the initial reaction of the reader was more emotional than intellectual. The effect is similar to that associated with J-horror (Japanese horror film), which was popular in the 1990s and early 2000s.122 A key to understanding the affective constellation surrounding Kyūsaku is found in a term that Fuboku used in his “Ayakashi no tsuzumi” commentary: henkaku. In fact, Ranpo and Fuboku are credited with popularizing the kind of writing that came to be known as henkaku tantei shōsetsu, or “unorthodox detective fiction,” in the early 1920s. There are several ways to translate henkaku (  ) into English, including “unorthodox,”123  121  Ibid., 264. Miri Nakamura focuses on the “discourse of horror and the mode of the uncanny” (“Horror and Machines in Prewar Japan,” 364) in Kyūsaku’s most famous work, Dogura magura (1935), a novel that itself includes several sections written as a film script in which the protagonist in search of his identity must witness various horrors, including murder and the dissection of a dead woman. 123 Herbert, Oxford Companion, 242. 122  46  “inauthentic,”124 “nonstandard,”125 or simply “strange,” but I will offer a brief explanation of the term so that I may use the Japanese term as it is. Henkaku is grounded in the historical context of the 1920s and 1930s as a modifier of a subgenre of mystery fiction, but I argue that, as an aesthetic of marginality, it came to shape the fundamental relationship between Kyūsaku’s texts and his readers throughout his career. The first question one might ask is, “If henkaku is ‘inauthentic,’ ‘unorthodox’ or ‘nonstandard,’ then what is it set against?” The answer is honkaku (  ), a word that can be  translated as “original,” “authentic,” “genuine” or “orthodox.”126 The hen ( has two valences: it means both “to change” or “strange.” The kaku (  ) in henkaku  ) means “character”  or “status,” thus henkaku implies “secondary-ness” that depends on the existence of a preexisting original, but it also suggests something out of the ordinary, deviant or weird. Whereas honkaku detective fiction followed the ratiocinative model in which a crime was presented and methodically investigated, the henkaku label was ascribed to detective fiction that featured mysterious elements and an eerie atmosphere in more literary prose. In August 1924 noted author and poet Satō Haruo (1892-1964) made a distinction between “pure detective fiction” (junsui na tantei shōsetsu) and “mystery stories and fantastic stories”  124  Saito, “Culture and Authenticity,” 69-85. Tanaka, “‘Henkaku’ teki na mono,” 1. 126 Saito traces the use of honkaku to a 1924 article by Nakamura Murao (1886-1949) in which he instigated a debate on the honkaku shōsetsu (authentic novel) and the shinkyō shōsetsu (state-of-the-mind novel) (“Culture and Authenticity,” 64). The essential difference was that an “authentic novel” was a third-person, plotted novel while the “state-of-mind novel” was very close to the confessional “I-novel” that had characterized the writing of artistic literary coteries in Japan since the early 1900s. He writes, “The I-novel as an essentially Japanese mode of literature was thus constructed discursively in the interfaces between domestic and foreign and between high and low, for which the concept of the authentic functioned as the master signifier that constituted not only the boundaries of the Inovel but also those of the authentic novel” (Ibid., 69). 125  47  (misuteri storii toka fantasutikku storii),127 but honkaku and henkaku would not come into regular usage until after February 1926, when Hirabayashi Hatsunosuke used the terms kenzen-ha (healthy school) and fukenzen-ha (unhealthy school) to describe the two schools of mystery writing in an article for Shinseinen. There was general opposition to Hirabayashi’s terms, and Kōga Saburō’s proposal of honkaku to replace kenzen (healthy) and henkaku to replace fukenzen (unhealthy) was soon adopted. Ranpo, Fuboku and several other authors were named by Hirabayashi as part of the fukenzen-ha (unhealthy school) because of the increasing number of their stories that dealt with “seishin byōri and “hentai shinri  (psychopathology)”  (abnormal psychology).”128 It is noteworthy that Hirabayashi  did not consider a story to be kenzen, or healthy, simply because it was ratiocinative; for example, many of Ranpo’s stories combined logical puzzle solving with “unhealthy” interests. However, as henkaku and honkaku gained traction, the focus moved from content to form; this shift would have a lasting impact on the genre: Although Kōga is indebted to Hirabayashi for inspiring the concept of “authentic,” it should not be overlooked that the shift from the dichotomy of healthy/unhealthy to that of authentic/inauthentic slightly changed Hirabayashi’s criticisms… Hirabayashi’s criticism was more about the contemporary situation in which “unhealthy” contents were favored and not necessarily about “form” or classifications in Japanese detective fiction, whereas for Kōga, the issue was exclusively directed toward general classifications of the genre. Kōga substituted the issue of content with that of form, and his formal classifications were to be challenged by critics who defended the content as the particularity of Japanese culture. In this regard… what is significant for our discussion of the formation of the Japanese detective fiction genre is the way that Kōga opens up subsequent discussions by setting the dichotomy of authentic and inauthentic, which introduced incommensurable cultural differences between Japan and the West in terms of authenticities of the genre. Kōga might not have been the first to problematize classifications of the genre, but his argument set a framework, within which later critics and writers have continued to operate throughout the entire history of Japanese detective fiction.129 127  Nakajima, Nihon suiri shōsetsushi, vol. 2, 44. Ibid., 46. 129 Saito, “Culture and Authenticity,” 71-72. 128  48  Since honkaku detective fiction was positioned as an imported standard, henkaku was by default the Japanese variation.130 Saito’s conceptualization of honkaku and henkaku as “authentic” and “inauthentic,” respectively, reflects an inherent power imbalance that is similar to the structure of center and periphery or major and minor—or of mainstream and subculture. Detective fiction, which was already minor within the hierarchy of Japanese literature, produced its own marginal form: henkaku tantei shōsetsu. This is not to say that henkaku lacked power in the market, but it was seen from its inception to be a deviant offshoot of the original honkaku. Kyūsaku’s debut, “Ayakashi no tsuzumi,” was published in Shinseinen in October 1926, but the contest was announced in January of that year, just a month before Hirabayashi’s article on the “healthy” and “unhealthy” schools of mystery writing. Kyūsaku wrote his draft in March, was awarded second prize in May, and the judge’s comments appeared in the June edition of the magazine; it is not a stretch to say that Kyūsaku took the stage just as henkaku was being born, and over his career he would become one of its biggest proponents. In formal terms, henkaku suggested mystery fiction that did not adhere to the formula of crime followed by investigation and resolution while the content—and the aesthetic—of henkaku owes much to its association with hentai shinri (abnormal psychology) and hentai 130  Mark Silver argues that ambivalence toward the West and anxiety about writing in a borrowed genre were conspicuous elements of prewar Japanese detective fiction. Though detective fiction was not the sole focus of Shinseinen—sports, comedic fiction and manga, news, and fashion were among the fare offered—translated detective stories were prominently featured from the first issues in 1920, and it was not until Edogawa Ranpo’s 1923 story Nisen dōka (The Two-Sen Copper Coin) was published that works by Japanese authors began to appear regularly. Based on this success, Shinseinen was soon soliciting readers for stories to run alongside the translated works, but even so, critical essays in the magazine were “full of hand-wringing over Japan’s failure to produce a ‘master’ detective writer or ‘good’ stories” (Silver, Purloined Letters, 168). See Chapter Five in Silver’s Purloined Letters for a detailed analysis (Chapter Five) of Ranpo’s writing in the context of such anxiety and ambivalence toward Western standards of detective fiction. 49  seiyoku (abnormal sexual desire/sexology). We may recall Hirabayashi’s comments on the preponderance of seishin byōri (psychopathology) and hentai shinri in the “unhealthy school,” and Fuboku, who called “Ayakashi no tsuzumi” a henkaku story, commented on Kyūsaku’s use of hentai seiyoku to drive the plot. The hen in hentai (  ) and henkaku is the same  character, which made the semantic connection between the two a natural one. Much as henkaku was set against honkaku, hentai was set in opposition to jōtai (  ), or “normal  condition” (jō means “normal/always” and tai means “state/condition”). Today hentai is popular slang for “pervert” and is the root of the word ecchi (the letter “H” pronounced in Japanese), which is used as a euphemism for “sex,” especially of the “dirty” or “kinky” variety. However, hentai was not limited to these connotations when it entered Japanese scientific discourses in the 1890s and 1900s. There were two streams of hentai knowledge that came from Europe: hentai seiyoku (abnormal sexology) and hentai shinri (abnormal psychology). Krafft-Ebing’s (1840-1902) Psychopathia Sexualis (1886) was translated first in 1894 by the “Nihon Hoigakkai (Japan Forensics Association) as the Book on Erotomaniacs (Shikijōkyō hen)” and then in 1913 “by the Great Japan Cultural Association (Dai Nihon Bunmei Kyokai) as The Psychology of Perverted Sexual Desire (Hentai seiyoku shinri), a year after the introduction of Freud and Jung in Japan.”131 Takeuchi Mizuho notes that this second translation of Krafft-Ebing, along with Hentai seiyokuron (Theory of abnormal sexology, 1915) by Sawada Junjirō (1863-1936) and Habuto Eiji (1878-1929),132 crystallized the  131  Marran, Poison Woman, 115-16. Though Habuto and Sawada found success after producing this bestselling book, neither was part of the academic mainstream. Habuto would commit suicide in 1929 after becoming involved in a scandal involving a “bogus male sex-enhancement medicine in which he had invested most of his savings” (Driscoll, Absolute Ero, 152) and Sawada was 132  50  meaning of hentai seiyoku for a Japanese audience.133 Sawada and Habuto followed the Krafft-Ebing model with a few additions meant to be particular to Japan, for example “love pact” (jōshi) suicides and adultery and elopement as “quasi-erotomania” (jun shikijōkyō ), but the biggest difference was the inclusion of a section called chūkansei seishin shōgai  (osculant mental disorder).134 Chūkansei, which is the word used  for the German grenzzustände (border states), translates into “intermediate” or “inter-level” in English. Sawada and Habuto used this category to describe the large number of people, such as juvenile delinquents, drifters, beggars and prostitutes who appear normal, but who in fact have disorders. As Takeuchi notes, the breadth (and arbitrariness) of Sawada and Habuto’s definition was effective for classifying those who had fallen through the cracks up to that point, but their inclusion of henshitsusha (  ), or “sexual deviant,” as typical of  the chūkansei seishin shōgai (osculant mental disorder) type marked a crystallization of hentai seiyoku as a physical condition.135 Henshitsusha is the translation of the German entartung (degenerate), a disorder for which the cause was considered genetic, and thus manifested itself in the body.136 Hentai shinri (abnormal psychology) emerged at roughly the same time as hentai seiyoku (abnormal sexology), but the two followed different trajectories. Hentai shinri had its roots not in the Krafft-Ebing school of psychopathology, but in the late 19th century experimental discredited as a fraud; “Scholars who have tried to make an argument about Japanese sexology using solely the Ebbing school leaders Habuto and Sawada do so on sketchy ground” (Ibid., 153). 133 Takeuchi, “Taishōki ‘hentai’ gainen,” 20. 134 Ibid., 21. 135 Ibid., 22. 136 This theory of inherited deviancy is indebted to Cesare Lombroso’s (1835-1909) influential studies from the late 1870s, such as L’uomo Delinquente (1876), that showed how criminals could be identified by their physical features. 51  psychology of Joseph Jastrow (1863-1944) and Edward Titchener (1867-1927). One of the Japanese pioneers of hentai shinri research, Fukurai Tomokichi (1869-1952), a professor at Tokyo Imperial University, wrote his doctoral thesis in 1906 on hypnotism, a subject that fit into the broader interest in spiritualism in Europe and North America at the time.137 Hentai shinri, like hentai seiyoku, was seen as academic (science) with mainstream appeal. From 1909, Fukurai organized an ongoing series of lectures for the public at Tokyo Imperial University called Shinrigaku tsūzoku kōwakai (Popular discourses in psychology).138 However, Fukurai would be run out of academia following a media scandal in 1910-1911, known as the Senrigan jiken (clairvoyance incident), in which it was discovered that he had staged demonstrations of supernatural ability.139 As a result, the study of hentai shinri also came to be excluded from mainstream academia, but it would return—again with a mix of scientific and popular credibility—with Nakamura Kokyō (1881-1952). Kokyō “became president of the Japanese Psychiatric Association… [and] opened up the first facility for psychotherapy in Japan.”140 He dedicated himself to the rehabilitation of patients, and supported his cause through a monthly lecture series in Tokyo, lectures in rural locales and his magazine, Hentai shinri (Abnormal psychology), which had a run of 103 issues from 1917 to 1926. Kokyō not only expanded notions of hentai shinri well beyond the parameters of hypnotism and clairvoyance that Fukurai had earlier established, he took  137  Wada, “Hentai shinrigaku,” 639. Other common topics in hentai shinri included nensha (spirit photography), tōshi (“seeing through”/second sight) and senrigan (clairvoyance). 138 Ibid., 641. 139 Ibid., 640. 140 Driscoll, Absolute Erotic, 156. 52  hentai shinri in a direction very different from that of hentai seiyoku.141 For example, where Sawada and Habuto made the body the focus of hentai seiyoku, Kokyō made hentai shinri about the unconscious; where a major premise of hentai seiyoku was the manifestation of genetically received abnormality on the observable physical body, thus marking “them” as inherently different from “us,” Kokyō theorized that abnormality, or hentai, exists in everyone. In the first edition of Hentai shinri in October 1917, he claimed, “The abnormal is in everyone… We absolutely don’t intend for hentai to mean ‘pathological,’”142 and in the introduction to his 1919 book, Hentai shinri no kenkyū (Research on abnormal psychology), he wrote, “If one were to ask where the difference between jōtai (normality) and hentai (abnormality) lies, the only possible response would be to say that it is a matter of degrees.”143 Kokyō reasons that just as all physical bodies can be afflicted by abnormalities and illness, so too is a person’s mental state susceptible to equivalent problems.144 Unlike hentai seiyoku, which made the deviant “them” and normal “us” essentially different types of humans, Kokyō’s hentai shinri put “them” and “us” on the same plane. Moreover, rather than consider hentai solely as illness, he argued that hentai “did not have to be just fukenzen  141  A schematic that Kokyō made for a 1923 publication shows how he had expanded the umbrella of topics considered hentai shinri (Wada, “Hentai shinrigaku,” 643). Building on the previous conceptions of Titchener and Japanese scholar Oguma Toranosuke, Kokyō broke the field first into two large groups: individual and group hentai shinri. Then, beneath “individual,” he listed five subcategories along with some examples and the name of the research field that deals with each. The subcategories and their respective fields are: 1) Defective or exceptional psychology (Criminal psychology), 2) Temporary abnormality (Abnormal psychology in the narrow sense of the field), 3) Permanent abnormality (Psychopathology), 4) Psychic phenomena (Occultism) and 5) Therapeutic (Psychoforensics). From the early 1900s until the middle of the 1910s, only number four, “psychic phenomena,” had constituted hentai shinri. 142 Qtd. in Driscoll, Absolute Erotic, 157. 143 Nakamura, Hentai shinri, 25. 144 Ibid., 29. 53  (unhealthy) things,” but could “have a positive meaning” as in the cases of genius or great individuals who “rose above normality.”145 Kokyō’s view on hentai was backed by his involvement with the Japanese Psychiatric Association and his psychotherapy clinic, but he did not get his doctor’s license until 1928 (he stopped publication of Hentai shinri in 1926 to go to medical school).146 Hentai was a titillating subject for the public from the time of its arrival in the public eye, and despite the scientific rigor on the part of people like Kokyō, hentai became a target for censors in the 1920s as the “academic ring to ‘abnormal psychology,’ by now covered in dirty fingerprints, peeled away.”147 Nevertheless, the academic discourse continued in the 1930s as hentai splintered into new fields such as criminology and psychopathology. Occultism, the root of hentai shinri, was removed from academic study altogether. Driscoll lauds Kokyō’s contribution to the “liberalism”148 of hentai that turned away from the European example of looking for the roots of crime in genetic and racial causes, and “to a heretofore unrecognized acceptance of the fundamental criminality and injustice of urban, capitalist society.”149 Although Kokyō’s efforts and vision were steeped in progressive ideology, Takeuchi suggests that despite the theoretical difference from hentai seiyoku, 145  Ibid., 25. Driscoll, Absolute Erotic, 156. 147 Wada, “Hentai shinrigaku,” 647. It is arguable that Kokyō’s success was due in part to his non-academic writing style; he was an aspiring novelist and friend of Natsume Sōseki in his younger days. In the advertisements for Hentai shinri no kenkyū (Research on abnormal psychology, 1919), which would end up with eight printings by 1923, Kokyō wrote that he hoped people would read his text with the same interest they would bring to a novel (Ibid., 652-53). Interestingly, Mori Ōgai, one of the most revered novelists of the Meiji period, is credited with introducing in the 1890s many of the European words and concepts that would become part of Japan’s modern sexological discourse. At the time he was a high-ranking doctor in the army and was conducting studies on hygiene (Driscoll, Absolute Erotic, 149-50 and Marran, Poison Woman, 115). 148 Driscoll, Absolute Erotic, 157. 149 Ibid., 158. 146  54  Kokyō’s hentai shinri still resorted, in practice, to the frameworks of corporeality and diagnosing social abnormality.150 In other words, hentai shinri was a supplement to the physical model—it provided a psychological explanation when abnormalities could not be explained through genetic types. In this way, the chūkansei (osculant / “border states”) model of hentai seiyoku that proposed that the abnormalities of many deviants were too difficult to observe on the body shaped hentai shinri, too. As a result, in the end both hentai shinri and hentai seiyoku helped to “normalize both prejudice toward transgressive persons through scientific production and the mobilization of such people as the objects of the medical-social gaze.”151 Based on Takeuchi’s comments, it is easy to see how the hentai discourse might impact certain segments of society. For example, Christine Marran argues that the hentai discourse contributed to the media’s fixation on the inherent criminality of women, and especially on the figure of the “poison woman.” Sexual desire as the fundamental basis for explaining criminality by women can be seen at this time in the work of criminologists from Germany, England, Japan, and elsewhere who seemed convinced that sexual desire, as a biological and/or physical drive, provided the key to understanding transgression by women… [N]otions about what constitutes a proper body, and obedient body, a law-abiding body, and a healthy body (especially in the context of sexual difference) are dependent on the cultural era and its specific social systems and discourses, which determine what is disruptive or disturbing. Nothing is intrinsically subversive. As the ubiquity of the poison woman figure illustrates, it is often the physically “abnormal” or otherwise “unhealthy” woman who affronts the social body and is consequently deemed pollutant or poison. The deviant woman is the exception by which the rule is proved.152 Driscoll, too, notes the gendered implications of hentai in which Kokyō and others showed “the overwhelming tendency… to treat women as objects of splitting and men as subjects and  150  Takeuchi, “Taishōki ‘hentai’ gainen,” 26-27. Ibid., 28. 152 Marran, Poison Woman, 110-11. 151  55  authorities on splitting” because of the recognition that “women suffered the effects of modern life more than men did.”153 This viewpoint is apparent in Kyūsaku’s writing, too. We may recall that, in “Ayakashi no tsuzumi,” Kyūya’s brother, Tsumaki, kills Tsuruhara Tsuruko in order to save him from her hentai seiyoku. He tells Kyūya: “You must have been surprised, but that was a close call. Just a little more and you would have been the next victim of this woman’s hentai seiyoku. She killed her husband, Viscount Tsuruhara, she has killed me, and she had designs on you next. Look at this.” Tsumaki bared the left side of his emaciated ribcage in the light. Painful red and black marks left by her whip were scattered from his ribs around his back. “I reconciled myself to living with this,” Tsumaki said deliberately as he covered up. “I lost my head over this woman and fell into the depths of depravity to the point that I could find pleasure in this. But she became unable to find satisfaction, which is why she intended to enjoying watching me suffer as she broke my heart and latched onto you.”154 Tsuruko is a poison woman, and the source of her criminality is in her bloodline; Ayahime was known to use men as playthings, too. At the same time, Tsuruko’s family had been wronged by the curse that Kunō accidentally unleashed with his drum, and their fortunes had steadily declined. Both genetic and environmental causes are at the root of Tsuruko’s hentai seiyoku, and Tsuruko, as someone who appears normal on the surface, would have fit into the chūkansei seishin shōgai (osculant mental disorder) category of deviancy that is hard to identify through visual cues. Henkaku was, in the narrow sense, a type of fiction, but the view that many elements in henkaku were “unhealthy” owed much to the research being done in the fields of abnormal psychology and abnormal sexology. Before writing “Ayakashi no tsuzumi” and becoming known as a writer of henkaku detective fiction, Kyūsaku had already shown an interest in hentai discourses, as we shall see in the next section.  153 154  Driscoll, Absolute Erotic, 159. Yumeno, “Ayakashi no tsuzumi,” 37. 56  Tokyo Hentai  When the Great Kanto Earthquake hit on September 1, 1923, Kyūsaku was an employee of the Kyūshū nippō newspaper, and the next day he was dispatched as a tokuha-in (special correspondent) to cover the aftermath in Tokyo. He wandered the streets, where he listened to first-hand accounts of the quake and drew sketches that accompanied the reports he sent back to Fukuoka. He would return to Tokyo in September 1924 to gather more material, and from late October the Kyūshū nippō ran a fifty-eight part report called Gaitō kara mita shin Tōkyō no rimen (A street-level view of New Tokyo’s underbelly). Then, from January to May 1925, the newspaper ran a seventy-nine part report called Tōkyō-jin no daraku jidai (The depraved age of Tokyoites). The titles alone indicate that Kyūsaku’s perspective was an unusual mix of sensationalism and moralizing. Moreover, his usage of the word Tokyoites (Tōkyō-jin) indicated his decentered position; journalists in Tokyo would not have used this phrase. The thrust of his reports was to expose the depravity of Tokyo as a warning to readers in the countryside. Kyūsaku had admired the ninjō (humanity) of Edo (the old name of Tokyo) and lamented its transformation into a materialist, advertisement-strewn metropolis. He wrote that the “center of the culture of the yamato minzoku (Japanese ethnic nation), built up over nearly sixty years after the Meiji Restoration, has been beaten into a ‘zero,’”155 leaving people to survive on their instincts alone. In the end, despite Japan’s great ability to absorb foreign culture, the net effect was shabby imitation and the erasure of the native Yamato damashii (Japanese spirit); Tokyoites had come to live like animals. In the past, earnest  155  Yumeno, Tōkyōjin, 340. 57  young people from the countryside all wanted to go to Tokyo, but those who do go have “their spirits sullied and corrupted” by a city whose “lauded ‘competition for survival’ has in fact become a ‘competition for decay and depravity.’”156 In short, Tokyo is a city that has killed “the spiritual beauty of humanity” and become “an emporium of dead souls made to function by numbers and money.”157 Kawasaki Kenko notes that, in contrast to the standard responses to the disaster—hanging one’s head and assailing the decadence that preceded it, or raising one’s head high and vowing to rebuild the center of Japan’s empire—Kyūsaku’s reportage was unique because he “turned his gaze to all that was visible, and he pursued it until the immorality became blatant.”158 In contrast to the inward turn by Akutagawa Ryūnosuke after the earthquake, Kida Jun’ichirō suggests that Kyūsaku’s attitude was “lively (iki iki shite),”159 as though he had been energized by the disaster and new possibilities that would emerge. Kida considers the difference between Akutagawa and Kyūsaku to be due in part to the divide between “pure” (jun) and “mass” (taishū) literature; at the time “mass” literature was gaining strength as the commercial publishing industry grew, and Kyūsaku’s style matched the accompanying aesthetic shift. Given that Tōkyō-jin no daraku jidai was almost certainly not read by Tokyoites (including Akutagawa), Kida’s comparison is somewhat arbitrary, but he writes that Kyūsaku’s reportage “leaves [one with the] vivid impression of an era having changed.”160 Though the content of Kyūsaku’s reports certainly had mass appeal, I would say that his tone was wary and did little to suggest great new possibilities. His reports allegedly 156  Ibid., 342. Ibid., 343. 158 Kawasaki, “Kyokutō no shōjo,” 117. 159 Kida et al., “Zadankai,” 15. 160 Ibid., 15. 157  58  encountered resistance on many occasions by readers of the Kyūshū nippō, for in spite of his disclaimers about dealing with potentially morally offensive material, “his writing itself carried an element of badness… and a gaze that undercut the educational and moral message.”161 Wada Keiko writes that the “hentai boom” was on offshoot of the “ero guro nansensu (erotic grotesque nonsense) boom”162 that emerged after the Great Kanto Earthquake, and Kyūsaku’s reportage highlights this correlation. The phrase hentai seiyoku appears nearly ten times in Tōkyō-jin no daraku jidai, nearly all of them in the first tenth of the entire work; perhaps Kyūsaku was using it early to establish the tone. Even where not referenced directly in later sections, the specter of hentai lingers. In the first instance, he calls the increase of obscene images in postcards, movie posters and other public venues to be evidence of “hentai seiyoku—an ideology of decay”163 rising to the surface in society. In another instance, he writes that he has seen roughly ten types of magazines or translated books with sei (sex) in the title. They purport to offer explanations for dealing with both physical and mental issues, but are clearly himitsu shuppanbutsu (underground publications). The man selling them tells Kyūsaku that the people writing these publications are educated, but it seems to him that the more education people get, the duller their consciences become, and this trend is sweeping Tokyo’s underworld. To the man selling the underground publications, “Hentai seiyoku is running rampant because modern culture mocks people, the soil and the sunlight. Modern civilization only educates people to demand a high-priced lifestyle.”164 In another example, men from the upper classes can easily buy women and indulge in hentai seiyoku thanks to the 161  Kawasaki, “Kyokutō no shōjo,” 119. Wada, “Hentai shinrigaku,” 645. 163 Yumeno, Tōkyōjin, 147. 164 Ibid., 151. 162  59  “appearance of women seemingly beaten out from amongst the rubbish”165 and the many barracks set up for the homeless. Taxi drivers say that they are asked to go on “cigarette runs” (tabako gai)166 in which a beautiful woman and a fellow who looks like a pimp take a taxi into the suburbs to supposedly go shopping, get out and disappear for a while, then come back and report that they could not find what they were looking for. Underground film exhibitions commonly pop up, and at one of them Kyūsaku reports they sell hentai seiyoku yōgu (tools for abnormal sex) such as equestrian equipment (spurs, bridles, whips), Chinese and Korean handcuffs, pistols and daggers.167 He reports that he unfortunately cannot write what was in the films: “I will just say that they allow one to learn just how serious the ways of using those strange tools can be.”168 Kyūsaku looked at all walks of life, but over half of the reports dealt with women of various ages and classes: high school girls, actresses, widows, “bus girls”, nurses, typists, and so on.169 The upper class women, like the men, are “helping the trend toward depravity,”170 especially widows who have special visits from “salesmen” and “insurance agents.” Many people after the earthquake turned their homes into lodgings to accommodate the demand for shelter, but some widows have been known to ensnare unsuspecting young students or lowpaid office workers. These cases of hentai seiyoku may be considered depraved, but as was the case for the men, they are descriptive in nature. In other cases of hentai seiyoku and women, Kyūsaku’s tone becomes more prescriptive. For example, he notes that Tokyo has a high number of upper class women, many of whom have a high level of education gained in 165  Ibid., 158. Ibid., 160. 167 Ibid., 161. 168 Ibid., 161. 169 Kawasaki, “Kyokutō no shōjo,” 118. 170 Yumeno, Tōkyōjin, 162. 166  60  higher schools from the post-“good wives and wise mothers” (ryōsai kenbo) period. However, he reasons that the education system had gone too far in the direction of chishiki (knowledge) at the expense of ningenmi, or a “human touch,”171 with the recent demand for sei kyōiku (sex education) typifying the trend. Men’s education, too, followed a similar pattern, but education for women had resulted in women desiring men who would “follow them blindly, enamored with their knowledge and the power of their appearance”; in the slang of the day, upper class women wanted a “young swallow.”172 These young women of high breeding, dissatisfied with the unfair prospect of having to follow men, had become such that “they could not get true satisfaction unless the ‘pleasure’ that went with their aiyoku (lust) was enhanced by ‘cruelty’ and ‘pain.’”173 For that reason, in addition to their “young swallow” husband, they went after a “dope” (obakasan) or a “doll” (oningyōsan) on the side—this was the “underside of the new culture of new Tokyo.”174 In a section titled Hentai seiyoku to kyoei (Abnormal sexuality and vanity), Kyūsaku suggests that the sadistic tendencies of such women were a result of their own vanity, a relationship that he set out in the following schema: Once a woman takes control over a man, she becomes ever more impudent. There are many examples from the past that show women do not grow tired of pushing men to the edge and causing them torment. Additionally, it is said that going from selfishness to hysteria, and from hysteria to sadism at a very fast rate is limited to women with education. Here is the reason why: 1) Discernment and opinions are born of education. 2) Pride is born of discernment and opinions. 3) Hysteria is born of pride. 4) Sadism is born of hysteria.175 171  Ibid., 165. Ibid., 165-66. 173 Ibid., 167. 174 Ibid., 167. 175 Ibid., 168. 172  61  He further remarks that one of the more interesting forms of sadism that takes place during the daytime is women making men go shopping together; the women get pleasure from watching their men get flustered as they point out all the things they like. As for a more nocturnal form of sadism, Kyūsaku relates an anecdote called Hentai seiyoku to heapin (Abnormal sexuality and hairpins) told to him by a doctor who has recently returned from America. The doctor says that he has treated two young men recently who blushed when he asked about the cause of their wounds, but he could tell they were made by hairpins, an accessory that is popular with young women and men alike. “That type of hairpin is a woman’s only weapon in the bedroom. The shape of the hairpin symbolizes woman’s hysteria and sadism. As one might expect, it’s not possible to compete with stuff imported from America, the origin of respect for women!” I apologize if anyone has been offended.176 Kyūsaku’s views on women and education hardly seem enlightened by contemporary standards, but they are bound up in the hentai discourse of the time. For example, Kokyō identified “female vanity (kyoeishin) as one of the symptoms of hysteria,”177 and Kyūsaku does the same. Moreover, the chūkansei seishin shōgai (osculant mental disorder) model that shaped both hentai shinri and hentai seiyoku discourses can be seen in a short essay from one of the last entries, titled Furyō shōjo kyōrakudan chō (Leader of the delinquent girls pleasure gang) in Tōkyōjin no daraku jidai. In it, Kyūsaku profiles a student from an esteemed girl’s school, and he begins with her physical appearance: not particularly tall, ordinary nose, somewhat thin, not really a beauty or ugly, “just an averagely cute face.”178 The daughter of a widow, her grades are average and nothing about her appearance, such as her hairstyle for 176  Ibid., 170. This final quip from Kyūsaku after the doctor’s anecdote is a play on words. The Japanese phrase he uses, osashiai ga attara gomen nasai, is a homophone for, “I apologize if you’ve stabbed/pricked each other.” 177 Nakamura, Hentai shinri, 190. 178 Yumeno, Tōkyōjin, 336. 62  example, sets her apart. Despite this, she seems to have a certain charisma that exerts a strange pull on her classmates. Kyūsaku reports that out of the 700 students, 230 are friends of hers, but her relationship to them is based on power; she is especially affectionate towards those who do what she says, and she abuses those who do not. She carries an expensive vanity case with hard-to-find cosmetics inside, an item that Kyūsaku surmises might be something carried by all the leaders of “delinquent girls pleasure gangs.”179 (Everybody calls her danchō (leader / captain / boss), but the details of her gang are impossible to come by. She comes and goes alone, never following the same routine, and it is not clear what her underlings do—in fact it is impossible even to identify who they might be. She seems to show up at meetings for students from boy’s schools or at public exhibitions throughout Tokyo; “It’s said that there are a good number of men unaware that she is investigating their backgrounds from A to Z.”180 These “gangs” do nothing more than seduce men, and the leader is essentially a pimp. Kyūsaku writes that this leader is very intelligent, but her “finding satisfaction in such diabolical activities… is a kind of hentai seiyoku.”181 In the short epilogue, he writes that he decided to report her to the police, but they shrugged him off by saying that that kind of a girl could not possibly be at that school. Two days later he returned to Fukuoka, but he came across a newspaper article later that reported a delinquent girls gang had been broken up in Tokyo. However, her name was not listed among those caught. “Perhaps she has already graduated,”182 Kyūsaku writes in the final line, a warning to his readers that the depravity of Tokyo will move on to bigger things. Her background remains unknown, and Kyūsaku offers no clues to suggest her deviancy is inherited, but his 179  Ibid., 336. Ibid., 337. 181 Ibid., 337. 182 Ibid., 338. 180  63  emphasis throughout the piece that she does not look the part of a delinquent—and is able to put on different faces according to the situation—suggests the applicability of chūkansei seishin shōgai (osculant mental disorder) in her case. In these examples of Kyūsaku’s post-earthquake reportage, which spanned autumn 1923 to spring 1925, his usage of hentai leans toward the sexual—and therefore sensational— aspects of Tokyo culture. This is similar to the way he used hentai in “Ayakashi no tsuzumi,” but over the course of his career, there would be a subtle change in which the emphasis shifted from sexuality to psychology (from seiyoku to shinri). Kyūsaku’s writing brought questions of madness and identity to the surface, and this exerted a strong influence on the development of henkaku detective fiction. His fiction was less an account of madness or “abnormal psychology” as much as it was a look inside the hentai mind. He made frequent use of the epistolary or monologue form in order to avoid an omniscient narratorial voice. Kokyō wrote that hentai was not necessarily the same thing as illness, but it was, nevertheless, “abnormal.” Whether one’s hentai shinri manifested itself as kleptomania, paranoia, or mathematical genius, I would argue that these conditions signify that there is something in excess, and this would become a prominent feature of Kyūsaku’s henkaku literature, too.  Henkaku in Oshie no kiseki  Kyūsaku remained active after writing “Ayakashi no tsuzumi” in 1926, steadily building his reputation in mystery writing circles. His next big breakthrough came with Oshie no kiseki (Miracle of the brocade dolls), a story that made hentai shinri a major part of the  64  plot.183 Oshie no kiseki was the featured story in the January 1929 New Year’s Special Edition of Shinseinen.184 Editor-in-chief Nobuhara Ken had requested a thirty-page manuscript from Kyūsaku, only to receive 170 (it took up seventy-six pages in the magazine, including illustrations). Nobuhara printed the story in its entirety and wrote in the editor’s comments section at the back, “Presenting a tour de force epic such as [Oshie no kiseki] is unprecedented, but we cry out without reservation: ‘If you don’t read this, keep quiet with your criticism of taishū bungaku (mass literature)!’”185 Oshie no kiseki is structured as a single letter written by Inoguchi Toshiko, a twenty-three year-old female pianist, to renowned onnagata186 kabuki actor Nakamura Hanjirō, son of actor Nakamura Handayū. The letter, dated March 29, 1902, is written at the hospital where Toshiko has been admitted, sick with tuberculosis. She has written the letter to reveal the secrets of her past and the strange power of two particular oshie that bind her and Hanjirō together—and which ensure that their love will never be consummated. Toshiko’s mother was born into a samurai family in Fukuoka, a beauty who excelled at making oshie from a young age. Her father was a swarthy, scary fellow who taught kangaku (Chinese learning) and was adopted into Toshiko’s family; the two would marry in 1877 when he was twentyfour years old and she sixteen. A few years later, in 1880, a kabuki troupe from Tokyo 183  Oshie is a type of handicraft similar to brocading that was popular in the Edo and early Meiji periods. Oshie are based on two-dimensional prints, but cloth and other materials (e.g. hair, bamboo, etc.) are layered and stuffed to make the image into a three-dimensional piece. They are usually mounted on thick paper or a wooden board. Often in the style of Edo-period ukiyo-e, oshie are intricate and vivid, and it was common for artists to depict scenes or characters from famous plays and stories. 184 This edition kicked off the magazine’s tenth year, and it contained contributions from many big names in detective fiction, including Ranpo, Kōga Saburō, Hamao Shirō, Okamoto Kidō, Morishita Uson (the previous editor-in-chief) and Nii Itaru. 185 Nobuhara, “Tosaki,” 448. 186 The onnagata, literally “female form,” is a male actor who consistently plays female roles. 65  featuring young onnagata star Nakamura Handayū came to visit and Toshiko’s mother was commissioned to attend all the performances and make oshie of the key scene. Toshiko was born not long after. Her father, a possessive man, kept her mother inside, and she devoted herself to making oshie. When Toshiko was twelve, her mother accepted another commission to make oshie based on scenes from Hakkenden (The Eight Dog Chronicles, 1814-1842) that had been depicted in nishiki-e (woodblock prints). In Toshiko’s letter to Hanjirō, she recalls when her mother chose those particular prints and the surprise she felt at the time—the actor in the prints of the Hakkenden scenes was Handayū (identified by a new stage name). Right next to the face was a small red tanzaku (narrow strip of paper) with the name Nakamura Sangyoku written on it, and since I did not know your father had changed his name, I thought it might be someone else. However, it was clear right away even to a child that turning that face [in the previous oshie] to the left and adding long, masculine eyebrows would make it identical to [the face in the oshie she had just completed]. I felt for the first time that perhaps I understood the feelings with which she chose that print, but at the same time I felt like there was something I could not quite grasp—something strange and frightening—and I was struck with the oppressive feeling that I could not open up to my mother nor ask her about it. How my tiny chest beat with a thrill!187 Once completed and mounted in the local shrine next to the oshie Toshiko’s mother had made after Nakamura Handayū’s visit fourteen years earlier, Toshiko’s father went to see them. Upon his return, however, his face was drained of color. He retrieved a sword and took a good look at Toshiko. Suddenly an ominous smile came over his face and he slapped her on the cheek. Next he turned to her mother: “… Y-You! Can you recall any indiscretions with Na-Nakamura Handayū?” my father’s voice resounded like thunder from behind. His trembling hand gripped my obi… “Wha…? Such a thing… not even in a dream… Heavens” said mother as her face turned pale and her eyes crimson… “Silence, stop speaking!… Whose face did you use as a model for the oshie of Inuzuka Shino at Kushida Shrine?”… 187  Yumeno, Oshie, 143. 66  “I made it to look like Toshiko.” “And Toshiko, who does she look like?”188 During his outing, Toshiko’s father had heard rumors and gossip, and only then realized he had been fooled all these years—Toshiko must actually be Handayū’s illegitimate child. Enraged, he waited for an answer from Toshiko’s mother. Toshiko writes: … My mother looked divine at that moment, all sadness and surprise gone, she looked as pure as a goddess… “Do as you wish. I can recall no indiscretions with…” “What! What!” “I have absolutely no recollection of any indiscretions, but I cannot serve you any longer.” “…” “It is a most regrettable thing, but as long as it is by your hand…” “What?! What are you saying!” said my father as he began to forcefully shake me… “Silence! Unacceptable!” he continued as he thrust me away. I fell with a thump atop the koto. The bridge broke into two or three pieces and the strings emitted violent pachin pachin noises.189 Toshiko awoke in a daze to the sight of her mother still sitting formally on the tatami mat with her hands on her knees and her father standing nearby in the darkness. However, “five or six droplets of blood like red flower petals were scattered on the wall”190 behind her mother. Before long a red thing began to ooze from my mother’s white collar, or so I thought. Then a deep crimson lump began to bubble out from under the blue clothing at her left shoulder, spreading beneath her breast like a crawling, living insect. Something red, like a string, started to run down her left hand. And, once the collar of her blue clothing—now cut apart in a triangle shape—slipped away, one side of her white, perfectly round breast appeared as though caught in a net of blood, yet she remained sitting with her head facing down and both hands properly on top of her knees.191 Toshiko leapt to her mother, still in a fog. Suddenly she felt a sensation like fire that passed through her back and chest before she lost consciousness. She awoke in a hospital to learn 188  Ibid., 146-47. Ibid., 148. 190 Ibid., 148. 191 Ibid., 149. 189  67  that her father’s sword missed her lung but punctured her mother’s heart. Afterward he committed a “magnificent ritual suicide.”192 Though sure that her mother had not been adulterous, Toshiko cannot deny her own resemblance to Handayū, and she becomes obsessed with looking in the mirror. At times, she looks like Handayū, at others she looks like the oshie dolls, and still other times, her reflection resembles her mother, and then, as if it were some kind of trick, her mother’s features become superimposed on top of the oshie. Toshiko comes to gain a perverse enjoyment from these transformations. My face in the mirror came to appear strange and eerie, and yet since my reflection was at the same time supremely nostalgic, I came to find the idea of a mirror itself to be a disjointed thing—a foolish, frightening and vexing object.193 As her letter continues Toshiko tells Hanjirō that at sixteen years old she went to Tokyo to study piano, but with the ulterior motive of finding Nakamura Handayū. However, the first kabuki performance she attends is a memorial performance in his honor—Handayū died the previous year. Instead, his seventeen year-old son, Nakamura Hanjirō, now a famous onnagata in his own right, is slated to perform. She buys a kabuki magazine before going, and is shocked to see that not only does she resemble Handayū, but Hanjirō looks exactly like her mother. Toshiko could no longer ignore the evidence, and became convinced they must be twins. Then, while reading Hakkenden one day to learn about the scene depicted in her mother’s oshie, she learned the story of how Fusehime, the mother of the eight dog brothers of the title, was impregnated without ever having had physical relations. Toshiko remarked, “Well now, what a wonderful, childish fancy!”194, yet the possibility of passing along physical resemblances by strength of spirit inspired her to investigate further. She read  192  Ibid., 149. Ibid., 152. 194 Ibid., 161. 193  68  through a number of difficult books on obstetrics and psychology, but had very little luck until she came upon Hōi gaku yawa (Nighttime talks in forensic pathology), a translation from the late 1880s of a Western scientific study that was in a book about strange medical happenings. Toshiko copied out a section in her letter from the chapter entitled “Mysterious occurrences of the body #1: Curious pregnancy tales.” It contained two anecdotes, one from ancient Greece and another from 1860s Scotland, that demonstrated how a woman’s strong feelings toward something or someone could affect the appearance of her children even if there was never physical contact between the mother and the object of her desire. Toshiko felt that she had found her answers. Her mother and Handayū must have fallen in love at first sight and their feelings lived on in this world through their children. Moved by “the power of her mother’s pure heart and her devotion to the ways of art, humanity and love,”195 Toshiko resolved to lead a pure life by never marrying and by keeping Hanjirō in the dark about their connection. They could never be together because society would see them as siblings, but since he is the only person that can judge her confession, she decided to write this letter. Toshiko wants him to forget about her and live on in happiness, but the story/letter ends ambiguously with Toshiko unsure to the end whether or not they are actually siblings. Elder brother, if you are my true elder brother, then as your only younger sister I beg of you to live on in my place. According to what I have overheard from the nurses, your condition has improved… I pray that just once, while I am still alive, I will be able to see you strong and healthy… However, and I am sorry to ask this of you, but should I die before your body becomes strong again, please visit my grave. Rather than a great bouquet of flowers, I ask that you bring only irises. Irises were blooming in front of our house the day my mother was cut down and they have a special place in my heart… I pray that, at the least, you—as my elder brother—will live on in this world and give expression to my mother’s art. 195  Ibid., 167. 69  But if somehow it were not the case, and you and I were not brother and sister by blood... If we are truly mementos of your father and my mother’s suffering hearts... Oh… what shall I do? There is nothing purer in this world than the love shared by your father and my mother. And it will remain noble forever. Please, please ensure that the love we share also stays pure and noble—and pained— exactly like theirs. Just once I would like to see you. But when I think this, my heart feels as though it might go mad. Even this thought, when compared to the noble love shared by our parents, is shameful and impure. My thoughts have scattered and I can no longer continue with my letter. It is a most regrettable thing.196 This is the end of Toshiko’s letter, signed March 29, 1902. The words in the last line, “It is a most regrettable thing,” echo the words spoken by Toshiko’s mother just before she is about to die. In the end, there is no clear resolution, but the reader is left to assume that she will likely die. Toshiko has gone to great lengths to portray her mother as a pure, beautiful being incapable of having been an adulterer, but the narrative structure leaves open the possibility that Toshiko’s tale is no more than that of a madwoman. Beyond the hallucinations and violent mood swings that oscillate rapidly between grief and elation, her letter could be interpreted as the ramblings of a deranged fan. Since Oshie no kiseki is composed of a single letter, there is no omniscient voice to support or discredit Toshiko’s version of events, and this makes her a potentially unreliable narrator. Toshiko’s proof of her mother’s innocence boils down to a fictional tale, the Hakkenden, and “Nighttime talks in forensic pathology,” a series of pseudo-scientific anecdotes. Even if we consider that such anecdotes had more veracity in the Meiji period, when the story is set, or in 1929, when Kyūsaku wrote Oshie no kiseki, Toshiko’s choices for evidence are suspect, especially when  196  Ibid., 171. 70  considered in light of other information she reveals throughout the course of her letter.197 The signs point to an affair between Toshiko’s mother and Handayū, and Toshiko’s mental state combined with her unwillingness to recognize those signs—in fact, she goes to great lengths to try and disprove them—adds to her unreliability. Oshie no kiseki was received extremely well, and notably, the longest and most effusive praise for came from Ranpo, the man who had been most critical toward “Ayakashi no tsuzumi.” His immediate reaction upon reading Oshie no kiseki was to write an unsolicited review that appeared in the following month’s Shinseinen. I have yet to read any other pieces [in this month’s Shinseinen], but having been struck mightily by Oshie no kiseki and fearing I might forget my initial impressions, I began writing this review before reading anything else… Both Nobuhara [Ken] and Mizutani [Jun] told me it would be featured in the New Year’s edition and that it was rather good… but at first, perhaps out of some faint antipathy toward those two, I could not get into the story. After two or three pages, however, I was hooked. ‘This is even better than expected!’ I said to myself as my chest 197  For example, the reader can piece together from information scattered throughout the story that Toshiko was born exactly ten months after Handayū’s visit to Fukuoka, yet Toshiko never points this out. In another example, Toshiko gives evidence to suggest that her mother did, in fact, give birth to twins. The wet nurse commented on Toshiko’s mother’s pregnant appearance by saying, “This is a big one! It’s surely gonna be a big ol’ baby boy…” (Yumeno, Oshie, 135). However, as Toshiko explains, “I heard that my father was exceptionally happy at this, but [the wet nurse’s] prediction did not come to pass, and instead I was born a normal-sized baby girl” (Ibid., 135). Toshiko’s father tried to enter the room where she was being born after he heard the first cry, but the wet nurse kept him out, and instead brought Toshiko to him. These clues suggest that Hanjirō was immediately taken away. Yet one more hint that Toshiko and Hanjirō are twins comes in a hallucination that Toshiko has in the hospital: I saw with clarity a vision in which our fates were wretchedly destroyed. In the distance, blue and vast, the sky or perhaps the ocean—I cannot tell which, but it was a pure, beautiful thing—glittered and flashed, waiting as if to absorb our intertwined bodies, both of us coughing up blood. Though you and I were sucked rapidly toward it, I was taken with an indescribable, pleasant feeling. (Ibid., 127) Both Toshiko and Hanjirō were tubercular and had recently spit up blood. Toshiko’s vision of their intertwined bodies can be interpreted as an erotic image, but it could also be an allusion to their time together in the womb. 71  was gripped with a shuddering sensation… I sighed repeatedly while I read. My pulse may have even quickened just a bit.198 Ranpo’s reaction to Oshie no kiseki is embodied. Unlike the intellectual stimulation of solving puzzles in honkaku detective fiction, henkaku is about thrills—it is an affective experience. He acknowledges that some might question whether or not Oshie no kiseki was actually a work of detective fiction, or tantei shōsetsu, because of its henkaku qualities, but he asserts that he believes it is. He writes, “perhaps it is due to the various difficulties that accompany honkaku stories, but they are rarely able to truly strike me.”199 Indeed, Ranpo’s review of Oshie no kiseki is remarkable for the way he describes his quickening pulse, “sighs” and “shudders” and the feeling of being struck. The about-face done by Ranpo in his review of Oshie no kiseki points to Kyūsaku’s improvement as a writer since “Ayakashi no tsuzumi,” the work that Ranpo had so harshly criticized. Kyūsaku’s son, Sugiyama Tatsumaru (1919-1987), wrote that Kyūsaku often complained about having tied for second place with “Ayakashi no tsuzumi,” and that Oshie no kiseki marked his father’s true arrival onto the literary stage.200 It is even possible to read Oshie no kiseki as an improved version of “Ayakashi no tsuzumi.” There are many commonalities between the two stories, but of course some differences, too.201 Perhaps the  198  Edogawa, “Shinshun hekitō,” 136. Ibid., 138. 200 Sugiyama, “Yumeno Kyūsaku no shōgai,” 232. 201 Elements common to both Oshie no kiseki and “Ayakashi no tsuzumi” include: the plots make ample use of traditional arts and stage performance, mental trauma and hallucination, settings that transition from an older time to a more recent time, fates played out across generations, the discovery of a lost sibling, scenes in which a family member makes the ultimate sacrifice so that the protagonist can survive (Tsumaki for Kyūya and Toshiko’s mother for Toshiko), multi-voiced epistolary narratives (medical texts and magazine and newspaper articles in addition to the first person letters that made up the majority of the stories), and the manifestation of strong emotions in uncanny ways in the 199  72  most important difference is that Oshie no kiseki has a less complicated plot. As Junko Ikezu Williams writes about “Ayakashi no tsuzumi,” “[T]he considerable cast of characters who appear one after another… possesses a secret created by the curse of the drum, and the secrets are revealed to the reader through the characters' confessions… as the mystery of the drum is progressively solved.”202 By contrast, there are few twists in Oshie no kiseki, which instead stays locked on shifts in Toshiko’s psychological perspective. Oshie no kiseki shows less reliance on supernatural elements, giving it a more realistic feel, or at the very least, a strong sense of psychological realism.203 The “truth” that Toshiko uncovers may be based on pseudo-science and an old epic tale, but they are true for her, and that is more important than the reality that is apparent to readers who pick up on the clues. The “Nighttime talks in forensic pathology,” for its part, is exactly the sort of text that would have been part of the early hentai shinri discourse in Japan that was centered around hypnotism, mediums and other forms of spiritualism. Considering that Toshiko witnessed her father murder her mother and she was nearly killed herself, it is not surprising that she should exhibit signs of mental trauma, but the reader does not know for sure that Toshiko is mad. The ambiguity persists in large part because the epistolary structure hinders a clear resolution. Kyūsaku often used insane or  physical realm (e.g. the curse of the noh drum and the phenomenon whereby offspring look like the object of the parent’s true passion). 202 Williams, “Visions and Narratives,” 171-72. 203 The fantastic or supernatural elements in Oshie no kiseki are undercut by the end of the story. Toshiko latches on the “Nighttime talks in forensic pathology” when she is desperate for proof of her theory of her mother’s innocence, and at any rate, the facts she has revealed throughout her letter suggest that her mother did have an affair with Handayū. The Hakkenden is presented with a measure of irony—when Toshiko first reads about Fusehime, she comments that it is “a wonderful, childish fancy!” (Yumeno, Oshie, 161). Nevertheless, Toshiko finds solace in the tale, and her comment might be a sly wink on the part of Kyūsaku as a nudge to look upon Oshie no kiseki as a “fanciful” story, too. 73  mentally disturbed characters as his narratorial voice, and I would argue that this strategy was key to his henkaku mode. Hentai discourses of abnormal psychology and abnormal sexology looked for, and found, illness pervading society. Mental trauma was not unique to the modern period, but modernity had exacerbated the type of trauma that people experienced—and an entire field had grown to diagnose the problems. Kirby Farrell writes of “modernism as a cumulative series of upheavals that are spikes in a rising baseline of stress: markers for massive, disorienting storms of new information and technology”204 and the “trope of trauma… as a corrective or cautionary device that modern culture sues in its efforts to regulate morale in the face of new kinds of stress.”205 Hysteria and other mental traumas are regulated through cultural narrative, and fiction is a medium through which those meanings are negotiated, but it is not the only one. When the idea of trauma moves… into the surrounding culture, its clinical definition recedes and its explanatory powers come to the fore… Cultures not only report but classify traumatic events… The interplay of publishers, editors, reporters, and audiences determines the meaning of an injury and the nature of our involvement.206 Kyūsaku’s fictional henkaku narratives were engaged with the scientific hentai narratives, and together they charted the impacts of psychological abnormalities wrought on the modern psyche.  Henkaku Hell  Thus far we have seen Kyūsaku’s development from his days as a journalist up to his debut in mystery writing circles, and then his ascendancy to star status within those circles 204  Farrell, Post-traumatic Culture, 27. Ibid., 21. 206 Ibid., 16. 205  74  following the publication of Oshie no kiseki, but I would like to turn now to a series of stories that span from 1928 to 1936: “Binzume jigoku” (Bottled hell, 1928), “Kichigai jigoku” (Hell of madness, 1932) and Shōjo jigoku (Girl’s hell, 1934-36). The first thing one notices is the presence of the word jigoku (hell) in the titles of all three works. They were not released as a planned “hell” series, per se, but together they show the essence of Kyūsaku’s henkaku by building on the idea of hentai shinri, especially the themes of fractured identity and mental abnormality.207 Additionally, the “hell” stories are among those that have been most revisited by postwar readers. “Binzume jigoku,” the first of the three “hell” stories to be published, is only a few pages long, but has remained a favorite for Kyūsaku fans. It tells the story of the fate of shipwrecked children Tarō and Ayako, and is narrated through three letters that have been recovered from drifting bottles. There is also a short preface that consists of the letter written by officials of the village where the bottles were found to the Oceanic Research Center (the village had been instructed previously to notify the Center when one of their bottles sent out for tide research washed up). The letters are presented in reverse order (the first letter the reader sees is the last one written). In this first one, the older brother, Tarō, has spotted a  207  When “Binzume jigoku” was first published in the October 1928 of Ryōki, the title was actually “Binzume no jigoku.” There is very little difference in meaning, if any, and the English rendition would still be along the lines of “bottled hell,” “hell in a bottle,” or “the hell of bottles.” The story appeared with minor revisions in the Yumeno Kyūsaku volume that was part of publisher Kaizōsha’s 1929 compendium of mystery fiction. The final version, with more revisions and the title changed to Binzume jigoku, was published in May 1933 by publisher Shun’yōdō. Itō Riwa posits that the reason for changing the title was possibly to give it symmetry with “Kichigai jigoku,” a short story published just six months prior in the magazine Kaizō (Itō, Musō no shin’en, 124-25). Shōjo jigoku was the name of a book published in March 1936 (just over a week after Kyūsaku’s death) that contained three separate stories: “Nandemo nai,” “Satsujin riree,” and “Kasei no onna.” “Satsujin riree,” which had been published in the October 1934 edition of Shinseinen, was the only one of the three stories to have appeared prior to publication in the book. 75  rescue ship on the way. He apologizes to his parents—he and Ayako are about to jump from a cliff to their deaths in shark-infested waters because, “If our body and mind are not punished like this, we cannot atone for the sins we have committed.”208 In the second letter, which comprises the majority of the story, Tarō tells about his and Ayako’s existence on the island that went from being a paradise to a hell in the ten or so years they have been there. When he was eleven and she was seven, they found themselves alone on the island with just a pencil, notebook, knife, magnifying glass, three bottles of water and a New Testament Bible. In the beginning, they built a hut, food was plentiful and there were no dangerous animals to threaten them. Every day they read the Bible, prayed and made signs that would catch the attention of a passing boat. Though after their clothes frayed they ran around naked “like real savages,”209 they continued to pray. In the same way that we considered God and both of you—our Mother and Father—to be our teachers, so we thought of the Bible, and we treasured it more than even the magnifying glass or beer bottles… We were truly happy and at peace. This island was like Heaven.210 As they grow, however, Tarō and Ayako both seem to be aware of a physical attraction. The intense emotions of joy, shame, anger and sadness at the unfairness of their situation finally boil over and Tarō asks God for a sign. When nothing happens, he burns their Bible, and as he is doing so, he spots Ayako on a rock out at sea about to kill herself. He saves her, but by the time they return, their shelter has been reduced to ashes. Tarō writes that living on the island, which keeps them physically healthy, is torture for their minds, but so far they have kept their bodies pure. (Of course it is assumed they have violated the incest taboo between  208  Yumeno, “Binzume jigoku,” 109. Ibid., 110. 210 Ibid., 110. 209  76  the time he wrote this letter and the one just before he and Ayako are to commit suicide together.) The final letter is just a few lines and is written entirely in the script of a child: father. mother. both of us are being nice, and doing good on this island. hurry, come to rescue us. Ichikawa Taro ichikawa ayako211 It is possible to read transgression of the incest taboo, a theme in many myths (including Japan’s creation story), as the central theme in “Binzume jigoku,” or alternately to see the collapse of the Eden-like paradise as criticism of Christianity or other Western “isms,” but it is also possible to see “abnormal psychology” in the structure of the story itself. Itō Riwa and Yura Kimiyoshi both point out several inconsistencies between the scenario and the content of the letters that make it impossible to determine what really happened.212 Based on these inconsistencies, Yura Kimiyoshi argues that “Binzume jigoku” may take place entirely inside someone’s mind. He juxtaposes the “natural state” (shizen jōtai  211  ) and the “hell of  Ibid., 114. Below is how the letter is written in the original Japanese.   For example, the bottles should have been sent off over a span of ten years, but the preface says they were all found at once. If that were the case, it is unlikely the boat Tarō claims to see came as a result of finding their first bottle. And even if the letters had been found, they were not addressed in such a way that they could be delivered. Based on the third letter, Tarō and Ayako’s writing ability was very limited when they were shipwrecked, but in the other letters Tarō uses advanced words that are not in the Bible (their only source of learning on the island). In the second letter, Tarō says his pencil is nearly gone and will stop writing, yet he is able to write the last letter at a later time. In the preface addressed to the Oceanic Research Center, the date is left intentionally blank (as opposed to other places that have “x” marks to hide what was written), thus there is a possibility that the bottles (which are still sealed) have not been sent to the Oceanic Center yet. 212  77  the mind” (nōzui jigoku  );213 the former is a mythic paradise-like state  unencumbered by the flaws of society, and the latter is the condition that a person falls into “when the self is unable to believe its own ‘identity.’”214 Moreover, the “natural state” must always crumble—in the case of Tarō and Ayako, their paradise becomes a “hell of the mind” when their identities as grasped through their faith fall apart. Yura’s article was written in 1970, but his conception of these two states of mind is very close to the hentai discourse of the pre-WWII period. Itō frames the inconsistencies in the story’s plot as “kettei fukanōsei” (indeterminacy)215 that give readers leeway for various interpretations of what the story means. I would say that Yura and Itō are alluding to the same thing: the perpetual state of being unable to determine what is reality and what is false. The way that “Binzume jigoku” plays with time through plot ambiguities pushes the island into a mythic space, a “hell” where the torments are very real, even if it is only a place that we can see in our imagination. The other two “hell” stories, “Kichigai jigoku” (Hell of madness) and Shōjo jigoku (Girl’s hell), expand on both the “indeterminacy” and madness. “Kichigai jigoku,” published in November 1932 in Kaizō, a major general-interest magazine, is narrated as a first person monologue and opens in a mental hospital. … Hey… Are you the director of the hospital? Sorry to bother you. So. I know this is sudden, but I’ve come to talk to you about getting released today. You see, my mental state (seishin jōtai) has finally just been restored…216  213  Yura, “Shizen jōtai to nōzui jigoku,” 94. Ibid., 95. 215 Itō, Musō no shin’en, 117. 216 Yumeno, “Kichigai jigoku,” 95. 214  78  The narrator continues to talk, seemingly in dialogue, but with only his words appearing on the page. The narrator, who was being kept in the hospital until he could recover from amnesia, claims to know who he is, and his story makes up “Kichigai jigoku.” He says that he is known as Taniyama Hidemaro, son-in-law of a wealthy coalmine owner. He was found unconscious one day at the Taniyama cottage in Hokkaido by a newspaper reporter staying there, but when he came to, he was suffering from total amnesia. Hidemaro was adopted into the family and eventually married Tatsuyo, the owner’s daughter. The Taniyama family had been unable to marry their children because of their tainted bloodline (unbeknownst to Hidemaro), and his fresh blood was meant to fix that. However, soon after Tatsuyo gave birth, she began to exhibit the early signs of the disease and committed suicide, leaving him with the child. At this point, Hidemaro interrupts his own narration to say that just that morning he has recovered his memory and knows what happened before he was found unconscious at the cottage. His real name is Hatanaka Masao, and he is the third son of a Fukuoka sake brewer. While in college he got wrapped up in politics, participated in an assassination and was sent to jail in Hokkaido. He escaped, and soon an old flame from Tokyo, a café waitress named Kumiko, came to live with him. They fled into the mountains and nearly died before finding an old path and a clearing where they built a house. Over the next four years he and Kumiko had four children as they “realized for the first time the joy of a free, primitive life” and resolved “never to return to the world of humans.”217 Instead they decided to live “like Adam and Eve, spreading their lineage and populating this mysterious land with countless  217  Ibid., 104. 79  descendants.”218 However, the “world of humans” found them. Their home was spotted by a newspaper reporter who happened to be in an airplane that flew over the forest one day. Reporter A, as the narrator calls him, decided to investigate further and found Masao/Hidemaro walking around not long after. Masao/Hidemaro tried to flee, but slipped and fell into the river that took him to the Taniyama cottage. The newspaper reporter who had found him floating in the river was actually Reporter A, the man who Masao/Hidemaro now realizes caused the accident that led to his amnesia. When Masao/Hidemaro was first rescued, he was babbling in an unconscious state and Reporter A learned enough to be able to track down his real identity as Hatanaka Masao, escaped assassin. Reporter A kept this information to himself, intending to later expose everything as a big scandal once Masao/Hidemaro became an important part of the Taniyama family. While Masao/Hidemaro was recovering, Reporter A decided to venture back into the mountains to find Kumiko and the children—it would only add to his story. There, however, Reporter A met his match. Coming upon a “mysterious spectacle that he could not have imagined even in a dream,”219 he starts taking pictures of Kumiko and the kids, who are stark naked and look like savages. The narrator comments: It would be difficult for a normal person to imagine just how wild and frenzied Kumiko’s personality had become, and just how strong a woman she had turned into due to her having lived for so long without a man in these isolated mountains, fighting the cold and raising four children by herself.220 Reporter A, lost in the spectacle, is spotted by Kumiko, who then throws herself at him in a rage and takes his rifle. Now a “half-feral woman,”221 she is especially fast and ferocious. He  218  Ibid., 104. Ibid., 110. 220 Ibid., 110. 221 Ibid., 111. 219  80  runs away screaming and she gives chase. He finally escapes, but not before she gets a few shots off and one of them knocks his hat off. Reporter A is found later wandering around “like a living mummy,”222 a madman who screams whenever he sees a naked woman and rants incoherently about Taniyama family secrets and the like. Dr. Tokushika, a famous doctor who had been visiting Hokkaido and heard about this “sex maniac” (ero kyō),223 takes Reporter A to his mental hospital in Tokyo. Surprisingly, his stories check out and, moreover, when the film from his camera is developed, the shots of Kumiko are discovered. Dr. Tokushika realizes that Reporter A could pose a danger to the Taniyama family, and gets in touch with Masao/Hidemaro. They strike a deal to keep everything secret and Reporter A locked up indefinitely. Masao/Hidemaro gets all his memories back when he sees the pictures of Kumiko, and with Tatsuyo dead, they remarry. Here, the narrator interrupts his story once again, this time to respond to the doctor. Based on the narrator’s comments, it seems that the doctor has just told him that the story is ridiculous, and that right now he is at that Tokyo clinic. Reporter A is there, too, and what is more, the narrator is Reporter A. The narrator/Reporter A has been repeating the same story day after day. Suddenly, he learns that he is talking to the doctor’s assistant, and then no one is there at all—he wonders if he has been talking to himself the whole time and the story ends with his screams to be set free. The “hell of madness” that the narrator is locked in has no escape. The twists in the story show that the narrator is most likely not reliable. Told by a man in a mental hospital who is hallucinating and unable to confirm even his own identity, the story shows the kettei fukanōsei that Itō Riwa described in “Binzume jigoku.” And as in that story, “Kichigai jigoku” 222 223  Ibid., 111. Ibid., 109. 81  also uses the motif of the primitive utopia—a “natural state” (shizen no jōtai) in the words of Yura—that is invaded by society; the Bible thwarts Tarō and Ayako’s paradise, and Reporter A’s muckraking scheme destroys Kumiko and Masao’s life in the mountains of Hokkaido. A common feature of the “hell” in the two stories is a sense of endless time. The tropical island where Tarō and Ayako are shipwrecked is an unchanging paradise, and the inconsistencies in the plot of “Binzume jigoku” play with the concept of time. If “Binzume jigoku” is taking place within someone’s mind, as Yura argues, then the “hell” may continue indefinitely. In “Kichigai jigoku,” the “hell” is neverending—the narrator is doomed to stay locked up, unaware of his identity and repeating the same story to himself day after day. Another commonality between these stories is the influence of modern civilization in the construction of “hell.” “Binzume jigoku” uses Christianity and the Bible as motifs that guide the Tarō and Ayako, and it is only after Tarō burns their Bible that things truly fall apart for them.224 In “Kichigai jigoku,” the newspaper reporter’s thrill-seeking lands him in a mental hospital, and he is kept there by collusion between the doctor and a rich industrialist. Whether a tropical island or a hidden forest in Hokkaido, primitive paradises were no match for the onslaught of modern civilization. In Shōjo jigoku (Girl’s hell), which is comprised of three separate stories, Kyūsaku turned again to the epistolary form to examine the fate of young girls driven to suicide. The first story, “Nandemo nai” (Of no concern), is about a young nurse, Himekusa Yuriko, who gets caught in a web of lies of her own making. An attractive young woman and a hard worker, Yuriko becomes exceptionally popular with all the patients: “Her natural charm, in fact, went  224  During the Edo period, Christianity had been outlawed, but as Japan embarked upon its Meiji-era modernizing period, Christianity was considered—like science, technology and other forms of knowledge—to be an important part of Western civilization. 82  beyond the borders of man and woman, old and young.”225 One day, she makes a flippant remark about the doctor she used to work for, Shirataka, to Usuki, the doctor she works for now, and this sets off a chain of deceit. Shirataka and Usuki used to be friends in medical school, and Usuki sets about trying to contact him. Somehow they never seem to be able to meet up, and it becomes clear that Yuriko is resorting to trickery and misdirection to keep them apart. When Shirataka and Usuki do finally get in touch, Usuki learns that Yuriko ran away from Shirataka’s practice amidst rumors that she was seducing rich or famous patients. One of Usuki’s friends, a newspaper reporter, suggests they go to the police, and they in turn want to question Yuriko on the suspicion that she might be Communist. Yuriko is arrested, questioned, and let go—in the end they realize she is just prone to harmless lies, “like a maid from the countryside who boasts about her hometown,”226 and they let her go. Even after this, though, she continues to lie. Sobbing, she tells Usuki and his family about her interrogation, but it does not match exactly what he heard from the police officer. Usuki watches her face closely. I discovered that there was a strange, beautiful gleam in her eyes that seemed to be growing brighter. This gleam—overflowing with a captivating lust—had an indescribable eerie beauty and purity of the kind one often sees when a lunatic (seishin ijōsha) gets excited.227 Looking back, Usuki notices a pattern: Yuriko tends to lie at the beginning of the month, which he learns from another nurse is when Yuriko has her menstrual period. Usuki and the others wonder if this is the cause of Yuriko’s behavior. At the beginning of “Nandemo nai,” in a letter from Usuki to Shirataka with news of Yuriko’s suicide note, Usuki wrote that he felt a certain responsibility to “investigate her attachment to this psychological process” 225  Yumeno, “Shōjo jigoku,” 114. Ibid., 144. 227 Ibid., 146. 226  83  (shinri sayō) and get to “the strange horror that pulsated beneath her chain of seemingly innocuous fabrications.”228 Yuriko’s compulsive lying is framed in the context of mental illness and female physiology. In his 1919 book, Hentai shinri no kenkyū (Research on abnormal psychology), Nakamura Kokyō included a chapter called Fujin no hentai shinri (Female abnormal psychology).229 The main subsections were related to the menstrual cycle (e.g. the first menstrual period, normal periods, menopause), changes during pregnancy and hysteria. The chapter opens with several blanket statements: Compared to men, women have much more sensitive emotional lives. Their bodies are weaker, their mental capacities are lower… and their powers of decision-making are not sufficient… Their moods change easily… and lack the ability for critical reflection of their own actions… Men act consciously and women unconsciously.230 In Kokyō’s formulation, these are normal characteristics; hentai shinri, or abnormal psychology, emerges with menstruation and pregnancy. Kokyō is interested in the psychological changes that take place at various points in a woman’s life, but he also briefly lists the physiological changes. For adult women, typical changes include anxiety, being easily excitable, depression and rapid mood swings that include anger, joy and jealousy.231 Women naturally prone to hysteria might also show signs of manic depression, alcoholism, nymphomania or kleptomania—these are known as “menstrual psychosis” (gekkei seishinbyō).232 According to European studies that Kokyō cites (including Lombroso), over ninety percent of women caught committing crimes were in the middle of their menstrual 228  Ibid., 105. There is a section for children, too, but none that deal with a specifically male form of hysteria. 230 Nakamura, Hentai shinri, 179. 231 Ibid., 183. 232 Ibid., 184. 229  84  periods.233 Some of the crimes were minor, such as petty theft, but women who committed arson and murder were more likely to do so during this period. Additionally, one of the symptoms exhibited by women with hysteria, regardless of menstrual cycle, is a “feeling of vanity” (kyoei shin  ).234 When Usuki notices the  pattern of Yuriko’s lying and matches it to her menstrual cycle, he uses the same term: “[Yuriko’s] mental aberrations were caused by menstrual depression. She experienced anxiety that triggered a terrible feeling of vanity (kyoei shin).”235 In fact, this phrase had come up earlier in the story, but the person who brought it up was Matsuko, Usuki’s wife. Matsuko, who has an observant eye and is interested in the bizarre (kaiki shumi  ),  “has mental faculties different from those of normal women.”236 She has been an avid reader of tantei shōsetsu since her school days, and she mentions to Usuki one day that Yuriko is a suspicious character. He does not suspect Yuriko at all, and thinks that the trouble she would have to go to to pull off all the misdirection and sustain so many lies is just too much, but Matsuko replies, “… I … I think those are all part of her vanity (kyoei). I can even understand her feelings myself.”237 Despite the trouble and confusion that Yuriko causes with her lies, she is not vilified. Her “abnormal psychology” is a problem, but Usuki, his family and others all feel sympathy for her. As Usuki writes: She didn’t have any interest in murder, shoplifting or theft. She was just a brilliant girl who put all of herself into making endless lies.  233  Ibid, 184. Ibid., 190. 235 Yumeno, “Shōjo jigoku,” 146. 236 Ibid., 125. 237 Ibid., 127. 234  85  It seems she even showed some interest in the corruption of chastity, but not in any concrete sort of way—she was into the depravity of fabrication. She found far more satisfaction and excitement in imaginary lewdness and immorality than in the actual thing.238 To Usuki, Yuriko was “not a criminal”; rather, she was “simply a splendid creator of stories.”239 One cannot help but wonder if Kyūsaku makes Yuriko such a sympathetic and devious character because he sees some of himself, a writer of henkaku tantei shōsetsu, in her. Indeed, there is a clue to suggest that Yuriko’s enigma remains intact: her suicide note from the beginning was dated December 3. Since she tended to tell lies during her menstrual period at the beginning of the month, was her suicide letter just another lie or did she really do it? The second story in Shōjo jigoku, “Satsujin riree” (Murder relay) is the only one of the three stories to have been published separately prior to its appearance in the Shōjo jigoku book. “Satsujin riree” takes the form of six letters from Tomiko, an onna shashō  (a  female bus or train conductor), to Chieko, her friend who still lives in the countryside. One of Tomiko’s friends, an onna shashō at a different bus company, died in an accident on the job, but it may not have been an accident. Before the accident, she wrote a letter to Tomiko in which she confided that her fiancée, Niitaka, was rumored to be serially murdering onna shashō around the country (Tomiko’s friend found this out in a letter from her friend). Tomiko warns Chieko: You can’t imagine how boring it is working as an onna shashō—stay in the countryside! Soon, Niitaka, a bus driver, has come to Tomiko’s company. Tomiko wants to take revenge for her friend, but finds herself swept off her feet. One day Niitaka finds the letter  238 239  Ibid., 151. Ibid., 152. 86  from Tomiko’s friend and plays it cool, but not long after that he drives too close to the side of the street—Tomiko would have been killed in an “accident” if she had not by chance already moved away from her normal position. This is the same way her friend was killed, and now she is sure that Niitaka wants to kill her, too. In the second to last letter, Tomiko writes from the hospital to thank Chieko for sending flowers. Tomiko reveals how she got there: on a rainy night she gave the okay sign to Niitaka at a railroad crossing even though she could see a train coming. She still is not sure why she told the lie, but perhaps she felt depressed and wanted to die with him. After the bus was hit and turned upside down, Niitaka, cut up by broken glass, laments that the spirit of Tomiko’s friend must have gotten revenge. Tomiko feels good at first for carrying out the revenge, but then feels very sad. Soon, newspapers discover evidence of Niitaka’s “murder relay” and believe that his death was due to an error on his part. Tomiko warns Chieko once again not to become an onna shashō. In her last letter, though, she tells Chieko that she is going to commit suicide—she really did want to die with Niitaka before. Tomiko is pregnant, which means she will be a murderer of her child and husband. She gives one last warning: “You must not become an onna shashō! Sayonara.”240 While the warnings in “Satsujin riree” not to move to the big city echo those in Tōkyōjin no daraku jidai, Kyūsaku’s post-earthquake reportage, the structure is reminiscent of that in “Binzume jigoku” in that they rely solely on letters to tell the story. Moreover, both “Binzume jigoku” and “Satsujin riree” give a sense of endless time—the tropical paradise/hell is unchanging, and in “Satsujin riree,” the chain of letters hints (prophecies?) that Chieko could be the next victim. Niitaka is dead, but girls are still moving to the cities.  240  Ibid., 165. 87  Itō Riwa considers both “Nandemo nai” and “Satsujin riree” to be examples of the kettei fukanōsei (indeterminacy) that defines “Binzume jigoku.”241 The endless incarceration in the mental hospital for Reporter A in “Kichigai jigoku” also fits this pattern. The final story, “Kasei no onna” (Girl from Mars), begins with a series of newspaper clippings about the discovery of a burned female body discovered at a girl’s high school and the subsequent investigation that reveals her name was Amakawa Utae, a fantastic athlete. The principal of the school, Mr. Morisu, has lost his mind and is found halfway across the country, the English teacher has committed suicide by hanging, and the school secretary has made off with large amounts of the school’s money. The rest of the story is Utae’s letter to Mr. Morisu. In it she explains her hatred for him and how she will tear him down by exposing his hypocrisy and, in the end, killing herself to do it. Mr. Morisu, a devout Catholic headmaster on the surface, has for years abused his power to take advantage of students and pilfer money from the school. Utae, who has been given the nickname kasei no onna (Girl from Mars) by Mr. Morisu because of her large, muscular body, is one of his rape victims. On top of this, her secret hideaway in an abandoned building is where Mr. Morisu and two other accomplices from the school plot and meet for trysts, which allows Utae to learn just how hypocritical and evil they are. She even learns that Tomomiya Aiko, the most beautiful girl in school (and Utae’s lover), is actually Mr. Morisu’s daughter; he had raped Aiko’s mother when she was a student nearly two decades earlier. In her letter to Mr. Morisu, Utae frames her quest for revenge as a blow against the unjust ways of the male-dominated world, but her motives suggest a more personal kind of revenge, not unlike Tomiko’s ill-fated quest in Satsujin riree. However, where Tomiko is  241  Itō, Musō no shin’en, 118-19. 88  unable to endure the banality of the real world and finds her revenge ultimately hollow, Utae’s revenge is complete. As Tomoko Aoyama writes, “Utae uses her body – dead and alive – to make this revenge most effective.”242 While alive, she terrorizes Mr. Morisu, using her athletic talents to pretend to be a ghost, and dead, her body calls attention to Mr. Morisu’s deeds. In all three stories, the “girl’s hell” is the real world. Faced with life as a nurse, or as a bus girl, or as a stigmatized schoolgirl, they can only assert themselves, paradoxically, in death. They seek new stimuli, but reality cannot live up to their expectations (or in the case of Yuriko and Utae, their abilities to weave lies and perform athletically). Kyūsaku’s attitude toward these girls can be read as conservative (they got what was coming to them for not being normal!), but the tone of these stories is sympathetic, especially toward Yuriko. This may be a sign of change in his attitude toward women since his earthquake reportage. Aoyama, following Kawasaki Kenko’s assertion that “representations of young women and their bodies are ‘always excessive rather than lacking,’”243 writes: Yumeno was not a feminist as such, but his deep sympathy and empathy for marginalised and displaced people and his admiration and longing for freedom seem to have enabled him to create stories with unforgettable shōjo heroines who embody powerful “gender trouble” possibilities.244 I would add that the “excess” of Kyūsaku’s women is part of his henkaku affect. These girls are abnormal by society’s standards, and their deaths—usually violent and grotesque— unsettle those standards. Beyond the excess of spirit and body in these women (including that of Toshiko’s mother in Oshie no kiseki), we see in Kyūsaku’s henkaku stories an excess of time: endless chains of letters, intergenerational curses, and primordial paradises. Are these 242  Aoyama, “Dismembered but Not Disembodied,” 314. Ibid., 309. 244 Ibid., 316. 243  89  all aspects of our inner psyches that do not adhere to linear time frames? Kyūsaku puts readers in the minds of madness, which is a reason that his stories exhibit the “indeterminacy” (kettei fukanōsei) to which Itō Riwa calls our attention. Madness and mental disorder were at the center of the hentai shinri discourses in Kyūsaku’s time, and though he used scientific terms in his stories, he also used the more colloquial kichigai.245 Kichigai motifs were prominent in Kyūsaku’s writing, but not everyone appreciated the way he wrote about it. Ranpo, for example, never could quite get his head around Kyūsaku’s kichigai. When he reviewed Kyūsaku’s debut, “Ayakashi no tsuzumi,” Ranpo had been very critical, but he did acknowledge that, “The merit of this work is the sense of kichigai that overflows throughout… The author may yet produce a great work if he can improve the descriptions of characters and plot development.”246 Over ten years later, in March 1937, Ranpo delivered a forty-minute speech at an event to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Kyūsaku’s death, and once again he touched on the element of kichigai. Another thing [about Kyūsaku], he was extremely interested in kichigai. Out of all Yumeno-kun’s stories, the kind in which he makes kyōki (madness) the central theme is the only sort that I simply cannot grasp. It may be that I don’t understand madness well enough, but if I may say so, the world of madness that Yumeno-kun writes is not that written by a man of letters, but the world of madness written by the kichigai himself. Though that may be close to the actual situation, I believe it is essential for there to be a difference between fiction (shōsetsu) and reality.247 Unlike Ranpo, who needed scientific or rational explanations to explain the grotesque imagery and perverse psychological states in his fiction, Kyūsaku went for a psychological reality that drew on hentai shinri discourses without assuming the position of the diagnosing  245  Kichigai was used in the pre-WWII period to refer to a person with a mental illness, or sometimes to mental illness itself, and though still used casually in contemporary Japan, it is no longer considered an appropriate term. “Lunatic” in English carries similar connotations. 246 “Tōsensaku shokan,” 264. 247 Edogawa, “Yumeno Kyūsaku shi to sono sakuhin,” 40. 90  physician. Both Ranpo and Kyūsaku used henkaku, but Kyūsaku’s version did not necessarily separate fiction from reality as Ranpo’s did. This difference helped make possible different trajectories for Ranpo and Kyūsaku. Ranpo became an active critic who fostered the postwar rejuvenation of mystery writing while Kyūsaku, who died in 1936, was largely forgotten until the 1960s. However, in the 1960s, it was Kyūsaku more than Ranpo who became a symbol of the counterculture. The work that commanded the most attention in the 1960s—and has since—was Dogura magura (1935), a novel that Kyūsaku worked on for over ten years and self-published.248 Dogura magura is a sweeping novel that centers around the protagonist’s search to overcome amnesia and recover his identity. Two doctors of psychiatry from Kyushu University carry out a twenty-year experiment in order to learn about an unusual mental illness in the Kure family; “Dogura magura” is the name of a document seemingly written by Kure Ichirō, the “I”  248  Kyūsaku’s revival began in 1962 when Tsurumi Shunsuke wrote an article called “Dogura magura no sekai” (The world of Dogura magura). Scholars and critics began to write about many other works by Kyūsaku, but Dogura magura was the most commonly selected one (see Kawasaki Kenko’s “Yumeno Kyūsaku bunken annai” for a list of Kyūsakurelated research). In monographs on Kyūsaku since the 1980s, too, Dogura magura has always received the most attention. In 1988, when a group of twenty-two people (scholars, authors, critics, poets, etc.) were asked to respond to a questionnaire, Dogura magura finished with the most votes (eleven) for the question that asked respondents to list their top three Kyūsaku stories (“Ankeeto,” 22-25). Incidentally, Kōri no hate was second (nine votes), Oshie no kiseki was third (seven votes), “Binzume jigoku” was fourth (six votes) and Shōjo jigoku was tied for fifth (five votes). In addition to the interest shown by artists and critics, a more general audience has shown a continued interest in Dogura magura. Aozora Bunko, the largest open-source online library of full-text Japanese works, lists access rankings dating back to 2009, and Dogura magura is regularly at the top: 2009 -- #6; 2010 -- #5; 2011 -- #3; 2012 -- #6 (“Aozora bunko akusesu rankingu”). The works ranked above Dogura magura are by authors—Natsume Sōseki, Dazai Osamu, Akutagawa Ryūnosuke, Miyazawa Kenji—whose works are part of Japanese school curriculums and whose names would almost certainly be recognized even by people who do not read literature. Dogura magura is longer by far (and the more demanding in terms of difficulty) than the other works in the Aozora top ten, which means its continued popularity is likely a result of readers actively seeking it out. 91  who is trying to recover his identity. Unlike most documents written by mental patients, “Dogura magura” reads as an unusual sort of academic scholarship—it is described by one of the doctors as “an exceedingly strange text full of science (kagaku shumi ‘curiosity hunting’ (ryōki shumi ), nonsense (nonsensu mi  ),  ), eroticism, detective tastes (tantei shumi ) and a taste for the mysterious (shinpi shumi  )… in a dazzling structure that could only have been written by a lunatic.”249 Dogura magura is a meta-mystery—it would later be classified as an anti-mystery—that delves into abnormal mental phenomenon and critiques the institutional apparatus that makes possible the ongoing victimization (and stigmatization) of Japanese people. The phrase hentai shinri is used frequently, as are other related words that suggest mental abnormalities. Interestingly, seiyoku is not used at all—it seems that Kyūsaku’s emphasis on “abnormal sexology” in his earlier reportage and detective fiction has given way to “abnormal psychology.” The majority of Dogura magura takes place at the Kyushu University mental hospital, and Kyūsaku includes several pseudo-scientific or pseudo-academic documents about theories of hereditary mental disorders and brain functionality. One of these documents, titled “Zettai tantei shōsetsu: nōzui wa mono o kangaeru tokoro ni arazu” (Absolute detective novel: the brain is not the place that thinks), but referred to in short as the “Nōzui ron” (Theory of the brain), was a graduation thesis that was never presented to the public. The premise is that the brain works like a telephone switchboard—as life has evolved from single cells into complex organisms, each individual cell retains its own will and ability to feel and  249  Yumeno, Dogura magura, 52. The phrase dogura magura is believed to be made up by Kyūsaku, but in the novel it is explained as possibly an old European word that was picked up by people in Nagasaki during early encounters and kept alive by “hidden Christians” into the modern period; dogura magura is used to mean “magic” or “trick” (Ibid., 54). 92  think. When the brain gets tired or enters a state of emergency (seen more and more frequently in modern life), control of mental faculties reverts to the primordial functions of individual cells, thus a person with a mental disorder might be prone to laughing or sobbing uncontrollably. The accumulation of stresses and disorders over generations does not go away, and can even be triggered on purpose if studied well enough. However, the why of this phenomenon is not something that science can explain. The proposal in the document is that human fetuses go through the evolutionary process in the womb, developing from a single cell into a fully formed baby in ten months. During that time the fetus sees a “dream” of the whole history of life, from earlier life forms to human ancestors and up to the present. This dream is forgotten, but the cells that go through this process retain everything that came before. For 1960s countercultural types and students who subscribed to anarchic ideologies, this model of decentralization and its critical attitude towards modern science had much appeal.250 Another pseudo-academic document that plays up the henkaku of Dogura magura is called “Kichigai jigoku gedō saimon” (Heretic recitation of the hell of madness).251 One of the doctors conducting the experiment on the Kure family traveled to Europe just after college to research mental health, and when he returned, he embarked on a tour of Japan preaching on the street to “pull back the curtain to reveal the torment of mental patients in modern society and the bogus treatment methods in mental hospitals worse than prisons… To state it in a different way, he turned the ‘Dark Age of the Lunatic’—the shudder-inducing  250  See Yasko, especially Chapter 5, for an analysis of the critique of science by 1960s radicals and students. 251 The word saimon refers to addresses or recitations to the gods in Shinto or Buddhist practice or to popular songs from long ago. 93  underbelly of modern culture—into a folk ballad.”252 The “Kichigai jigoku gedō saimon” was a threat to the existing scientific and psychiatric institutions, and was not received well. Since it was made for street recitation, the “Kichigai jigoku gedō saimon” is rhythmic, punctuated with wordplay and nonsensical sounds. He preaches that there are many jigoku, or hells, but the kichigai jigoku, the hell of madness, is the most frightening of them all. Modern psychiatric science is a sham that only exists to make money, and mental hospitals are used by those with power to control the common people. His solution is to find a remote island and let those with mental disorders go there for free; there would be no medication or operations, just his kaihō chiryō (liberation treatment method) whereby everyone is free to wander and no one is locked up. It is easy to see how these (meta)fictional texts, “Nōzui ron” and “Kichigai jigoku gedō saimon,” would appeal to rebellious youth in the 1960s.253 In 1935, when Dogura magura was published, however, it was not very widely read—in terms of reception Dogura magura was primarily a postwar text. The same themes of madness—and to an extent, the structure— of Dogura magura can be found in “Kichigai jigoku,” the short story analyzed in this chapter which was published in Kaizō, a general interest magazine with a circulation much higher than that of Shinseinen.254 In fact, “Kichigai jigoku” was the first story of Kyūsaku’s to  252  Ibid., 69. See Kawana (2005) and Nakamura (2002) for further analysis of the link between science and the exploitation of people with mental illness in Dogura magura. 254 According to Mizutani Jun (1904-2001), editor-in-chief at Shinseinen from 1929-1938, the magazine printed approximately 30,000 issues each month. Half of them were kept for the Tokyo market, and they sold out. The other half went to the countryside (to readers like Kyūsaku), but the majority of those were returned to the publisher unsold (ctd. in Tsurumi, Yumeno Kyūsaku, 202). 253  94  appear in a mainstream publication with a national circulation, and was likely his introduction to readers who did not follow detective fiction.255 The “hell” of Kyūsaku’s henkaku affect had an audience in the pre- and postwar periods, but it burned brighter in the latter; indeed, his “hell” works have been among the most visible from his oeuvre in the postwar years. Before Kyūsaku’s main revival began in the early 1960s, “Binzume jigoku” was adapted into a radio drama for NHK in February 1953, and in 1986, it was adapted into a soft core porn movie by Nikkatsu Studios. In 1977, the same studio had adapted “Kasei no onna” (Girl from Mars), on the of the Shōjo jigoku stories, into a soft core porn film, too. “Binzume jigoku” was adapted into a manga in 2012 by Maruo Suehiro (b. 1956), and in 2010, Satō Nao’s manga adaptation of “Nandemo nai” from Shōjo jigoku began serialization in Komikku Mavo magazine.256 “Nandemo nai” was also a featured text in the J-bungaku (J-Literature) NHK Education television series in 2010. Matsumoto Toshio (b. 1932), a director who was known for his experimental filmmaking in the 1960s, adapted Dogura magura into a live action movie in 1988, and in 1997, arthouse director Ishii Sōgo (b. 1957) adapted Satsujin riree into a film called Yumeno ginga (The Yumeno Milky Way).  255  In the table of contents for that month’s Kaizō, the subtitle of kaiki shōsetsu (bizarre/grotesque novel) was added in parentheses to “Kichigai jigoku.” Kyūsaku would have just two more works of fiction published in general interest magazines, one in late 1935 and the other a few months after he died in spring 1936. Kyūsaku had three works of nonfiction appear in general interest magazines: a very short essay in 1933 and two tributes to his father (who was well-known in political circles) in 1935. 256 Komikku Mavo would switch from print to digital in 2011. The complete serialized versions of Nandemo nai and Satsujin riree were made available online from early 2013. 95  The Mission of Henkaku Detective Fiction  The “hell” that attracted these artists was inseparable from the henkaku that colored Kyūsaku’s texts even if henkaku is not a word they would have recognized. There was a short series of debates in the second half of the 1940s in mystery writing circles that revisited the honkaku versus henkaku debates of the 1920s and 1930s, but henkaku was pushed completely off the map by the early 1950s as honkaku detective fiction, which was championed by the influential Edogawa Ranpo, took off.257 Questions of self, authority and sanity pervade Kyūsaku’s henkaku “hells,” but so does the idea of transgression. Tanaka Masashi equates henkaku with Fred Botting’s “transgression,”258 observing that, “in contrast to honkaku detective fiction that exposes tricks and uses evil and fear to restore order, henkaku form uses evil, fear, cruelty and strangeness to destroy the normal order.”259 In “Tantei shōsetsu no shin shimei,” an essay from August 1935 about the function of tantei shōsetsu, Kyūsaku showed a similar attitude. Noting the division between honkaku and henkaku detective fiction, he first states the honkaku view of the genre: Tantei shōsetsu cannot be art. Tantei shōsetsu that display tastes for the erotic and grotesque, and nonsense and humor instead of puzzles are the genre’s path to perversion and depravity. Tantei shōsetsu that can fall under the label of adventure, mystic, bizarre, hentai shinri, and so on can only be heretical—or parasites. These kinds of stories, which go by the name of henkaku… must be purged.260 Kyūsaku admits that henkaku writers cannot really argue against the logic that a true tantei shōsetsu must have logic and puzzles at its core, but at the same time, honkaku stories have 257  Saito, “Culture and Authenticity,” 142-54. Ranpo’s support of honkaku detective fiction after WWII was an about-face from his position in the prewar debates. 258 Tanaka, “‘Henkaku’ teki na mono,” 5. 259 Ibid., 7. 260 Yumeno, “Tantei shōsetsu no shin shimei,” 133. 96  reached their limit as a genre. Perhaps a better model is Buddhism in Japan—over time it has splintered and evolved, but it is still Buddhism, he argues. Kyūsaku wants tantei shōsetsu to continue to fulfill its mission—a mission he describes as follows: Tantei shōsetsu is a rebellious art that specializes in blasphemy against art’s guardian deity. Art from long ago stopped with the appreciation of the clothed figure, then advanced in recent times by stripping away the clothing to appreciate the beauty of the naked body. Advancing further, that body was cut open, its internal organs removed, skeleton bleached, and analyzed from blood to excrement; the point at which such strange and ghastly beauty caused us to shudder is when the tantei shōsetsu was called into existence… In place of the art it has forsaken, tantei shōsetsu has taken to attracting the masses with vulgar riddles … and has started to make them reflect on the content of our base, ghastly civilization of science, going deeper and deeper with this new formula, penetrating into all corners of the psychology of the masses.261 Now, though, “the true mission of the tantei shōsetsu is in its henkaku form,”262 and the genre’s function is to stimulate our conscience (ryōshin  ) and expose our internal  psychology (naisei shinri) in an age of materialistic human culture. In the same month, August 1935, Kyūsaku wrote a short essay called “Yattsukeraru,” a title that means roughly “to be beaten” or “to be clobbered.” In it he related two incidents when someone pointed out to him errors in his stories, Oshie no kiseki and Dogura magura (the titles are not named directly, but it is clear which stories he is talking about). In the first, he is surprised by a friend who gives him a hard time for writing a “big lie”263 in Oshie no kiseki. Kyūsaku had written that a statue was located in a particular location in Fukuoka, but his friend assured him it was not there. When Kyūsaku disagreed, his friend told him he should get a mental exam. Kyūsaku replied: “How rude. I write about kichigai a lot, but in order to write about kichigai or nervous breakdowns, I have to have my head screwed on straighter than normal  261  Ibid., 135. Ibid., 136. 263 Yumeno, “Yattsukeraru,” 126. 262  97  people!”264 They went together to check on the location of the statue, and sure enough, it was not where Kyūsaku thought, but he tells us that in his mind it was still there. Perhaps it was an aberrant psychology (ijō shinri) that people like me are prone to, or maybe just my obstinate tendencies, but I have not felt any pangs of conscience… Even now, I want to assert, “The way I wrote it is true. The facts are wrong.”265 For Kyūsaku, fiction and psychological reality were more important than verifiable fact—he may have fancied himself “simply a splendid creator of stories” like Himekusa Yuriko, the protagonist from “Nandemo nai” in Shōjo jigoku, but his narratives have stood the test of time and taken on new lives in new contexts while the stories of most of his fellow writers— including those who also used henkaku elements—have been lost to history. When Kyūsaku laid out the “true mission” of the tantei shōsetsu in 1935 to explore our conscience and probe our internal psychology, he probably would not have imagined that in the 1960s—and still today—we would still be pursuing henkaku.  264 265  Ibid., 126. Ibid., 128. 98  Chapter 2: Sensible Nansensu  Modern Nonsense  Ero guro nansensu, or “erotic grotesque nonsense,” is by now familiar to scholars of Japan as a catchphrase of the late 1920s and early 1930s that captured the spirit of contemporary life, and was used to describe popular interest in the bizarre and deviant. Recent years have seen a reappraisal of ero guro nansensu, but the focus has tended to be on the ero and guro. In this chapter I will turn to the oft-neglected nansensu in order to consider its potential function as a subcultural affect in Kyūsaku’s oeuvre. I argue that nansensu, like subculture, is difficult to pin down—it was decried by social critics for being frivolous entertainment in the 1920s and 1930s, but it also “made strange” accepted notions of common sense. Nansensu elements in a work of literature could encourage an intellectual reception, inducing a wry smile from readers who grappled with the anxiety of rapid social change in interwar Japan, but as an affective constellation, nansensu surpassed simple humor. As we shall see, nansensu could also produce feelings of pain and grief. I will examine how Kyūsaku developed nansensu over the length of his career into a critical aesthetic ethos to address modern social values, the widening gap between self and other, and even the meaning of war in a period of expanding military action. Before turning to a detailed explanation of nansensu, it will be instructive to consider its place within the larger scope of ero guro nansensu. Scholarship in Japan has traditionally considered ero guro nansensu to have thrived in the interlude between the good times of the Taishō era (1912-1926) and the dark times of  99  Japan’s militarism in the 1930s, but reappraisals by the likes of Shimamura Teru (2005) and Miriam Silverberg (2006) have expanded that period. Shimamura calls ero guro nansensu a “boom” that peaked in the years 1930-1932 as the “discourse surrounding it flooded into the realm of the age’s subcultural publications (sab-karuchā tekina shuppan) at the same time it was able to penetrate into mainstream publications and general-interest magazines,”266 but he also notes how quickly that discourse dissolved following the Manchurian Incident in September 1931 and the ensuing military action in China. Nonetheless, according to Shimamura it is appropriate to think of ero guro nansensu as a vital phenomenon extending from the Great Kantō Earthquake of 1923 to the commencement of total war in China in 1937, and Silverberg writes that it was “an intense expression of cultural phenomena with profound political implications… [that had] repercussions lasting into the 1940s.”267 Ero guro nansensu in the early Shōwa period was disseminated through mass media such as magazines, films, songs and newspapers, but as Jeffrey Angles writes, “What links the erotic, grotesque, and the nonsensical is a sense that each represents seamy and shadowy forces brewing in the undercurrents of society—forces not constrained by the ethical and civil codes of civilized society.”268 Similarly, Shimamura considers ero guro nansensu to have been a prewar “subculture” that captured the interest of mainstream media (e.g. magazines such as Kaizō and Chūō kōron), only to succumb along with the Proletarian movement in the middle 1930s to growing pressure from censors and government crackdowns. Thus his view of ero guro nansensu as a subculture stripped of its “poison and  266  Shimamura, “Ero guro nansensu,” 628. Silverberg, Erotic Grotesque Nonsense, 87. 268 Angles, Writing the Love of Boys, 21. 267  100  strength” presumes oppositionality to the authorities who would suppress it.269 Many dictionaries for modern words were published around 1930, but ero guro nansensu was not typically listed as a single entry. The words were treated separately, with ero the axis around which guro and nansensu were mobilized; and moreover, ero and guro were frequently used as a pair without nansensu. Nansensu was last—and least—within the phrase. Ero and guro were easier to grasp through visual and thematic cues, and were more immediately titillating. Shimamura writes, “ero carried the most weight of the three,”270 and Silverberg writes that, “For almost all who used the three-part term ero guro nansensu, the last term was clearly the least appealing.”271 Reappraisals of ero guro nansensu began to appear in the 1980s, but nansensu still seems to draw the short straw when it comes to critical attention. To give a recent example, the title of Mark Driscoll’s monograph, Absolute Erotic, Absolute Grotesque (2010), makes this bias clear; he discusses notions of ero and guro extensively in their relation to the empire and power, but makes almost no mention of nansensu.272 Cultural products considered ero or guro could be subject to harsh treatment by authorities in the 1920s and 1930s, but they could also be co-opted into the service of a national agenda. Ero and guro were not simple concepts, but they had the benefit of being associated with concrete images that could appeal to a wide audience. Ero was composed of both spiritual and physical aspects that were anchored in the appreciation of (the usually female) beauty. The label of guro was applied to things that were considered bizarre, monstrous or strange, and visual cues for guro were frequently associated with racial others 269  Shimamura, “Ero guro nansensu,” 635-36. Ibid., 631. 271 Silverberg, Erotic Grotesque Nonsense, 232. 272 A valuable exception to this trend was the May 2009 edition of Japan Forum titled “Urban Nonsense.” All the articles were dedicated to some aspect of nansensu, mostly from the prewar era. 270  101  in “primitive” regions. These aspects of ero and guro are on display in the Gendai ryōki sentan zukan (Pictorial of the modern, curiosity hunting, and the avant-garde), a pictorial published for a general audience at the peak of the ero guro nansensu boom in 1931. Ero and guro made for a potent combination of sex, beauty and the desire to seek out the bizarre. Alisa Freedman asserts, “Especially after 1931, books and periodicals of erotic and gruesome urban oddities proliferated, fueling a fascination for uncovering the sordid secrets believed to be lurking in Tokyo and other world cities.”273 Simultaneously, interest in nansensu fell off. Freedman writes: Although books of urban oddities were in fashion until the mid-1930s and nansensu films were shown until the Second World War, few nansensu stories were published after around 1931. This was due to both increasing censorship and militarization after the September 1931 Manchurian incident and changing cultural trends. Images of nansensu were no longer new or alluring, for they had become an accepted part of city life. Declining demand prompted a shift in literary supply. Publishing companies ended their financial support for nansensu literature. The term nansensu was no longer used to characterize the times and rarely appeared in the titles of magazine articles and columns. On the other hand, the more general Anglicized term ‘yūmoa’ (humor) seemed to increase in use around 1931…274 Ero and guro were able to expand in conjunction with Japan’s increased military activity while nansensu seemed a less adaptable aesthetic. All three terms, ero, guro, and nansensu, were part of the modan, or modern, experience in interwar Japan, but ero and guro were, as Mark Driscoll demonstrates throughout Absolute Erotic, Absolute Grotesque, a better fit for the ideology of the expanding Japanese empire. Nansensu retained a contrarian aspect—after all, if sensu is the status quo, then nansensu is at the other end of the spectrum—even when the specific characteristics of the context changes.  273 274  Freedman, “Street Nonsense,” 21. Ibid., 28. 102  The first three sections in the Gendai ryōki sentan zukan were titled “Erochikku” (erotic), “Gurotesuku” (grotesque) and “Nansensu” (nonsense), and they appeared in that order.275 Most of the photos in the “Nansensu” section were silly, and as Freedman observes, was “mostly comprised of images of American and European women in amusing scenes in which one element is exaggerated to make the entire image absurd.”276 To be sure, there are shots of exotic ‘others,’ bared skin and suggestive poses, and thus there is some crossover with ero and guro, but the foreignness in the nansensu pictures is primarily American rather than primitive (or Asian). Nansensu emphasized speed, tension, absurd juxtapositions, humor and, often, Hollywood spectacle. In the commentary, titled Nansensu mandan (Comic chat about nansensu), that accompanied the photos of nansensu in Gendai ryōki sentan zukan, cultural critic Nii Itaru (1888-1951) comments, “The real essence of nansensu is in emphasizing an element that does not really add up to much and venturing to cram meaning into it,”277 a pursuit that he attributes “especially to the extraordinariness (toppisa) of Americans.”278 He offers the examples of eating contests or seeing who can dance the longest without collapsing. These activities take on an absurd character, but as Nii suggests, the impulse to measure and 275  The “Erochikku” section was the longest, at sixty-five pages, and “Gurotesuku” took up thirty-five pages, but “Nansensu” took up just twenty, which was about the number of pages allotted to the remaining sections: “Rebyū” (dance reviews), “Kikan” (strange sights), “Supōtsu” (sports), “Sentan” (cutting edge), “Pōzu (poses) and “Chinki” (curiosities). 276 Freedman, “Street Nonsense,” 22. The pictures in the “Nonsense” section (Gendai ryōki sentan zukan, 111-31) include women in France dressed as sailors and walking down a street arm-in-arm, an attractive American woman in a revealing uniform directing traffic, Australian aborigines doing a “tennis dance” with rackets in hand, a group of male gamblers gathered around a woman lying on the ground and using her body as the surface for rolling dice (a scene described as ryōki fūkei, or a “scene of curiosity hunting”), men balancing upside down with one hand on a dinner table and eating with their free hand, an orange pushing contest at a festival in America, a wordless manga, an experiment to measure the “level of excitement” during a kiss, the gaudy reception of two Japanese stage stars in America, animals acting like humans, and young “American girls” (Amerika gāru). 277 Nii, “Nansensu mandan,” 112. 278 Ibid., 113. 103  test the limits of human potential is the same one that drives contemporary science. This spirit of competition and curiosity is the very thing that elevates the “chinki” (rare, novel)” to the level of nansensu, and this in turn fuels the fad for “sekai dai ichi shugi” (world number one-ism); thus nansensu can also be a catalyst for progress.279 Nii, who had been critical of nansensu in prior years for lacking social or political depth, is looking for a way to find significance in nansensu. He writes that even if nansensu is muimi, or “meaningless,” it is born of a human instinct and the effect it has of breaking up monotony is surely a “meaningful” thing.280 In Nansensu ni tai suru kōsatsu (A consideration of nansensu), a May 1930 article in Shinchō, Nii suggested that American nansensu literature of the sort written by Stephen Leacock (who was in fact a Canadian) filled a particular social need for “muimina hogarakasa” (meaningless cheer)281 of the sort exhibited by Harold Lloyd. In other words, such nansensu catered to the American disposition, but Nii could not see in it the depth he attributed to political senryū (comic verse) in the Edo period or the political comics drawn in Imperial Russia. In Japan, on the other hand, he saw nansensu literature as the product of the “modan ha” (modernist groups), which had been made popular by journalism and the “considerable fudōsei  (floating-ness) of contemporary society.”282 The fu from  fudōsei is the character for uki in ukiyo  , (the term used to describe the “floating world”  of urban life in the Edo period); thus Nii might be alluding to the fleeting or frivolous nature of nansensu. Nii cites Kawabata Yasunari’s (1899-1972) Asakusa kurenaidan (The Scarlet  279  Ibid., 118. Ibid., 114. 281 Nii, “Nansensu ni tai suru kōsatsu,” 29. 282 Ibid., 30. 280  104  Gang of Asakusa, 1929) as an example of literature that stokes interest in nansensu—in this case, the Casino Folies in Asakusa—and appeals to the fudōsei of contemporary society. For Nii, the predilection for nansensu is akin to a form of nihilism that exposes a flaw in society, and his proposal is to reconsider nansensu in the complete opposite way, giving it the function of showing deep meaning. Today, Kawabata’s Asakusa kurenaidan is thought of more as an example of literary modernism, or modanizumu, than nansensu. The term modan came into usage in Japan in the 1920s and modanizumu in the 1930s, and according to literary critic Hirano Ken (1907-1978), who was looking back at the period in 1963, “modanizumu literature… was limited to the works of Ryūtanji Yū (1901-1992), and so forth, which for better or for worse represented American-style customs that had garishly surfaced in consumer-oriented urban culture.”283 Literary scholar William Tyler is careful to note that Hirano seems to be exhibiting a tendency, prevalent from the 1930s and 1950s, to associate modanizumu with Americanization, but it should not be overlooked that Hirano’s example for a writer of modanizumu is Ryūtanji Yū. Freedman writes that Ryūtanji was “extremely influential in the interwar period” and “exemplified the goals of authors of nansensu literature” by “magnify[ing] seemingly ordinary Tokyo occurrences to reveal how the city shaped human subjectivity and cultural production and to expose the illogicality of urban life.”284 In doing so, Ryūtanji “reveal[s] the contradictions of Japanese modernity… [that] might once have been remarkable but have become part of daily experience” and “can be revealed only because authors marked them as nansensu.”285  283  Quoted in Tyler, Modanizumu, 42. Freedman, “Street Nonsense,” 14. 285 Ibid., 14. 284  105  Nansensu—perhaps more so than ero and guro—was associated closely with modanizumu in the 1920s. Shinseinen (New Youth), a modernist magazine that began in 1920, was aimed initially at young men in the provinces, providing them with information on urban trends in culture and fashion, sports, cinema, international news and detective fiction. With the arrival in 1927 of mystery writer Yokomizo Seishi (1902-1981) as editor, the magazine shifted its direction toward attracting young urbanites by emphasizing nansensu.286 Literary scholar Suzuki Sadami writes that Shinseinen was “the forerunner to the stylish (haisensu) men’s magazine” and became an “era-leading magazine”287 (109) in the age of modanizumu precisely because it began to champion nansensu. Considering that the first general interest modanizumu magazine, Modan Nihon (Modern Japan), would not start until 1930, Shinseinen showed itself to be ahead of the curve. In 1927, Shinseinen made nansensu the theme for two issues (May and August) and increased the number of nansensu jōku (jokes) and nansensu konto (conte, sketches) in all issues.288 Though nansensu came to be maligned by critics like Nii for being too frivolous and detached from social concerns, scholar Kyoko Omori reminds us that: A closer examination of discourses on nansensu in Shinseinen also reveals that this light humor was valued as much more than merely temporary escapism. As evident in arguments by Shinseinen editors and authors, nansensu was expressly an intellectual activity in both its production and consumption.289 Omori elaborates, “According to the arguments in Shinseinen, nansensu provides readers with the opportunity to decode or discern the satirical messages that are implied but not expressed” much as one might do when approaching “avant-garde pieces [that] violated the  286  Omori, “Narrating the Detective,” 80. Suzuki, “Shōwa modanizumu to Shinseinen,” 109. 288 Ibid., 109. 289 Omori, “Narrating the Detective,” 81. 287  106  standard representational structure of realism, thereby stimulating the mental capacities of readers by going beyond logical connections.”290 Despite views like these expressed on the pages of Shinseinen and other modernist publications, nansensu bungaku retained an image of lightness in the public’s mind. Jeffrey Angles sums up the prevailing view of the genre as follows: By 1930, the term ‘nonsense literature’ (nansensu bungaku) had entered the Japanese popular lexicon to describe literature dedicated to these concerns. One lexicon of ‘modern’ and fashionable slang (modango) published in 1930 notes that the word nansensu comes from the English and means ‘meaningless’ or ‘silly’; meanwhile, an entry for the term ‘nonsense literature’ which ‘had become so fashionable as of late’ describes a form of writing that pursues that sensibility… Another dictionary published the following year adds that the word nansensu circulated in contexts often having to do with eroticism and could be seen as representing one manifestation of late capitalism. When inserted into the compound nansensu bungaku, the combination often denoted a light, humorous type of literature, often with erotic touches, set against the backdrop of late capitalist society… [W]hen the word ‘nonsense’ entered the Japanese language, it shed any derogatory connotation it might have in English and became a label for light works written with a dandyish panache, sense of humor and sometimes even a titillating touch. ‘Nonsense literature’, in other words, came to be used as a broad designation of light writing that celebrated strange and amusing encounters between people, places and things, usually against the backdrop of modern life.291 Alisa Freedman writes, “Most nansensu works were penned by authors in their twenties and thirties who were connected to editors and literary clubs associated with modernist movements (modanizumu)” and “[t]heir target audience was readers educated in literary trends, rather than the urban masses from which their characters were drawn.”292 Scholar Kobayashi Shinji writes that nansensu bungaku was “structured with the witty dialogue of the modan gāru (modern girl) and modan bōi (modern boy) at the center.”293 The modan  290  Ibid., 81. Angles, “Queer Nonsense,” 96. 292 Freedman, “Street Nonsense,” 13. 293 Kobayashi, “‘Nansensu bungaku’ no yōsō,” 152. According to Kobayashi, the representative figures of nansensu bungaku were Nakamura Masatsune (1901-81) and Ibuse Masuji (1898-1983) thanks to a series of stories they co-wrote under the title Gassaku 291  107  gāru, or moga as she was more commonly called, received far more media attention than her male counterpart, the mobo (modern boy), but magazines such as Shinseinen ostensibly catered to the mobo audience.294 Kyūsaku was one such reader. Fukuoka historian Noguchi Fumi notes Kyūsaku’s modan lifestyle by tracking his diary entries—he not only indulged in Western foods and clothing, but spent a good deal of free time at trendy cafes and department stores,295 and scholar Nishihara Kazumi calls Kyūsaku a “modan bōi who, as a child, had wanted to go to Europe to study art.”296 Kyūsaku “owned many types of hats and, rare at the time, velvet suits… [He] liked Western food and the long mouthpiece he affixed to his cigarettes drew many looks” and was “said to be Fukuoka’s most ‘high-collar (haikara)297 man’ in the early part of the Shōwa period.”298 Given his proclivity for the modan, it is not surprising that he might show a taste for nansensu or nansensu bungaku more generally. However, as will become evident, Kyūsaku did not write nansensu bungaku in the generally understood form of light humor or witty repartee between mobo and moga.  nansensu monogatari (Collaboration on a tale of nansensu) for Fujin saron (Women’s salon) from October 1929 to March 1930. The defining trait of the series was the conversation between moga Pesoko and mobo Yumakichi. Ibuse would describe a scene in humorous prose and Masatsune would depict a similar scene through witty dialogue between Pesoko and Yumakichi. Kobayashi asserts that the series had a strong impact on the authorial identities of Ibuse and Masatsune, but also suggests that Ibuse’s association with nansensu bungaku has been overemphasized when one considers that he did not go on to write any other similar stories (Ibid., 147). Ibuse wrote humorous works later, but “if anything, he seemed to use the narrator’s voice to exhibit a sense of discomfort with the nansensu and modernity of Pesoko and Yumakichi” (Ibid., 146). 294 Shinseinen translates as new (shin) youth (seinen), but the word used for youth here refers to males. 295 Noguchi, “Tenbyō,” 149-54. 296 Nishihara and Takemoto, “Taidan,” 62. 297 Haikara, or high-collar, a phrase that dates from the Meiji period, refers to the high collars worn by Westerners, and was used as slang to refer to all things (and persons) fashionable, trendy and Western. 298 “Kyūsaku no shōgai,” 62. 108  Two Essays on Nansensu  Just how was nansensu represented in Kyūsaku’s writing? We might first look at two of his essays, both of which are titled “Nonsense.” The first, “Nansensu,” was published in August 1929, and its premise is that the narrator, presumably Kyūsaku himself, is unable to clearly distinguish between a “taste for investigation” (tantei shumi for curiosity hunting” (ryōki shumi  ) and a “taste  ).299  The definitions and parameters of those tastes are as hard to pin down as a cloud is to capture; the interests I derive from them grow ever more acute and keen. Each individual work associated with these tastes has a distinct focus, so distinct it burns itself into the center of my brain. Even so, when I reflect upon my feelings, I can’t grasp at all how the focus of that excitement connects to my own psychology. Was I drawn to the works because of a taste for investigation (tantei shumi) or was I made to read them out of a taste for curiosity hunting (ryōki shumi)? In a great many instances I cannot tell.300 He offers examples of both “tastes.” Tantei shumi is the excitement he felt as a child when a letter would arrive at the house. He had no interest in seeing the letter itself—he simply wanted to know where it came from. Tantei shumi is a pure form of curiosity, of wanting to know for knowing’s sake. Ryōki shumi, on the other hand, involves a more complicated cognitive jump. He writes about going to the zoo as a child and being transfixed by the animals: “[I] wanted to make my own state of mind (kimochi) match precisely that of the birds and beasts that had evolved into such strange forms.”301 Tantei shumi would seem to occur at the surface level while ryōki shumi goes deeper. The title of the essay may imply that both “tastes” make up nansensu as a sensibility, but the title also suggests that trying to separate the two is a fruitless exercise. Unable to come to any hard conclusions, or even to 299  Yumeno, “Nansensu,” 30. Ibid., 30. This passage translated by Angles in “Seeking the Strange,” 129. 301 Ibid., 31. 300  109  decide whether or not such tastes have existed forever or appeared only in contemporary times, the narrator descends into confusion. I’ve gone stupid just thinking about it all. At any rate, [tantei shumi and ryōki shumi] are—along with new “isms” and other trends—recently becoming ever more popular. But I wonder if the people who make such tastes popular are really able to comprehend, read and write about them. I, a beginner, cannot make any sense of it whatsoever. If you, by chance, are like me, lost and without any idea of what it all means—ah ha ha ha ha—but no, that surely couldn’t be the case—nansensu—nansensu—. Paa paa paa paa paa paa paa—.302 The narrator claims that he does not want scholars to come along with their objective research because discovering how tantei shumi and ryōki shumi work “would be like discovering a vitamin… [T]hey would lose the power they have now to intoxicate the masses.”303 The narrator’s declaration of “nansensu” at the end might be a refusal—he does not really want to know how tantei shumi and ryōki shumi work—but it might also be a rallying cry for nansensu. The second “Nonsense” essay, “Nonsensu,” appeared in February 1935, over five years after the first.304 Whereas the title of the 1929 essay, “Nansensu,” was written in katakana as , the title for “Nonsensu” was written phonetically in Chinese characters as . The katakana version renders sound only, and is used mainly for transcribing foreign words into Japanese. This is how nansensu, a word derived from English, is normally written. The characters for “Nonsensu” are a pun:  (no) comes from the word “to drink,”  (sen)  indicates fame or talent in a certain field (or it can refer to a person who has reached a metaphysical state through training, such as a wizard), and  (su) means person, and usually  302  Ibid., 32-33. Ibid., 31. 304 Kyūsaku used nonsensu and nansensu variously throughout his career, but both refer to the same “nonsense.” 303  110  indicates that the person in question has skill in a given field. Together,  could be  translated as something like “master drinkers.” Kyūsaku’s wordplay is reminiscent of popular benshi (narrator for silent films) and entertainment personality Tokugawa Musei’s (18941971) entry for nansensu in a January 1932 neologism dictionary called Saishin shingo shinchishiki (Up-to-date guide to neologisms and the latest knowledge) in which he used Chinese characters instead of katakana.305 Omori writes that Musei departed from convention “to free the term from its original English meaning of ‘making no sense’, or ‘being absurd’, which carried the negative implication of being simply illogical and therefore unworthy of critical examination,” thereby giving it a “more pragmatic and positive meaning”306 than other dictionaries that rendered nansensu simply as nonsensical or meaningless. Kyūsaku’s unconventional use of Chinese characters achieves a similar effect, and further, the meaning of the characters is a witty allusion to the anecdotes in the story, both of which have to do with drinking. The essay begins: Though I cannot drink even a drop of alcohol, it is fair to say that all my friends are grand drinkers. In fact, they are all ‘master drinkers’ (nonsensu) who transcend the present times, their constant stream of unspeakably fantastic and thrilling anecdotes driving away my neurasthenia.  305  Omori, “Narrating the Detective,” 77. Omori writes, “Strikingly, Musei begins his dictionary entry on nansensu by… employing the combination nan (or yawarakai, ) and sen (or togaru, ). The first character means ‘soft, flexible, pliant, fluffy, or light’, and the second character means ‘pointed, sharp, acute, or edgy’. While the entry headline uses only these two kanji characters, later in this essay definition, Musei adds su ( ), signifying nest, to complete the word. He explains that ‘nest’ is semantically the most appropriate character and, although he gives no other reason, we might interpret the characters as suggesting a breeding ground or resource for the soft but edgy… Additionally, because the kanji character sen appeared in print frequently as part of another popular buzzword, sentan ( ), which combined characters for edgy and pointy to signify ‘avant-garde’ or ‘vanguard’, Musei’s ‘nansen(su)’ also obviously plays critically on the notion being cutting-edge and thereby in the vanguard of the modern.” (Ibid., 77-78). 306 Ibid., 78. 111  At the time, I was the only employee at the Kyūshū nippō [newspaper] company who did not drink.307 The first anecdote is about a colleague, Matsuishi, from the Kyūshū nippō. Matsuishi was a man who loved to drink, and one night he hit it off with a salaryman at a local drinking hole. Matsuishi invited the man back to his house, where he had his wife serve them more to drink. The following morning, Matsuishi is surprised to wake up and find a strange man sleeping next to him. He goes downstairs and asks his wife where the sleeping stranger came from. At first Matsuishi says he has never seen him before, but slowly remembers the events of the previous night. While they argue over who should go wake him up, a thunderous sound comes from above and the salaryman comes bolting down the stairs and runs off. Matsuishi and his wife can only hold their stomachs and laugh. She tells him to go check to make sure nothing is missing, and sure enough, his new “best friend” had accidentally run off with Matsuishi’s boater’s hat. The second anecdote revolves around two friends from the Kyūshū nippō who “suffer more woe than Yaji and Kita.”308 One of them, Kunihara, comes to work with his left hand wrapped in a bandage stained with dried blood. He says that the night before, he had been drinking at the company president’s place and on the way back his friend, who was feeling “happy” (ureshii) suddenly bit him. He was afraid the friend might try to kiss him next, so he threw him off and injured his hand in the process. The friend who got thrown shows up looking horrible—his face is blue and he is missing two teeth. Looking despondent, he says  307  Yumeno, “Nonsensu,” 258. Ibid., 259. Yaji and Kita are comic characters from the Edo period made famous in popular literature and, in the 1920s, in film. The characters, whose full names are Yajirobē and Kitahachi, first appeared in the Tōkaidōchū hizakurige (translated as Shank’s Mare in English, but usually referred to simply as Hizakurige in Japanese), a series of comic stories by Jippensha Ikku (1765-1831) written between 1802 and 1822. 308  112  that he does not remember when he got hit. Kunihara approaches and explains that after he flung him away, the friend was still feeling “happy” and went to bite a nearby telephone pole. His teeth got stuck on some wire, and broke off when he pulled away. “I watched, impressed with your enthusiasm,”309 says Kunihara. The narrator comments that after hearing that story, he wanted to have a drink—he had never felt “happy” enough to go bite a telephone pole.310 The anecdotes are silly and the way they are narrated is humorous, but the key is the opening and the ending, which show the narrator’s conundrum—he cannot drink, but after hearing the stories of his friends, he wants to. The narrator wants to experience what it is like to be in someone else’s mental state, which is what he described in “Nansensu” (the first of the two essays) as ryōki shumi. Itō Riwa asserts that this desire is manifested in Kyūsaku’s series of poems called “Ryōki uta” (Songs of curiosity hunting).311 She writes: Ryōki uta were… an attempt to merge fact and fiction, the self and other. This is the great singularity of Kyūsaku’s literary production. He aimed not to give voice to private  309  Ibid., 260. There is an undercurrent of homoeroticism running through these two anecdotes—one man wakes up to find another sleeping next to him, one man tries to kiss another and ends up kissing a “pole” instead. Unlike Ranpo, who showed great interest in same-sex desire (see Angles, Writing the Love of Boys), Kyūsaku was much more likely to use the incest or femme fatale trope when writing about “abnormal sexuality.” It is possible that the homoeroticism in “Nonsensu” was intended to be humorous for straight readers (in the end, hetero-normativity triumphs when the stranger flees the house and when the drunk friend injures himself on the pole). 311 The entire series of “Ryōki uta” is comprised of 251 poems in 33 installments from 1927 to 1935 in three magazines: Tantei shumi, Ryōki, and Purofiiru. The poems are in the tanka form (31-syllable poems in 5-7-5-7-7 line breaks, each poem divided into three or five lines). Kyūsaku’s first installment was in Tantei shumi, the only time he would publish them in that magazine. His poems appeared in Ryōki from June 1928 until the magazine’s demise in April 1932, and then afterward from December 1933 to December 1935 in Purofiiru. Initial reception to the poems was good and Ryōki encouraged other writers to contribute poems in the same format and with similar contents in hopes of creating a new genre. Poems under the same ryōki uta title were occasionally published next to Kyūsaku’s, but over time the movement faded and the “genre” of ryōki uta became Kyūsaku’s alone (Nishihara, “Kaidai,” 406). 310  113  sentiments or self-expression, but to surpass self and reality, finding a place without distinction between self and other.312 Jeffrey Angles, also commenting on Kyūsaku’s “Ryōki uta,” suggests that the poems go beyond the mere imagining or witnessing of a crime or some other social transgression. [A] number of Kyūsaku’s poems implicate the curiosity-seeking narrator in the crime itself: “In the darkness someone / Is coming this way / I approach and find / It’s me covered in blood . . .” The poem suggests a surrealistic complicity between the curiosityseeking observer who takes a vicarious pleasure in crime and the perpetrator… Still, although the ryōki quest may involve a confrontation with the dark urges contained within the self, it preserves a degree of separation. Kyūsaku’s poem shows the bloody doppelganger emerging from the subconscious darkness of social repression, but the figure remains at a remove from the narrator; in the end, they are not one and same person but two irreconcilable parts of a bifurcated whole.313 Angles recognizes the union between self and other as a product of “curiosity hunting,” but he maintains that a division persists. If Kyūsaku’s Ryōki uta are an expression of the ryōki he described in his essay, “Nansensu”—and which we see again in “Nonsensu”—then bridging the self/other gap is best thought of as an ideal. Nii Itaru offers, perhaps surprisingly given his antipathy toward nansensu in the late 1920s, insight in his commentary to the Gendai ryōki sentan zukan that is useful for thinking about the “irreconcilable parts of a bifurcated whole” that Angles observes in Kyūsaku’s poetry. Nii writes: Just because it is called nansensu does not mean it is necessarily cheerful (hogaraka). Of course the cheerful things are more numerous, but… looking at the results, we can see there are even tragic things, too. [Something] may appear to be nansensu to those watching, but it is a serious and solemn affair for the person doing it. There is a strange blend of the subject’s grief (shukan no hitsū) and the object’s amusement (kyakkan no okashisa)… It appears that such problems of subjectivity (shukantekina mondai) do not form any elements within nansensu, which is to say that subject and object get separated (shukan to kyakkan to ga hanare banare ni natte iru). This is different from the psychology of the clown’s crying smile in which the object’s laugh is predicated on the clown’s grief; with nansensu, no matter how painful or tragic, the [subject and object] are separated, making an issue only of the side of the object.314 312  Itō, Musō no shin’en, 102-3. Angles, “Seeking the Strange,” 125. 314 Nii, “Nansensu mandan,” 119. 313  114  Nii shows a harder edge to nansensu wherein someone might feel pain or be subjected to cruelty. In Kyūsaku’s “Nonsensu,” the narrator wants to drink after he hears the two anecdotes from his friends; in the first one, a man ends up in a funny situation when he wakes up next to a stranger, but in the second, one person has an injured hand and the other has knocked out his teeth on a telephone pole.315 To use Nii’s example, the man was not a clown—he did not break his teeth off on purpose to entertain—rather it was his absurd “happy” behavior resulting in pain that drew Kyūsaku’s interest and stimulated his ryōki shumi. Kyūsaku had exhibited this association of nansensu with pain earlier in his career, too. For example, in December 1927, he responded to a questionnaire from a coterie magazine called Tantei shumi that asked him to list the titles and authors of the works he enjoyed that year and his expectations for 1928. He listed several titles and wrote, “I hope to read stories that perfectly match the ‘honkaku’ (authenticity) and ‘nonsensu’ of stories such as these— though I am not sure such a thing is possible—with enough pain and pleasure to make one feel like dying.”316 Kyūsaku responded to the questionnaire in the context of tantei shōsetsu, or mystery fiction, which was a genre that, like nansensu bungaku, was associated with modanizumu in  315  Sugiyama Tatsumaru, Kyūsaku’s eldest son, recounts a story in “Yumeno Kyūsaku no shōgai” that Kyūsaku once told him about his days as a newspaper reporter, and it is nearly identical to the second incident in “Nonsensu.” Kyūsaku was a teetotaler in real life due to an alcohol allergy, but his son writes that Kyūsaku said that he wanted to try drinking after hearing his friend’s story about the telephone pole (Sugiyama, “Yumeno Kyūsaku no shōgai,” 252). Since this is identical to what the narrator said in Nonsensu, it would appear that this anecdote was the more important of the two, or at least that it had more impact. As for the slight differences between the versions in “Yumeno Kyūsaku no shōgai” and “Nonsensu,” we should assume that, unless Sugiyama Tatsumaru’s memory was incorrect, Kyūsaku altered his oral story to enhance the narrative of his essay (e.g. adding a second friend with an injured hand so that the two friends could be likened to Yaji and Kita). 316 Yumeno, “Ankeeto kaitō,” 322. 115  the late 1920s. Both were concerned with urban culture, but where tantei shōsetsu was mostly about crime, nansensu bungaku presented witty dialogue and funny situations. In Shinseinen, though, the two genres found a common home. After the magazine shifted its focus to nansensu in 1927, it remained the preeminent venue for mystery fiction, but the two hardly mixed. If anything, nansensu may have come at the expense of tantei shōsetsu; it was probably not a coincidence that Ranpo’s self-imposed fourteen-month hiatus from writing overlaps exactly with the magazine’s move to nansensu.317  Nansensu in the Countryside  During the period when Shinseinen was making its foray into nansensu, Kyūsaku stayed active by writing a handful of essays (zuihitsu) and several installments of “Ryōki uta” poetry, but the bulk of his output was a series of episodes about happenings in rural Kyushu called “Inaka, no, jiken” (Incidents, in, the countryside).318 Installments of “Inaka, no, jiken” were carried in Tantei shumi, a coterie magazine for mystery fiction, but this is misleading—there are incidents that involve crimes, but that is not the point of the anecdotes. Instead, I argue that “Inaka, no, jiken” is a form of nansensu bungaku that shows the critical potential alluded to in the quotation by Nii Itaru on the separation of subject and object.  317  Ogawa, “Chakushoku shashin no yume,” 225. Ranpo stopped publishing in May 1927 and did not resume until July 1928, claiming that he had used up his tricks and needed a break. Suzuki Sadami asserts, “Shinseinen’s switch to nansensu as a modan magazine and Ranpo’s hiatus were not unrelated” (Qtd. in ibid., 225). 318 The first appearance of Inaka, no, jiken was the July 1927 edition of Tantei shumi, where Kyūsaku continued to publish the series through June 1928. Subsequent installments appeared in Ryōki, with the final one in January 1930. In all, the series comprised twenty short stories. 116  Humor pervades most of the stories in “Inaka, no, jiken,” but so does pain. Some, like “Ōkina tegakari” (The great clue), are short and devoid of any overt cruelty. In this story, a gambler in need of money steals bags of rice to sell, only to be discovered the next morning taking a nap on the railroad tracks not far away because he is too exhausted from the exertion of having done something physical for the first time in a long while. He is easily found because the cart he used left deep ruts in the wet ground. In “Kanchigai no kanchigai” (Misunderstanding of a misunderstanding), a cop sees a suspicious man climbing over a guardrail on the street. The man runs and the cop gives chase, cornering him in a shed. It turns out he is the most honest man in town, and when the cop scolds him for running, the man replies, “I thought it’d be terrible to be taken for a thief.”319 Sometimes, the humor is darker and more painful, as in “Hanayome no shitagui” (Eating the bride’s tongue). In a small town where locals believe in a fearsome-looking Buddhist guardian deity called fudō myōō  (Acala in Sanskrit), a man suddenly stands, makes  an ugly face, and declares that Acala has entered him. His wife and children cry and yell, but word gets out and believers come in droves. One day, a pretty young woman, just married, comes and he says he will purify her for the sins of her previous life. He instructs her to stick out her tongue, and proceeds to put the whole thing in his mouth and suck on it. Her eyes closed and trembling, the young bride is embarrassed to have this happen in front of everyone, but it gets worse when, suddenly, he bites her tongue off and swallows it. She dies in agony. A doctor later concludes that he had had syphilis for some time and his mind was not right. The narrator offsets the horror with a little twist in the final sentence, explaining  319  Yumeno, “Inaka, no, jiken,” 52. 117  that, since then, the number of Acala followers has decreased because they think that believing in him will cause one to catch syphilis. Other episodes in “Inaka, no, jiken” are even harder to laugh at, as in the case of “Fūfu no kokūzō” (The married couple’s Ākāśagarbha), which is about a seemingly mentally ill couple who live outside town and sells their children for food and liquor.320 There is no twist at the end of “Fūfu no kokūzō” to give levity or critical distance; only a sense of unease remains. In “Akai matsubara” (The red pine grove), a begging monk and two street entertainers (a man and a woman) live together in huts they built in a grove of pines planted along the seashore to block the wind. Every morning they go to town to get money, and at night they draw curious onlookers who come to see them playing music and dancing at their hut. These three get on well, but they break up when the economy turns sour. While the male street entertainer shaves his head and dresses like a monk so that he can beg in town, the female entertainer moves in with the monk. The male entertainer (who now looks like a monk) abandons his old hut and is no longer seen in town. The villagers observe the romantic triangle with amusement, but things turn tragic one winter night when there is a fire in the village. After the fire is put out, the source is traced back to the two huts in the pine grove. Amongst the ashes the villagers find the half-burned remains of the male and female street entertainers. She has been strangled, and when the man’s skull is pulled out of the ashes, a tube of rat poison rolls out from behind white teeth, “causing everyone to shudder” (mina zotto saserareta).”321  320  The characters for the word kokūzō refer to Ākāśagarbha, a bodhisattva associated with the element of space, but here it is a pun for child (ko), eat (kū) and cellar (zō). 321 Ibid., 60. 118  Scholar Junko Ikezu Williams uses Nishihara Kazumi’s term inaka modanizumu (rural modernism) to explain both Kyūsaku’s attachment to rural culture and the unique tenor of “Inaka, no, jiken.” She writes: There existed a Japan that still lay outside of urban modernization, and Yumeno paradoxically showed it to the cosmopolitan urban readers who sought out city life and mass culture… Yumeno states that his stories reflected the reality of life in provincial Japan… He adds a tone of nonsense and dark humor in describing rustic country folks, but as a whole, “Incidents, in, the Countryside” highlights the primitiveness that persisted in Japan at the age of the modern regardless of the recognition or ignorance of the urban perspective.322 The “nonsense” to which she refers is evident in the absurdity of events such as those in Hanayome no shitagui, but also in the seemingly inexplicable, and often cruel, things that people do to each other. Discourses of nansensu and modanizumu were tightly bound, and the nonsensical, witty conversation of the urban mobo and moga were the standard association, but Kyūsaku showed that a similar wit could be applied to the countryside, too. There are several anecdotes in “Inaka, no, jiken” that capture the friction between urban/modern and rural/traditional. In one example, “Ari to hae” (Ants and flies), a young woman suspected of having aborted a six-month old fetus claims to have an “alibi,” a modern word that confuses her ignorant mother; she takes alibi to mean something like ari and hae, “ants” and “flies.” The young woman explains that her alibi is that she is a virgin, and a doctor can verify it. As word spreads, the villagers come to equate “alibi” with “virginity.” Even in this story, which is based on an amusing pun, the specter of horror—an aborted fetus found in a field—remains. In the episode titled “Suiitopotetō” (Sweet potato), Kyūsaku makes an explicit parody of the moga and mobo figures. Word gets out that a young couple has failed in their double  322  Williams, ““Visions and Narratives,” 184-85. 119  suicide attempt and villagers go to the police station to see them questioned. Both look like “miyako no mono” (city people)323—his hair is slicked back like a student’s and her momoware hairstyle is done up in the Tokyo shitamachi fashion.324 The middle-aged police officer, who appears to have been drinking, arrives and says to the couple, “So, you two are sweet potatoes (suiito potetō), eh.”325 The young man indignantly replies that they are suiito hāto (sweethearts), explaining that hāto is heart (shinzō) and potetō is potato (imo). As the onlookers laugh, the policeman himself chuckles and, twisting his moustache, suggests that the two are really the same thing. The crowd goes quiet and he continues: “Both spread seeds in unnecessary places and rot when stuck together, eh, how about it?”326 The onlookers explode with laughter while the young man trembles and the girl sobs on his knee, only now realizing they were being mocked the whole time. The final lines read, “The policeman, his arms still crossed, looked up at the ceiling. ‘Ah ha ha, damned idiots. Aaah ha ha ha ha!’”327 In the episode, the middle-aged rural policeman gets the last laugh at the expense of the young man’s assumption that he doesn’t understand trendy foreign words. Kyūsaku is not writing nansensu bungaku in the narrow sense of the term, but the episodes in “Inaka, no, jiken,” with their emphasis on word play and absurd or headscratching events, represent a special kind of modernist nansensu just at the time that nansensu was catching the public’s imagination. Suzuki Sadami claims that nansensu in the late 1920s “clearly entails the will to escape from the spirit of modern order (kindaiteki 323  Yumeno, “Inaka, no, jiken,” 52. The momoware, or “split peach,” was so called because of the way the hair on the sides was tied together to leave the bangs swept up in front and resembling a revealed peach pit. It was popular with young women from the Edo period through the Showa period. 325 Ibid., 52. 326 Ibid., 53. 327 Ibid., 53. 324  120  chitsujo)” and that the category of nansensu bungaku should be expanded to include authors—including Kyūsaku—who project this “sense” (kankaku) of departure.328 Kyūsaku not only showed a strong affinity for nansensu, but as seen in “Inaka, no, jiken,” he was able to use it in an unsettling way. Moreover, he would come back to several of his works in order to rewrite (or reinforce) the nansensu sensibility later in his career. He did this by writing the two essays with nansensu in the title (“Nansensu” in 1929 and “Nonsensu” in 1935), but I believe that he also revisited two other works of fiction he wrote in 1928. The first, “Yūbinkyoku” (Post office), was part of the June 1928 installment of “Inaka, no, jiken” and the second was “Shigo no koi” (Love after death) from October 1928. My first analysis will take up “Yūbinkyoku” and the January 1935 story that I consider its rewrite, “Warau oshi onna” (The laughing mute woman); my second analysis will be about “Shigo no koi” and “Senjō” (Battlefield), a story published in May 1936.  Nansensu Gets the Last Laugh  “Yūbinkyoku” (Post office) tells the story of an eighteen-year old girl, O-Yae, who lives alone with her sixty-something father. O-Yae is mentally retarded, and also happens to be the village beauty. At the bathhouse one evening, her father notices that she is pregnant. He asks her who the father is, but she can only say over and over that she doesn’t know. Meanwhile, a group of young men from the village have been spying on them, snickering and making comments. O-Yae’s father finally notices the youths, grabs a hatchet and disappears stark naked into the dark forest to attack them, but he is found dead in the morning, having 328  Suzuki, “Shōwa modanizumu to Shinseinen,” 118. The word for “modern” here, kindai, refers to the modernity of the Meiji period and not the modanizumu of the 1920s. 121  apparently fallen into a well behind the shrine. O-Yae, with no one to watch her, has eaten the previous night’s leftovers, including the bran used for pickling, and she is found by villagers weak and stinky from a horrible bout of diarrhea. When a policeman arrives to investigate, he is surprised to learn that boys come not just from her village, but from surrounding villages to ridicule her—she is known as Yūbinkyoku, a nickname that translates as “post office.”329 In the end, however, no one can identify the father of O-Yae’s unborn child. Later, the village head’s son returns from medical school and enlists his mother to help O-Yae, which leads to rumors that he is the father, but when the village head finds out, he makes his son and wife stop helping her. Just two or three days later, a new rumor—which proves true—spreads that O-Yae died giving birth. Everyone who ran to see O-Yae was surprised to find she looked like a different person. Perhaps because there was no one to feed her, her beautiful, buxom build had dwindled away, and she lay on her back looking like a skeleton. With just half of a leg from her dead child sticking out, it appeared that she died in great anguish—both of her hands were dug into the shabby tatami mat and her entire body was stiffened in the shape of an arched bridge. But people said that the most horrific part of it all was the sight of her two pure-white eyes, open wide and peeking out from beneath her wildly tangled hair.330 Journalist and scholar Yamamoto Iwao (b. 1941) writes that the focus of the story is not the pathos of O-Yae’s fate or the immorality of the local youth. Rather, he sees the crux of the story in two points: 1) the humorous portrayal of the young men spying on O-Yae and her father, and 2) the irony of her physical body becoming an expression of the misery forced upon her—which she does not recognize herself—by the cruelty and lewdness that come  329  The nickname of “post office” seems odd, but would seem to be a metaphor wherein O-Yae is the place where packages (young men in the area) are collected and then sent along to their homes. The double meaning of “deliver” in English (e.g. packages and babies) is not conveyed in Japanese, thus the nickname is probably meant only to emphasize her sexuality. 330 Yumeno, “Inaka, no, jiken,” 62. 122  with living as part of a communal body.331 Lunatics, eccentrics, and idiots crop up in a number of Kyūsaku’s stories, and while they often encounter great hardship, they also receive sympathy from the narrator and other characters, and O-Yae is no exception. Her responses to her father’s questions about the father of her unborn child are straightforward and disarming, all the while “her smile beautiful and innocent (mujaki) was like that of a goddess (megami).”332 In “Warau oshi onna” (The laughing mute woman) from January 1935, the protagonist is a woman from the hinin (outcast) class named O-Hana. She is mentally handicapped, able only to speak in sounds that others in the story compare to various animal sounds. The first lines of the story are hers: “Kikiki… kee kee… kikikiki,” and at other points her voice comes out variously as, “Awa awa awa awa awa, ebe ebe ebe ebe ebe” or “Gya gya gya gya gya gya,” and so on.333 O-Hana is unable to communicate using her words, but similar to O-Yae from “Yūbinkyoku,” she attracts men. Also like O-Yae, O-Hana is left alone—and pregnant—after her father’s death. O-Hana went into hiding after she got pregnant, and her father committed suicide because of the grief of losing his daughter. No one had seen her since, but as “Warau oshi onna” begins, she appears, full-term, at the wedding celebration for Sumio, the man who impregnated her. She approaches him, making gibberish noises, crying and rubbing her stomach. He has just graduated from medical school—he will be the first doctor from the village—and the others at the party assume she has sought him out to help deliver the baby, but Sumio knows the truth. In a flashback, the narrator describes Sumio during the previous summer vacation, having just finished his graduation paper, walking  331  Yamamoto, Yumeno Kyūsaku no basho, 17. Yumeno, “Inaka, no, jiken,” 61. 333 Yumeno, “Warau oshi onna,” 302-8. 332  123  along a forest path. A smart, well-behaved young man of twenty-four years, he was loved by his instructors and on his way to a successful career as a doctor. He was also still a virgin, but now he has decided to seek out O-Hana. As Sumio goes deeper into the forest, he is steadily overcome by an erotic charge, the smells of the forest “enfolding him like a frightening female body odor,”334 and his breathing grows labored. Soon his entire body is brought to a frenzied fever pitch, when suddenly, he hears an odd sound he thinks is a bird or animal: “Ke ke ke ke ke ke ke ke ke…” He looks up and sees O-Hana beckoning to him from the second floor of an abandoned storehouse. In the shadow of her hand was visible a young woman’s face as white as if it had been painted, eerie red lips, eyes that shone with divine purity, and abundant hair tangled on her forehead. Her white teeth shone beautifully in the bright sunlight pouring into the window. “… Kikiki… hihihi… kekeke…” Like a ghost, beautiful and bewitching. A dazzling seductiveness…a fairy out in midday…335 The narrative shifts back to the present, and Sumio resolves that he must kill O-Hana. She is the only one who knows of his mistake, and he thinks she has come to seek revenge. Though she cannot speak, the possibility she might somehow expose his secret gnaws at him. Late in the night, he leaves his new bride to go out to the shed where O-Hana is sleeping so that he can poison her with a capsule that he has filled with morphine hydrochloride, but he gets a surprise: “The mute woman leapt out and wrapped herself suddenly around his waist. She laughed joyously from the heart.”336 Sumio’s bride, Hatsue, shows up and sees O-Hana and Sumio in this position. At that moment, the hair-raising figure clinging to him raised her filthy left hand and pointed to Hatsue’s face. She laughed as though gloating in triumph. 334  Ibid., 312. Ibid., 312-13. 336 Ibid., 315. 335  124  “Kekekeke…ebe ebe ebe…kikikiki…” … He put the capsule in his own mouth. Staring at the flickering light of the moon glinting off of the water in the beaker, he gathered up his courage and drank it down.337 O-Hana has exacted her revenge. In “Yūbinkyoku,” O-Yae’s fate is tragic and gruesome. By contrast, O-Hana triumphs over Sumio despite being—or perhaps because she is—crazy, excessively sexualized, animalized, and a social outcast. Yamamoto Iwao sees in both O-Yae and O-Hana “an anarchical vitality that cannot help but refuse and destroy the ideals and order laid out in modern intellectual thought,”338 but I would add that the stories operate on different levels of intensity. O-Hana’s laugh in “Warau oshi onna” is not pure or disarming like O-Yae’s. O-Yae is stupid, but she can speak. O-Hana can only make meaningless animal-like noises, but there is a righteous vindictiveness in that voice—an idiot, or hakuchi as she called in the story, overwhelms Sumio, the promising young doctor. Kyūsaku injects “Warau oshi onna” with a beefed-up, aggressive nansensu, both in terms of O-Hana’s gibberish and in the premise that she is able to show up at the right time to exact her revenge. Where O-Yae’s gruesome death feels almost too realistic, O-Hana survives.  Nansensu of War  Next I turn to “Shigo no koi” (Love after death) and “Senjō” (Battlefield). Both stories use war as a backdrop and are written in a style worthy of being labeled ero guro nansensu, but I argue that nansensu in “Senjō” is used to criticize escalating militarism and the authority of the nation-state. “Shigo no koi” was published in the October 1928 edition of  337 338  Ibid., 316. Yamamoto, Yumeno Kyūsaku no basho, 25. 125  Shinseinen, marking just his third story to be published with the magazine. Set in Siberia in the summer of 1918, “Shigo no koi” tells the story of a soldier in the Russian White Army named Vasily and his relationship with a fellow soldier named Ljatnikov.339 “Shigo no koi” begins with Vasily introducing himself to a Japanese soldier (the narrator) stationed in Vladivostok and imploring him to listen to his story of “love after death,” an “extremely grave tale with momentous historical implications.”340 Vasily, who is desperate for someone to validate his tale, tells the soldier that others who have heard his story dismiss him as insane. A self-admitted coward who claims aristocratic heritage, Vasily begins his tale by describing his friendship with Ljatnikov, a teenage boy, also of aristocratic background, who had joined his unit. One day, a tearful Ljatnikov, upset at hearing a rumor on the radio that his family had been murdered by Bolsheviks, reveals to Vasily spectacular jewels in his possession. Vasily has heard the same rumor, but the murdered family in question is that of the tsar. The tsar had several daughters and only one son, who could not be Ljatnikov, thus Vasily cannot make sense of Ljatnikov’s confession. Nevertheless, Vasily is bedazzled by the jewels, and does not doubt that Ljatnikov is of the highest nobility. Not long after this incident, Vasily and Ljatnikov are part of a small patrol sent to inform a Japanese unit that the White Army has arrived in a nearby town when they are ambushed by the Red Army and Vasily is shot in the thigh. Before passing out, he sees the rest of the unit fleeing to a nearby grove amidst gunfire. Upon regaining consciousness at dusk, he makes his way to the grove; in recounting his tale, Vasily attributes his courage to continue on to the grove to the allure of Ljatnikov’s jewels. Once there, he encounters a grotesque  339  All proper names and quotations for “Shigo no koi” come from Jeffrey Angles’s translation, “Love after Death.” 340 Yumeno, “Love after Death,” 305. 126  scene—all of his comrades have been mutilated and murdered, including Ljatnikov. Yumeno uses detailed and graphic prose. Tied to each of the huge tree trunks that encircled the hollow in the grove was a corpse. The corpses were stripped completely naked… Someone had gouged out their eyes, bashed in their teeth, and nearly torn off their ears. The monsters had even hacked the space between the thighs of the dying men to bits. Lines of blood – some as thick as bundles of yarn, some as thin as thread – trailed from each of the wounds and wrapped themselves around the bodies. Blood continued to flow sluggishly down the trunks to the roots of the trees, while the heads of the corpses hung lifelessly against their chests. Those with a mouth ripped open wore an idiotic expression…… Those with a nose cut off seemed to be almost smiling…… As the leaves began to burn faster, and the flames leapt higher, the bodies appeared to quiver and slowly move up and down… When I looked at where the chest of the petty officer had been hollowed out, I felt as if someone had grabbed me and pulled on my uniform so hard that all the buttons popped off. When I looked at the commissioned officer whose throat was slit, I felt someone was wrenching out my Adam’s apple even as the blood gushed forth from it… …… If people say I’m a madman, there is no doubt in my mind that my madness began right then and there.341 To Vasily’s shock, Ljatnikov, hanging naked from a tree, is revealed to be female. Apparently captured alive, she has been raped and then shot in the abdomen by a Red Army soldier who loaded her jewels into a gun. The skin and muscles around that area had been ripped open by the blasts, and a loop of entrails as big as the palm of my hand hung from the opening. Glued to its pale surface were a number of diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and pieces of topaz. Though soaked in blood, they glittered in the light of the fire.342 With his tale concluded, Vasily continues to entreat the Japanese soldier (the narrator) to believe his story, but to no avail. Vasily carries on as if in conversation, but the text shows only his side of the conversation. The Japanese soldier’s words, if they exist, are rendered by strings of dots. Kyūsaku also used this device at the beginning of “Shigo no koi” when Vasily first approached the Japanese soldier, but as Vasily grows more agitated near the end of the story, it is clear that he may be talking to himself. Finally, Vasily takes the blood341 342  Ibid., 317-18. Ibid., 318. 127  encrusted jewels, which he considers proof that Ljatnikov had loved him, from his pocket and falls into clipped and panicky sentences as he reveals the final twist—Ljatnikov was actually the Grand Duchess Anastasia and had been cross dressing as a man. The fate of the real Anastasia, whose death had not been confirmed at the time that the Romanov family was executed, was subject to much popular speculation at the time. In the following month’s (November 1928) edition of Shinseinen, several writers noted their positive impressions of “Shigo no koi” in the “Microphone” (mikurufon) portion of the magazine, a section in which feedback from writers and readers was published. In 1969, novelist and translator Nakata Kōji (b. 1927) recalled the impact of Kyūsaku’s fiction on him as a teenager during WWII, writing about “Shigo no koi” that, “For me, the writing of Yumeno Kyūsaku was first and foremost a gurotesuku na sekai (grotesque world). The shock I received was truly hair raising, full of dark fear and bitter pain.”343 The ramblings of a shell-shocked Vasily can be read as nansensu, but as Nakata says, the guro imagery is what lingers from Shigo no koi. One might even consider Ljatnikov’s mutilated body riddled with jewels or the “love” shared by Vasily and Ljatnikov to be a kind of ero. However, nansensu is more difficult to identify. While “Shigo no koi” is established as one of Kyūsaku’s masterpieces, “Senjō” is, at best, an afterthought within his oeuvre. Kyūsaku died in March 1936 and “Senjō” was published posthumously in the May 1936 edition of Kaizō. Kaizō published many works of literature, mostly in the “pure literature” category, but other genres, such as proletarian literature, were often featured. Kaizō was a target of censors from the mid-1920s due to its inclusion of articles that dealt with socialist and other left-leaning philosophies, but the magazine  343  Nakata, “Shōnen no hi no kurai shōgeki to senritsu,” 303. 128  successfully maintained its status as a mass-market publication through the early Showa period. “Senjō” was published not long after the February 26th Incident, an attempted military coup d’état, and the subtitle for Kaizō in May was “Special edition: A study of the national armed forces and an examination of Finance Minister Baba.” As usual for Kaizō, there were several original works of fiction in the sōsaku (creative works) section, and in addition there were three short essays on springtime, but “Senjō” was the only stand-alone story included amongst the various reports and opinion pieces on the military.344 By virtue of making war its explicit focus, Senjō fit into that month’s overall theme, but the story’s setting was somewhat removed from current affairs—at least on the surface. The narrator’s short foreword to Senjō informs the reader that what follows is an excerpt from an essay called “Sensō no rimen” (The hidden side of war), an unusual piece written by an acquaintance named Orcus Claudel that purports to expose a “bloody cross-section” of the German spirit.345 The narrator explains that Germany during WWI was a powerful emerging nation, much like contemporary Japan. Claudel is a Polish-born French literature specialist who worked for a time at a Nagasaki hospital following his stint in as a medical doctor during WWI. He is ugly and feeble, but the reader is assured that he is a cultured man of the highest sort, exceptional as a surgeon, and highly capable of expressing the “shudders” and “curses” of war. The story proper (Claudel’s letter) begins with the following lines: …… Ohhh…… the Devil. I put a curse upon war. I grow ill at the very mention of the word ‘war.’ War is the howl of inanimate physics and science, raging without purpose. 344  The sōsaku section included a play by leftist playwright Fujimori Seikichi (1892-1977), and short stories by Serizawa Kōjirō (1896-1993), another leftist, and Kawabata Yasunari (1899-1972). The springtime essays were by Ibuse Masuji (1898-1993), Takeuchi Itsu (18911980) and Satō Hachirō (1903-73). 345 In Roman mythology, Orcus is the god of the dead, similar to Hades, who punishes evildoers in the afterlife. 129  War is the meaningless dancing and jumping about of a line of pale corpses from amongst which masses of human beings, once brilliantly ablaze with life, mow each other down relentlessly without feeling or interest, their bodies torn asunder, rotting, tetanic and poisoned. … The stench of poisoned morality – reach out and touch them… And shudder.346 Following this opening screed, the setting of “Senjō” jumps to Verdun in January 1916. Claudel, a medical officer, has been sent from Berlin to the front in anticipation of the coming offensive to be launched against the French army. The commanding officer of the medical corps, Waldersee, is a gung-ho, dashing figure with a Kaiser moustache who tells Claudel that handling wounded soldiers on the front is not like the medical care they perform in Berlin—at the front, it is paramount to get them back into battle.347 The offensive begins and Claudel recalls the noise and rumbling of the shells. The temperature is well below freezing as the bodies start to come in. Magnesium flares light up the sky on a night so cold that Claudel recalls the urge to sink his frozen hands into the wounded soldiers’ warm, exposed innards. As in “Shigo no koi,” the wounds are ghastly: limbs and skull fragments are missing, guts dangle out, and horror-stricken soldiers weep for their mothers. Waldersee has Claudel round up a large group of the wounded and tells Claudel that he will show him “the underside of war,”348 the secret to the strength of the German army. As the wounded are led deep into the forest, pockmarked by shells and littered with dead bodies, Claudel’s attention is drawn to a “young boy, beautiful like a woman (onna  346  Yumeno, “Senjō,” 233. Waldersee is the Romanization of , which could imaginatively be rendered in Chinese characters as (“evil emerges”). Besides Waldersee and Orcus Claudel, there is a minor character named Karl Kemmerich of the Franken Stein Engineering Regiment ( ) who assists Waldersee in his scheming. As these examples suggest, names are indicative of character types in this novel. 348 Ibid., 239. 347  130  no yōna bishōnen)”349 with unkempt blonde hair. Seemingly blinded in battle, the boy’s face, “with its double fold eyelids and clear, blue eyes staring into the nearly minus-twenty degree air” is expressionless, and his “trembling eyebrows, long and thin like those of a woman, are the only sign to betray his pain and suffering.”350 As Claudel wipes away the boy’s tears, the boy confides that his name is Paul Heinrich, a member of an old family from the Kingdom of Saxony, and he begs Claudel to deliver a safe key and his will to his new bride. Heinrich’s stepmother and a lawyer are plotting to take over the family’s fortune, and Heinrich believes that he was sent to Verdun (and almost certain death) as a result of the lawyer’s connections. Without a child to inherit the Heinrich estate, the stepmother and lawyer will take over. Claudel is entrusted with the delivery of the key and documentation that will ensure the survival of the family according to Heinrich’s wishes. Claudel considers receiving the trust of such a “beautiful, pure youth”351 the most cherished memory of his life. Finally, they arrive at an abandoned building in the forest, inside of which are several other wounded soldiers and a mound of corpses saturated in oil, presumably to be burned. Waldersee, his countenance demonic, goes around with Claudel to examine the wounds of the nearly one hundred soldiers gathered there. Claudel gets a sinking feeling as he realizes Waldersee wants him to see that all the wounds are self-inflicted. Waldersee then has the soldiers, who look like pale corpses in the moonlight, line up—it is a scene that Claudel says he will never forget. Waldersee chastises the soldiers for being traitors and tells them that the doctor’s duty is to ferret out cowards like them because sending them back home with  349  Ibid., 240. Ibid., 240. The boy is described in erotic terms, and the mention of his “double fold eyelids,” or futae mabuta, plays up his exoticism for the Japanese readership. It is not likely that a European man would take pains to describe this facial feature. 351 Ibid., 244. 350  131  pensions and medals would be bad for the nation. Moreover, he explains that the “expansion of the great German race” and their work to lead the way in learning, economics, engineering and the “development of human culture” is under attack by “cowards” and “barbarians.”352 Those who would inflict wounds on themselves to avoid fighting are “hikokumin” (nonpatriots), worse than Bolsheviks, and as such, their cowardice must be dealt with and hidden. Nearly all the soldiers are crying, and several beg to go back to the front, but Heinrich, the beautiful boy, is smiling. At the last moment, Waldersee grants them a reprieve from the execution and gives a motivational speech before sending them back to battle. Claudel realizes the whole scene was an elaborate setup, and is convinced that Waldersee is a “demon sucking the blood of the soldiers.”353 Heinrich had already seen through Waldersee’s ploy, thus his smile. As the soldiers hobble away, Claudel reflects: …… What exactly are they going off to do? …… Is this what war is about? Do they go off to war really knowing what it means? They head off to war not for nation or family… …… Is this war? Is this war? If making fellow humans kill each other like this is war, then where is the meaning?... … Utterly fatigued, I felt as though I were drowning at the bottom of a limitless sea of doubt, and the more I thought about this ‘philosophy of war,’ the deeper I was sucked into the whirlpool. The black earthen field stretching as far as the eye could see, the lights and flames of Verdun, the thunderous roar of battle, the mountain of corpses, the trees snapped and destroyed in the forest, and of course the beautiful young cadet, and so on— I could only think of these as projections of my doubt. With these thoughts I turned to look up to the sky. Perhaps that waning, jagged-edged moon shining whitely in the great sky above, its light frozen solid, was the crystallization of all my doubts toward war. A beam of light and doubt at minus 273 degrees…354 This is how “Senjō” ends, on a note of doubt and an ellipsis suggesting the story is unresolved. This is also how “Shigo no koi” ends, but there are other parallels between the  352  Ibid., 250. Ibid., 254. 354 Ibid., 255-56. 353  132  two stories, too. Both feature fighting by European soldiers in a similar historical period (WWI and the Russian Civil War), use grotesque scenes of carnage during battle to build tension and an eerie atmosphere, and both bookend those battle scenes with monologues. Ljatnikov (Duchess Anastasia) and Heinrich are both beautiful, androgynous characters who come from aristocratic families and become victims of war, and they both bring to the battlefield symbols of their nobility that they, in turn, share with the respective narrators. Both Ljatnikov’s jewels and Heinrich’s key and will are said to be essential to ensuring the continuity of their family lines. Moreover, both Ljatnikov and Heinrich share an erotic bond with the narrator, inspiring great sympathy and emotion. The climactic scenes in both novels are constructed similarly—soldiers pass through a forest at night, seemingly into a different world, where they face horrible visions of death brought into relief by eerie lighting. The lighting in the climax of “Shigo no koi” comes from the fire that engulfs the grove, while in “Senjō” it comes from the light of the moon and magnesium flares on a freezing February night. Additionally, however, there are several key differences. The battle scene in “Shigo no koi” is set amidst the Russian Civil War and fighting between opposing armies, but in “Senjō,” the German army perpetrates the atrocities against fellow soldiers in their own army. Since Germany and Japan had been compared earlier in the story, the possibility that the same atrocities could be committed by the Japanese army is raised; the horror of war has shifted from ‘them’ to ‘us.’ Another difference is that, unlike Vasily, the possibly insane protagonist of “Shigo no koi,” Orcus Claudel is presented as a cultured and competent man, and thus a reliable source. And whereas Vasily’s monologues before and after his “tale of love after death” are about finding someone to legitimate his story and perhaps help him  133  recover his sanity, Claudel’s are more universal; the purpose of telling his story is not to verify his own state of mind, but to raise critical awareness toward the senselessness of war. Allusions to Japan in “Shigo no koi” are at a slight remove from the main narration, which keeps Japan’s relationship with war tangential. Though the reader presumes that Vasily is addressing a Japanese soldier, it is never clear that the conversation exists outside his own mind (the Japanese soldier’s words never appear, and the reader must guess what he says based on Vasily’s ongoing speech), and likewise, the reader never encounters the Japanese unit that Vasily’s group was trying to find when ambushed by the Red Army. In “Senjō,” despite the absence of any Japanese characters (outside of the recipient of Claudel’s letter, who presumably translated the excerpt from German into Japanese), there is a line in the foreword that likens contemporary Japan to WWI-era Germany. Additionally, Waldersee’s rhetoric of minzoku (ethnic nation) and spreading national culture through empire-building carry obvious connotations for Japan in 1936. Japan had relatively little involvement in WWI, and though Japanese troops were part of a drawn out campaign in Siberia from 1918-1922 that resulted in approximately 5,000 casualties, Japan had not been involved in a war on a massive scale since the Russo-Japanese War in 1904-1905. Kyūsaku’s choice to overlay the ten-month long Battle of Verdun, one of the fiercest and bitterest of WWI, with Germany and contemporary Japan was perhaps a warning to readers about the road that lay ahead as Japan’s military mobilization continued in the 1930s. The ero of “Shigo no koi” and “Senjō” is mostly to be found in the sexually ambiguous Ljatnikov and Heinrich and their relationships to the narrators. More prominent is the guro, especially in the depictions of mutilated bodies. It is important here to note that while “Shigo no koi,” published in 1928 in Shinseinen, was not subject to censorship, the version of “Senjō”  134  published by Kaizō in 1936 was censored in several parts with fuseji (the X marks used to replace characters) and strings of dots for longer passages.355 For the 1936 Kaizō version, censors targeted the word sensō (war), censoring it in approximately half the instances it was used, and they also altered graphic descriptions of wounds (especially those that were selfinflicted or caused by fellow soldiers). The word sensō was replaced by fuseji mostly at the beginning and end of the story in the anti-war portions of Claudel’s letter. Thus, the portion quoted earlier in this paper appeared as: …… Ohhh…… the Devil. I put a curse upon XX. I grow ill just at the mention of the word ‘XX.’ XX is the howl of inanimate physics and science, raging without purpose. XX is the meaningless dancing and jumping about of a line of pale corpses…356 The quotation from the end looks like this (the two sections in parentheses with italics added were cut entirely in the Kaizō version): …… What exactly are they going off to do? …… Is this what XX is about? Do they go off to XX really knowing the meaning of war? Their heading off to XX is not for their nation or for their families… (…… Is this war? Is this war? If making fellow humans kill each other like this is war, then where is the meaning?...) … Utterly fatigued, I felt as though I were drowning at the bottom of a limitless sea of doubt, and the more I thought about this ‘philosophy of XX,’ the deeper I was sucked into the whirlpool…. Perhaps that waning, jagged-edged moon shining whitely in the great sky above, its light frozen solid, was the crystallization of all my doubts (toward war). A beam of light and doubt at minus 273 degrees…357 Curiously enough, sensō (war) is left uncensored at times, and, as in the quotation above, it is both censored and left alone in the very same passage. Considering that the main topic of Kaizō that month was war, and the name of the novel was “Senjō” (Battlefield), it would not 355  Post-WWII versions of “Senjō” were not censored in compendiums of Kyūsaku’s work that were published in 1969 by San’ichi shobō and in 1991 by Chikuma shobō. “Senjō” is included in volume six in both collections. 356 Yumeno, “Senjō,” 149. 357 Ibid., 175-76. 135  require much imagination for the reader to guess what had been edited. Nevertheless, the sight of the fuseji does give a different impression and injects a slight amount of ambiguity, especially at the beginning of the story. By the end of the story, however, the anti-war tone would have been unmistakable. In addition to the example of the word “war,” there are several other words and phrases that are censored, only to appear somewhere else in the text. The word mikata (friend/ally), used in reference to wounds either self-inflicted or inflicted by fellow soldiers, is omitted, as are other phrases that allude to self-wounding, yet that explicitly becomes the topic of Waldersee’s speech during the climax. The sections that describe wounds were most heavily edited, but even in those cases, only the most visually graphic turns of phrase were elided. The use of fuseji to replace two-character compounds, such as sensō, was an obvious marker of censorship, but less obvious was the use of a string of dots when longer passages were erased. Throughout his career, Kyūsaku frequently used strings of dots to indicate silence or the trailing off of a character’s speech, and a reader of “Senjō” who was familiar with his style might not realize which strings of dots were the product of censorship and which were part of Kyūsaku’s original draft. Nevertheless, the strings of dots in most cases were quite conspicuous, and even when a section had been censored, an equivalent or near-equivalent expression survived elsewhere; the anti-war tone would not have been dramatically altered for the reader. It is even arguable that the censored parts gave freer reign to the readers’ imagination. According to Jonathan Abel, the “heyday” of X fuseji lasted from 1927 to 1936, and “Senjō” was published during the tail end of that period.358 Censorship at the time was carried out by both authors and editors, but in the case of Senjō, the changes were almost  358  Abel, “Pages Crossed,” 173. 136  certainly made by the editors—“Senjō” was a posthumous publication, and further, the handwritten manuscript Kyūsaku submitted to Kaizō was not self-censored.359 In addition to the various guro expressions that were altered, it is notable that a nansensurelated phrase was also censored. Claudel, recalling the beginning of the battle in Verdun, likens the sound to the eerie bakabayashi (Japanese festival music) he once heard in Tokyo.360 Just as at Verdun, I had to fight the urge to vomit that welled up from deep within my stomach. Since then a shiver has seeped into the hollow of my spine and lodged itself there… A bakabayashi of iron, fire and concrete to pulverize and scorn blood, flesh, bone and spirit… The greatest horror on earth performed by a (Nonsensu) Orchestra of the highest magnitude.361 The word “nonsensu” appears only once in the text and does not seem especially worthy of censorship in this context. It is hard to know what prompted its deletion; perhaps it was simply due to the association with ero guro nansensu, which was disappearing rapidly from print media by the middle of 1936.362 I wrote earlier that nansensu was a term that resisted cooption more effectively than ero or guro, and the censorship in “Senjō” of a seemingly innocuous iteration of it suggests that nansensu, in any context, posed a threat to authority in 1930s Japan.  359  The manuscript has purple stamps that say Kaizō no in (Seal of Kaizō) on every page. Other stamps, such as shin (new), ka (addition) and kō (good) appear on multiple pages, and there is evidence on some pages of editing with a red pencil that was probably done by Kaizō. The parts that were crossed out and rewritten in Kyūsaku’s handwriting are in the same color as the rest of the text). The uncensored versions of “Senjō” that appeared in postwar compendia were mostly likely restored from this handwritten manuscript. 360 In the foreword, the Japanese narrator explains that Claudel was brought in to work at a hospital in Nagasaki sometime after the war. The narrator met Claudel when he was admitted to the Nagasaki hospital following a train accident. 361 Yumeno, “Senjō,” 153. “Nonsensu” was replaced by a string of dots in the Kaizō version, and I have added it in to this passage to show how it would have read. 362 The censoring of nonsensu here may help explain in part why Kyūsaku used Chinese characters to write the title of his essay, Nonsensu, in early 1935. 137  Nansensu and Noh  In 1928, when “Shigo no koi” appeared in Shinseinen, war was still somewhat distant. The Peace Preservation Law of 1925 had been enacted three years prior by the government as a means of quelling opposing (leftist) political beliefs and invoking the kokutai (national polity) as an emotionally-charged concept that allowed authorities to undercut liberalparliamentary processes, but the Manchurian Incident, which occurred in September 1931 and would kick off Japan’s Fifteen Year War, was still three years away.363 War may not have been at the forefront of people’s minds, but the government was taking steps to militarize. On July 4, 1928, the Kenpeitai (Military Police Corps) established a position for a head of the Thought Police (shisō gakari),364 and throughout the year Japan was dispatching troops to northern China.365 At the same time, cinema, Tokyo café culture, and mass literature were booming, and nansensu, which was assuming the vanguard of modanizumu, was on the ascent. Although I have focused on the connection between nansensu and modanizumu up to this point, a unique aspect of Kyūsaku’s nansensu is the influence of traditional art, especially noh theater.366 In Nō to wa nanika (What is noh?), a series of three essays published from September to November 1930, Kyūsaku laid out many of his basic 363  For more background on the Peace Preservation Law, see Mitchell (1973). Shittoku, 146. 365 Following the Nanjing Incident of March 1927, in which communist Chinese forces attacked foreign-held residences, including the British, American and Japanese consulates, the Japanese government sent troops to Shandong province, ostensibly to protect economic interests and the Japanese expatriates. The Japanese and Chinese communist forces would clash in early May 1928, which led to more troops and the Japanese occupation of the area for over half a year, a period in which Kyūsaku wrote “Shigo no koi.” 366 Kyūsaku studied Kita-style noh with his grandfather from age three, with noted master Umezu Shien from ages nine to seventeen, would become a certified instructor at age twentynine, and served as the chairman of the Fukuoka branch of the Kita School. He wrote many essays on noh and on occasion used it in his fiction. 364  138  ideas about noh, and in the final paragraphs of the last essay, he hones in on the idea of muimi, a phrase that literally translates as “without meaning,” but which was also a common definition for nansensu in dictionaries from the period. Kyūsaku writes: The world of humans is one with meaning. In contrast to the muimi of nature, everything that humans do or make must have meaning. This goes for art, religion, morals, sports, play, war, crime, and so on. Noh is wholly set up to invite us to leave this world shot through with meaning and go to one laden with the intoxication of muimi dances, songs, and orchestras.367 According to Yamamoto Iwao, Kyūsaku’s preference for katari, a term that can be thought of as “talking” or “recitation” in the sense of oral art forms, comes from his affinity for noh. He writes, “Kyūsaku’s style has been criticized as verbose and artless… but it is clear if you look at a number of his stories that it is not that he could not write in a modern, ‘pure’ literary style.”368 Moreover, Yamamoto writes that Kyūsaku used this katari technique as a way of bringing art closer to a mass (taishū teki) form. Tsurumi Shunsuke makes a similar claim, writing that Kyūsaku could have broken into the bundan (Tokyo literary circles) even in his twenties, but he chose to stay in Fukuoka and draw on the strength of this literary isolation.369 In particular, Tsurumi highlights Kyūsaku’s attachment to Fukuoka-style Kita noh, a school that strives for refinement within a sort of amateurism.370 Rather than practice the noh that  367  Yumeno, “Nō to wa nanika,” 444. Yamamoto, Yumeno Kyūsaku no basho, 163. 369 Tsurumi, Yumeno Kyūsaku, 191. 370 Nagai, “Kyūsaku to nō,” 122-23. One of the four main schools of noh theater, the Kita school was established early in the Edo period by Kita Shichidayū. Kita School noh was known for its martial spirit, and was popular with the samurai class. Shichidayū was a talented performer in the Kongō School from a very young age, but went into hiding in northern Kyushu under the care of Kuroda Nagamasa when his lord, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, was defeated by the Tokugawa clan at the Siege of Osaka in 1615. From 1619, Shichidayū was welcomed in Edo, where he started the Kita School. Additionally, Shichdayū had a secret agreement with Kuroda Nagamasa, and Shichidayū’s style of noh continued to grow in the northern Kyushu region. This is the lineage to which Kyūsaku belonged. Kyūsaku began studying noh at age two, and would become a teacher at age twenty-nine. 368  139  had become an elevated art form for the elite, the noh that Kyūsaku followed showed a commitment to its earlier folk roots (e.g. dengaku), which is one reason that his stories feature traveling street performers and local festivals.371 The effect of Kyūsaku’s noh-influenced katari style could appeal to a mass audience, engendering a feeling of connection between text and reader. A large proportion of his stories take the form of first-person letters, confessions, or monologues that appear to directly solicit the reader’s active involvement. Citing noh critic Toida Michizō (1909-88), Yamamoto suggests that Kyūsaku’s katari style encourages a shared feeling of assimilation (dōka) and connectedness (rentaikan).372 Similarly, scholars Tada Shigeharu and Itō Riwa note the influence of ichi’nyo, a Buddhist concept of radical equality that posits a union of all things in the universe, in Kyūsaku’s texts (a word that Kyūsaku used only a few times). Tada writes that ichi’nyo is evident in Kyūsaku’s writing on noh.373 Itō, on the other hand, claims that ichi’nyo can be seen in his description of ryōki shumi in “Nansensu” and in his “Ryōki uta.”374 With the topic of war in mind, we may now turn to another work by Kyūsaku written in 1928 to further illustrate the relationship between noh and nansensu. In March 1928, Kyūsaku published an essay titled “‘Seikatsu’ + ‘Sensō’ + ‘Kyōgi’ ÷ 0 = Nō” (‘Life’ + ‘War’ + ‘Competition’ ÷ 0 = Noh) in Kita, a monthly journal put out by the Kita School of noh (and the type that Kyūsaku practiced and taught). The opening of the essay asserts tongue-incheek that the equation in the title is a “penetrating principle that surpasses Darwin’s theory  371  Tsurumi, Yumeno Kyūsaku, 193. Yamamoto, Yumeno Kyūsaku no basho, 164. 373 Tada, Yumeno ichizoku, 284. 374 Itō, Musō no shin’en, 101. 372  140  of evolution and Einstein’s theory of relativity,”375 and further, that this equation is a model of evolution—everyday life (nichijō seikatsu), war and sports are intermediary steps on a continuum that leads to noh. Kyūsaku sketches out this evolutionary development by first describing the psychological state of an experienced laborer, an old ship hand, a fishmonger or a kitchen maid deeply immersed in work, claiming that their state of mind is identical to that of a noh performer. The defining elements are beauty, purity and a “quietude of the heart”376 that is refined through experience. Moving up the evolutionary scale, noh and war are joined, but with higher stakes: The innumerable figures facing their enemy amidst the gun smoke and raining bullets surpass—even within the beauty of the male form—the pinnacle of what may be called a ‘tense beauty’ (kinchōbi ), for they must be fully attuned and on guard. They are gallant, beautiful, exalted, profane, touching—they must be all these things and more, a representation of human beauty (ningenbi ).377 The dignity and solemnity of the noh stage is likened to that of a battlefield for the way they both express the relationship between life and death. This principle is illustrated with an anecdote from the Warring States period. Two enemy soldiers encounter each other at dusk, but one insists he must clean the blood of his previous opponent from his spear before fighting. This sentiment moves the second soldier, but before the first can finish cleaning his spear, the sun goes down and the two part without fighting—it would not have been a just fight if neither could see the other’s weapon. Kyūsaku writes, “this is the extent to which war in Japan has been ‘aestheticized’ (junbika  ) and ‘made noh-like’ (  ).”378  375  Yumeno, “‘Seikatsu’ + ‘Sensō’ + ‘Kyōgi’ ÷ 0 = Nō,” 408. Ibid., 408. 377 Ibid., 409. 378 Ibid., 410. 376  141  Moving even further up the evolutionary scale, one encounters sport, which Kyūsaku claims surpasses war because it is an endeavor that features the spirit of war, only without any purposeful gain. In other words, sport is a matter of pure competition. War is the culmination of the nonsense of daily life, and the culmination of the nonsense in war is sports, thus war is begat by daily life, which begets sports. Then, if we take sports to the next level of nonsense, we arrive at dance, song and rhythmic utterances… and the most nonsensical elements of those are noh.379 As Nii Itaru articulated in his commentary for the Gendai ryōki sentan zukan in 1931, the introduction of competition to an activity is a common way to bring about the spirit of nansensu, which would seem to support Kyūsaku’s rhetoric. At the end of the essay, Kyūsaku intimates that the ‘0’ of the title may not be clear, but he assures the reader that it is “not money.”380 I would argue that the ‘0’ is meant to stand for an ideal that has no practical or material purpose, thus it is in opposition to the materialist consumer society that is taking shape in Tokyo at the time. The title of the essay plays on the boom in popular science while the essay itself parodically takes up evolution theory and contemporary sports. In other nonfiction works such as Tōkyōjin no daraku jidai (The depraved age of Tokyoites) and “Jiko o kōyū ni seyo” (Make the self public), Kyūsaku is highly critical of modern values and the replacement of human relationships with commodified relationships.381 The end of “Senjō” leaves the reader with the image of an “absolute zero,” a “waning, jagged-edged moon” that represents Claudel’s doubts about war in a “beam of light and doubt at minus 273 degrees…” This ‘0,’ which did not exist in “Shigo no koi,” reveals a more cynical attitude on Kyūsaku’s  379  Ibid., 410. Ibid., 411. 381 Tōkyōjin no daraku jidai was published in 1925 (before Kyūsaku began writing tantei shōsetsu) and “Jiko o kōyū ni seyo” in 1936. His long-held belief that the commodification of society was an undesirable part of modern life was an undercurrent throughout his career. 380  142  part in 1936, one that effectively turned “Senjō” into an anti-war narrative. The “bakabayashi” of his “Nonsense Orchestra” reverberated loudly as Japan’s militarization escalated. Kyūsaku’s use of the ‘0’ also indicates something with an inherent beauty, refined to the point of nothingness (or at least to the point at which it has no material value in the modern world). In the title’s equation, noh, a traditional art form, is able to subsume everything else, or more accurately, noh represents an elevated state of mind that can be found in the material world if people move away from a strictly utilitarian, modern mode of being. Noh is sublime, yet useless according to the rules of the modern world—it is the ultimate expression of nansensu. At the same time, the ‘0’ and the logic of the entire essay can be seen as what scholar Jay Rubin might term “mumbo jumbo.”382 Following literary scholar Royall Tyler’s view that a noh play is “an elaborate device designed to convey pure feeling,”383 Rubin argues that religious doctrines and philosophies are less important in making a successful noh play than one that can give the audience an intense emotional experience (hence the “meaningless bunch of resonant syllables”384 that pop up in many plays), even if it is not entirely clear what the “‘emotion’… [or] ‘pure feeling’ is that the play is supposedly getting at.”385 Rubin’s point makes sense in the context of noh performance, and I would argue that aspect was also important to Kyūsaku’s writing style.386 The ‘0’ is akin to a mode in which  382  Rubin, “The Art of the Flower of Mumbo Jumbo.” Quoted in ibid., 520. 384 Ibid., 514. 385 Ibid., 539. 386 As stated earlier, Yamamoto and others find in Kyūsaku’s katari (speaking) style an affinity with noh. In addition, noh scholar Nishino Haruo notes the influence of mugen nō in Kyūsaku’s writing. In mugen nō, the main role, the shite, is either a spirit or a god who uses the supporter actor, the waki, to tell his story, and the play takes place in the form of a dream or illusion. Kyūsaku’s frequent use of the epistolary form in which someone is explaining the circumstances leading to their death (or madness) may be due to this influence. “Ayakashi no tsuzumi” makes noh an explicit motif, and the structure of “Binzume jigoku,” which is 383  143  cognition goes away and emotion takes over; this is why his texts often create an unusual atmosphere that leaves readers with hard-to-describe impressions. The “mumbo jumbo” in “‘Seikatsu’ + ‘Sensō’ + ‘Kyōgi’ ÷ 0 = Nō” (or “Nansensu” or “Warau oshi onna” or any number of texts by Kyūsaku) evoke a “pure feeling” in readers that is not necessarily clear, thus making them amenable to appropriation for a wide array of affective receptions. In the late 1980s, literary critic Horikiri Naoto and Yamamoto Iwao both claimed that Kyūsaku used nansensu consciously as a philosophical position to counter the materialutilitarianism of Western ways of thinking that had come to predominate by the 1920s, but I consider this viewpoint to be too narrow. In fact, nansensu enjoyed a resurgence in the postWWII period, though as William Tyler warns, “The decades of the 1930s and 1960s have shared characteristics, but considerable care needs to be exercised in drawing analogies.”387 Manga scholar Ryan Holmberg writes: “[T]he most popular and colloquial use of the term nansensu… was as a way to name great political cynicism. It was heard, most of all, on the Japanese university campus, particularly within the contexts of public political debate and collective bargaining during the student protest movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Nansensu was uttered in the form of an interjection, issued from a student audience and directed at an interlocutor. It served to name and denounce what was perceived by an audience to be misrepresentation or disingenuousness in the speech of the speaker… Nansensu was a matter of fakery over falsity, of faking debate and deliberation. As such, the most apt English translation of nansensu, at least in its colloquial and campus usage, is not then ‘nonsense’ but rather ‘bullshit’, in the sense of faked discourse, of statements emptied of informative content.”388 They cynicism that Holmberg finds in the 1960s and 1970s version of nansensu is largely absent from Kyūsaku’s work. One exception is “Senjō,” a work in which the narrative makes  usually considered one Kyūsaku’s masterpieces, owes part of its recognition as such to its clever use of structure that follows the jō-ha-kyū (slow beginning, tension-building second part, and swift resolution) of a noh play. 387 Tyler, “Introduction,” 9. 388 Holmberg, “Hear no, speak no,” 121. 144  plain its anti-war stance. “Senjō” was a posthumous work, and unfortunately there is no way to know what Kyūsaku would have made of developments from 1936 onward, but I read this particular story to be Kyūsaku’s call of “bullshit” to those leading Japan to war. Given Kyūsaku’s postwar resurrection in the context of counterculture, it is surprising that a work like “Senjō” would not be more heralded in the postwar period, but I would suggest that the reason is the story’s lack of ambiguity. There is little room for alternative interpretations, and thus little possibility for the complexity that characterizes subcultural affective constellations. This may be a reason that “Senjō” is not as highly rated or revisited by later readers. The way that Kyūsaku’s writing resists being inscribed with an absolute “sense” is a factor in the long life of his texts. For Kyūsaku, nansensu was not clear-cut oppositionality or frivolous entertainment. Taken together, his nansensu was an aesthetic with which to turn a spotlight onto the relationship between self and other, modern and traditional (and urban and rural)—it was both painful and funny, comprised of the “tastes” for investigation and curiosity hunting as much as by the worldviews in Buddhism and noh aesthetics. Depending on one’s context, though, Kyūsaku’s nansensu might make perfect sense.  145  Chapter 3: Down and Dirty with Dochaku  In the post-WWII period, the word dochaku—usually translated as indigenous or native— began to appear in literary discourse, and became especially prominent in the 1960s when it came to connote marginality, both in terms of class status and in its perceived distance from modernity and city life. The writing of Yumeno Kyūsaku exemplified the dochaku ethos: it depicted vulgar, low-class, marginal, premodern (or pre-Western) themes. Dochaku implied something inherently traditional and “Japanese,” yet in the peculiar political and countercultural milieu of the 1960s, dochaku had a subcultural valence: it was titillating and possibly dangerous. By looking at Inugami hakase (Professor Dog God, 1931-1932) and “Kinsei kaijinden” (A Biography of Merry Fellows from the Early Modern Period, 1935) and the reception of those works, I will show how the subcultural potential of dochaku changes over time and, in the process, narrates into being alternative modes of Japanese modernity. Tokyo was undoubtedly the center of literary activity in Japan, but Yumeno Kyūsaku chose to stay in Fukuoka, his hometown, even after achieving a name for himself in mystery writing circles. His ancestors had served as otogishū to lords in the Kuroda-han region for centuries, and Kyūsaku maintained a family farm, worked as a local postmaster, taught Kita School noh dancing and singing, participated in the local literary scene, and wrote for the Kyūshū nippō (Kyushu Daily Report) newspaper in the first half of the 1920s. In this sense, he was not entirely a professional writer in the manner of his contemporaries who made their livings in Tokyo as writers of fiction. In his own fiction, Kyūsaku made ample use of Kyushu settings and dialect, but when dochaku became significant in the 1960s, university students and left-leaning critics celebrated more than just regional affiliation. They turned to prewar  146  writers and texts that had been repressed, marginal or forgotten in order to unearth ero guro nansensu, mystery fiction, and premodern and supernatural motifs as part of a broad aesthetic. It was within that context that Kyūsaku’s postwar revival occurred. Kyūsaku died in 1936, not long before full-scale war in China began, and as such his reputation was, in a sense, left “pure” since he never had to take a position during the war and face the possibility of criticism later had he not resisted.  Kyūsaku and Postwar Dochaku  The first article to introduce Yumeno Kyūsaku to a postwar readership was written by Tsurumi Shunsuke and appeared in the October 1962 volume of a leftist journal called Shisō no kagaku (Science of thought). In the essay, titled “Dogura magura no sekai” (The World of Dogura magura), Tsurumi considered how Kyūsaku, a forgotten author, should be categorized within the Japanese literary tradition. The bulk of Tsurumi’s analysis was focused on Dogura magura (1935), Kyūsaku’s longest—and most difficult—novel. Making reference to Kafka and Poe as well as Japanese intellectual and political thought, Tsurumi positioned Dogura magura as “a novel about the search for the self”389 seen through the lens of an “internationalism brought about by nationalism” (minzoku shugi o tōshite no intānashonarizumu)390 that predates total war and the turn towards an ethnic nationalism. Moreover, he considered Kyūsaku to be part of a particular lineage of Japanese sekai shōsetsu (world novels), a genre that came out of the sekai ishiki (world awareness) of the Taishō period (1912-26). Tsurumi asserts that, unlike the novels by writers in the Shirakaba389 390  Tsurumi, “Dogura magura no sekai,” 140. Ibid., 147. 147  ha (White Birch Society) coterie that reflected the art and philosophy of European thought, Kyūsaku’s novels showed an awareness of the wider world while attempting to depict it from a specifically Japanese perspective. For Tsurumi, “Yumeno Kyūsaku’s works are—more than those of the Shirakaba-ha thought to be the representative of Japan’s world consciousness—the forerunner to the modern Japanese sekai shōsetsu (world novel).”391 Several other critics at Shisō no kagaku followed Tsurumi’s lead and began to write about Kyūsaku, too. In late 1963, ethnologist and critic Mori Hideto (b. 1933) used the word dochaku to describe Kyūsaku’s fictional worlds, calling attention to Kyūsaku’s Inugami hakase—a serialized novel that Tsurumi had only touched upon in his introduction of Kyūsaku—as an example of the type of writing that does not fit into the mold of mainstream literature. To Mori, literature was intellectual, modern and had conclusive endings, but Inugami hakase was something else: “mass art” (taishū geijutsu) that “captures the conflict between state power (kokka kenryoku) and dochaku power (dochaku kenryoku) from the perspective of the common people (minshū).”392 In this usage, dochaku is imbued with a subversive political edge that connotes the local, anti-authoritarian, low class and vulgar. In literary terms, dochaku is a mass art opposed to “literature.” Mori’s emphasis on class, authority and dochaku at first appears to be at odds with Tsurumi’s attempt to position Kyūsaku as a world author, but in fact they complement each other. Kyūsaku and his father were known to make comments about having roots in China or central Asia, and while they may have simply been making light of their atypical physical features—Kyūsaku had curly hair and pale skin, and his father was a strapping man over six feet tall with pale skin and vaguely European facial features—the important point is that both 391 392  Ibid., 140. Mori, “Yumeno Kyūsaku no koto nado,” 150. 148  seemed to be keenly aware of connections that lay beyond Japan’s borders.393 Kyūsaku showed a predilection for using non-Japanese and mixed-race characters, and many of his stories were set abroad.394 Kyūsaku never left Japan, but he heard many first-hand accounts of the goings-on outside the country and he incorporated them into his fictional works.395 Thus, while dochaku suggests the indigenous or native, its flipside implies sensitivity to the non-native, or international. Both aspects are present in the early efforts by Tsurumi and Mori to revive Kyūsaku in the 1960s. Dochaku has two main definitions: one refers to having been born and continually living in a place—in other words, indigenous—and the other to establishing a “permanent residence” (jōjū  ) after coming from somewhere else.396 The earliest usage example in the  dictionary comes from a 1439 annotation by eighth century Chinese poet Du Fu (712-770, To Ho in Japanese), and the most recent example is from poet Ishikawa Takuboku’s (18861912) 1908 short story “Keiyo no oji” (My uncle the ex-convict). Both use dochaku to refer to settling in a new place, thus they adhere to the “permanent residency” aspect. The most notable historical usage is that of Confucian philosopher Ogyū Sorai (1666-1728) in his early eighteenth century writing on social policy in which dochaku was the central thrust of a system that would reinvigorate the impoverished samurai by getting rid of their dependence on the merchant class. Sorai believed that having the samurai “attached to the soil”—a literal rendering of the Chinese characters for dochaku—would help them reassert the class  393  Tsurumi, Yumeno Kyūsaku, 88. Edogawa Ranpo was especially fond of this aspect, praising the “exotic flavor” (ekizotikkuna aji) of Kyūsaku’s writing (Edogawa, “Yumeno Kyūsaku shi no sakuhin ni tsuite,” 44). 395 See Nakanishi, “Yumeno Kyūsaku ‘Inugami Hakase’ ron” or Tada, Yumeno ichizoku. 396 Nihon kokugo daijiten, s.v. “dochaku.” 394  149  distinctions and strengthen the bakufu.397 Sorai’s dochaku was conservative in that it was designed to reverse social and economic trends through the application of ancient Confucian values, but it was progressive in the sense that the sankin kōtai system of alternating residences would be changed, and the economy and demographic makeup of Edo would be dramatically transformed. The samurai, who had been systematically alienated from their land holdings by the sankin kōtai system would regain firm control over their home bases. Critics in the 1960s almost certainly did not have Sorai in mind, but this mix of the conservative and the progressive is also apparent in their conception of dochaku. They sought earlier figures who represented a native, non-modern ideal for the purposes of fashioning a progressive, populist society. Literary scholar Kuroko Kazuo notes that dochaku as antimodern (hankindai ron) in the 1960s came when people looked to the beginnings of modernization as a way to understand and criticize modern society’s single-minded pursuit of economic wealth—a pursuit not just about money, but also about the international world order and neo-colonialism that made possible the accumulation of that wealth.398 The chaku in dochaku can mean “to arrive” at a place, but it can also mean “to stick/attach.” This gives the term a double valence, but additionally chaku also means “to wear,” and the early 1960s usage of dochaku embraces this etymology. The object in question is figuratively “wearing dirt” or “wearing the land.” The multi-faceted nature of dochaku, visible in both its dictionary definition and the approaches taken by Mori and Tsurumi, hints at the term’s efficacy as a subcultural affect. If  397  The citation in the Nihon kokugo daijiten dictionary attributed to Sorai is from Taiheisaku (A policy for great peace), but dochaku was also a central tenet of Seidan (A discourse on government), another one of his seminal treatises. See McEwan, The Political Writings of Ogyū Sorai, 59-63. 398 Kuroko, Ōe Kenzaburō ron, 29-30. 150  ‘nation’ and ‘empire’ and ‘modernity’ and ‘city’ and ‘progress’ and ‘modern self’ are dominant social and literary narratives, as they were in the 1920s and 1930s, then the 1960s celebration of dochaku—the rural, vulgar and low class—marked a secondary category that threw into relief the taken-for-grantedness of those dominant narratives. The “return to Japan” and glorification of furusato, or hometown, in the 1930s may also have prized the native, but dochaku in the 1960s held up the dark side of the furusato, exposing it as a world of mystery, violence and eroticism cloaked in legends and ancient customs, closer to the worlds in the ethnology of Yanagita Kunio than an idyllic hometown or village. While furusato discourse supports a nostalgic ethnic nationalism, dochaku is potentially dangerous; it is a part of Japan that has been suppressed in the process of modernization. In November 1967, the Yomiuri shinbun (Daily Yomiuri Newspaper) published a review by scholar Wakimoto Tsuneya of a Hanzawa Hiroshi’s book, Dochaku no shisō: kindai Nihon no mainoritī-tachi (Dochaku thought: the minorities of modern Japan). Wakimoto’s review, titled “Minority groups of modern Japan” (Kindai Nihon no shōsū-ha), begins with a list of the chapter titles, each of which is dedicated to a single person. They are subtitled with the subject’s name followed by phrases such as “the anarchist of the Social Aesthetics school” (‘shakai bigaku’ ni tatsu anākisuto), “the source of Japanese pragmatism” (Nihon puragumatizumu no genryū), “the proletariat author who lived as a natural person” (shizenjin to shite ikiru puroretaria sakka), “the rightist who fought against the military” (gun to tatakau uyokujin), “the Japanese liberalist who stood apart” (kokō o tsuranuku Nihon teki riberarisuto), and “the marginal man who lived in Manchuria” (Manshū ni ikita mājinaru  151  man).399 The subjects of each chapter represent different schools of thought and political persuasions, but they all represent the ideal of the honmono (authentic), which, in the context of this book, is to say that they are free, yet filled with a deep sense of responsibility and purpose. According to Wakimoto’s review, they not only talk big, they take action, and they do so while remaining rooted in a specific place that gives them stability in the “the whirlpool of new ideas” that flooded into modern Japan. By the time the Yumeno Kyūsaku compendium was published in seven volumes in 196970, dochaku was accepted as a key component of the Kyūsaku discourse. In a review of the compendium for the Asahi Journal in August 1969, novelist and French literature translator Shibusawa Tatsuhiko (1928-1987) cited novelist and poet Nakai Hideo’s (1922-1993) description of Kyūsaku as “an author from the bowels of the earth, a man whose works are difficult to understand unless one descends into their depths and has a grasp of the word dochaku,” and Shibusawa followed that with his own comment that, “I have maintained an aversion to ‘dochaku’—a word tossed around lightly—but in Yumeno Kyūsaku’s case, I am willing to accept this word to the letter.”400 Shibusawa calls Kyūsaku “the first author in the history of modern Japanese literature since Izumi Kyōka to be endowed with a truly fantastical disposition” and “the possessor of a romantic soul to the very marrow of his bones,” elements that Shibusawa considers the source of Kyūsaku’s “dochaku seishin” (dochaku spirit). Moreover, a key element of that spirit is the “upside down world” that Kyūsaku populates with “lunatics, idiots, monomaniacs, perverts, beggars and criminals.”401  399  The subjects of the chapters cited here are, respectively: Tsuji Jun (1884-1944), Tanaka Ōdō (1868-1932), Hashimoto Eikichi (1898-1978), Tsukui Tatsuo (1901-1989), Kiryū Yūyū (1873-1941), Tachibana Shiraki (1881-1945). 400 Shibusawa, “Higōri to gensō no fukken,” 316. 401 Ibid., 316. 152  Shibusawa’s notion of dochaku dovetails well with the commentary sections in the compendium itself. In the taidan (dialogue) appended to the first volume, ethnographer Tanigawa Ken’ichi (b. 1921) and literary critic Ozaki Hideki (1928-1999) discuss the difficulty of locating Kyūsaku’s place in literary history.402 They agree that his narrative style did not conform to either “pure” or “mass” literary modes and that his writing was conspicuous even within mystery fiction, itself an outlier genre.403 Tanigawa and Ozaki suggest that Kyūsaku is part of a lineage of Japanese romanticism that stretches from Ueda Akinari (1734-1809) to Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904) and Izumi Kyōka, and his writing may even be traceable to a “traditional Japanese unconscious that continues to flow from primordial times.”404 As the discussion between Tanigawa and Ozaki proceeds, they start to use the words mibunka  and dorodoro  repeatedly to describe Kyūsaku’s  style. According to their definitions, mibunka, which can be translated as “undifferentiated,” refers to elements such as folk customs and supernatural beliefs that do not easily break down into component parts in the face of Western rationalism, and dorodoro means “icky,” “gooey” or “dirty,” and is associated with shomin, or commoner, culture. Dorodoro and mibunka are characterized by strangeness, fantasy and the irrationalism associated with the lives of commoners in premodern times. Ozaki and Tanigawa see in dorodoro and mibunka form a link to the aforementioned romantic literary heritage405—and also to dochaku, a word that Tanigawa and Ozaki frequently use in place of dorodoro. They contend that dorodoro, 402  A taidan, or transcribed conversation, is a common feature in compendiums and literary journals. Several volumes of the Yumeno Kyūsaku compendium include taidan, usually between Tanigawa Ken’ichi and assorted scholars or critics, or in one case, with members of Kyūsaku’s family. 403 Tanigawa and Ozaki, “Kaisetsu taidan,” 366. 404 Ibid., 370. 405 For more on the complex relationship between romanticism, literature and nationalist ideologies, see Doak, “Nationalism and Romanticism in Early Twentieth-Century Japan.” 153  or dochaku, culture was relegated to a marginal status as an “undercurrent” in the Meiji period, but for a time regained status in the latter half of the Taishō period as taishū bungaku (mass literature) took shape and became the “main current.”406 However, dorodoro culture was once again relegated to a marginal status, this time because of the association with the masu bunka (mass culture) and commodified lifestyles that were emerging at the time. The revival of dorodoro culture in the 1960s, according to Ozaki, took place outside the world of the printed word, emerging in children’s manga and adult gekiga, media that thrived not in the world of mass communication, but in the relatively closed off world of kashihon bunka (rental book shop culture).407 Tanigawa and Ozaki explicitly position dorodoro and dochaku as an antithesis to the situation brought about by the failed 1960 ANPO resistance (and the coming renewal in 1970), suggesting that dochaku has the potential to flip the “intrinsic ideology and intellectual thought of the establishment”408 on its head for the first time since the end of WWII. Moreover, I would argue that the semantic connection between dorodoro and dochaku identified by Tanigawa and Ozaki helped charge dochaku with a sense of viscerality that enhanced its potential as an affective register. In the 1960s, dochaku was comprised of assorted elements, and Kyūsaku’s writing, characterized by a romantic spirit, vulgar rural sensibilities, and a world filled with perverts, beggars and lunatics, made Kyūsaku a  406  Tanigawa and Ozaki, “Kaisetsu taidan,” 367. Ibid., 372. Kashihon’ya (rental book shops) date back to the Edo period, but were immensely popular in the post-WWII period when most people could not afford to buy books and printing capabilities were still limited in the aftermath of the war. Unlike used-book stores that offered a wide variety of material, kashihon’ya offered mainly entertainment fare, especially manga and later gekiga (adult-oriented comics) that were widely read by the postwar youth generation. For more on this subject, see Takeuchi (“Manga no sabetsu, hakkin, kisei nado ‘jikenshi’”) and Nakano (Manga sangyō ron). 408 Ibid., 373. 407  154  subcultural idol. Kyūsaku’s style, with its frequent use of onomatopoeia and evocative descriptions, was particularly suited to encouraging a visceral reaction on the part of the reader. Beyond the language and style, his stories were frequently narrated as though being told orally; in this sense, if we take the I-novel style of writing as the standard, Kyūsaku’s style was less “literary” and more performative. In Kyūsaku’s case, the influence of noh is evident here, but in the early 1960s, the ankoku butō style of dance—an actual physical performance—found inspiration in dorodoro culture and would similarly be considered part of the larger dochaku sensibility.409 Dochaku would resurface in the taidan to other volumes of the compendium. In the taidan to volume three, Tsurumi Shunsuke tells Tanigawa that although literary giants Natsume Sōseki (1867-1916) and Mori Ōgai (1862-1922) were great, they became ensconced in Western European-based modes of literature and could not have produced dochaku narratives of the type written by authors like Kyūsaku, Miyazawa Kenji (1896-1933) and Fukazawa Shichirō (1914-1987).410 Further, Tsurumi suggests that Kyūsaku’s recent popularity is part of a “historical loop” that matches his fictional worlds with those captured in the posters of Yokoo Tadanori (b. 1936), a popular contemporary artist who was also able to depict a non-European form of modan (modern).411 The political nature of dochaku is made clear in these taidan, and while the word “subculture” is not used, the language is similar to that used by the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies in Birmingham (CCCS) at about the same time. The CCCS idealized a type of popular culture that comes from below—whether working class or punk—as a resistant 409  For more on ankoku butō, see Klein (Ankoku buto) and Baird (Hijikata Tsutomu and Butoh). 410 Tanigawa and Tsurumi, “Kaisetsu taidan,” 371. 411 Ibid., 375. 155  bulwark against the incursion of mass culture.412 The similar “resistance” that Tsurumi, Mori, Shibusawa, Tanigawa and others identify in Kyūsaku’s writing is linked most directly to dochaku/dorodoro culture that valorizes premodern romanticism, minor artists, free spirits and art forms that operate outside the boundaries of mass-production capitalism and Western rationalism. However, if we go back to the 1920s and 1930s, how were the elements of dochaku received, and in what context were they read? In fact, the word dochaku was not used in relation to Kyūsaku—or anyone else—in the prewar period. Nevertheless, Kyūsaku’s affiliation with northern Kyushu was not overlooked as he began to find a place in mystery writing circles. Edogawa Ranpo praised the chihōshoku  ,413 or local color, in Kyūsaku’s stories, and mystery writer Ōshita Udaru  (1896-1966) wrote a January 1933 essay about a visit to Fukuoka to meet with Kyūsaku. Udaru noted that not a single other member of Tokyo-based literary circles had met Kyūsaku, but he also conceded that Kyūsaku “was forging his own path” and “casting a shining light on the chūō bundan (Tokyo literary establishment) all the way from a little nook in Kyushu.”414 Kyūsaku’s peers and devoted readers were aware that he lived far from the literary action, and this added to his mysterious aura. Udaru commented that he tried to persuade Kyūsaku to relocate to Tokyo, but to no avail. In a 1936 eulogy, one of Kyūsaku’s Fukuoka-based friends recalled a chance encounter in which he asked Kyūsaku whether or not he would move to Tokyo now that he had found success as a writer of tantei shōsetsu. Kyūsaku replied that he had no such plans, and further, that he would never be able to write 412  The CCCS scholars used Marxist methodologies and the work of earlier critics such as Louis Althusser and Antonio Gramsci to examine issues of hegemony and the political economy. Mass culture was often seen as a threat in the form of capitalist hegemony. 413 Edogawa, “Shinshun hekitō,” 137. 414 Ōshita, “Yumeno Kyūsaku no yokogao,” 59. 156  novels if he lived in Tokyo.415 This attitude informed his writing and kept him an enigma in the eyes of fellow mystery writers.  Dog Gods, Gender Ambivalence, Politics and Coalmines  One of the stories most frequently mentioned as an example of dochaku in the 1960s and early 1970s, Inugami hakase (Professor Dog God), was serialized in a Fukuoka-based newspaper and was almost certainly not read in Tokyo when it ran in late 1931 and early 1932. Nevertheless, I argue that the content, historical context and reception of Inugami hakase in the 1930s created a dochaku affect similar to that seen by postwar critics. Though he worked for several years as a newspaper reporter in the first half of the 1920s, Kyūsaku would only serialize one of his novels in a newspaper: Inugami hakase ran from September 23, 1931 to January 26, 1932 and totaled 108 installments. The first three installments are a monologue by the title character, the Professor Inugami of the title, who is also the narrator. He is a homeless man who wanders Fukuoka, but seems to be responding to a request from a newspaper reporter to recount his life. However, the reporter’s words do not appear, which creates the effect of putting the reader in the position of the reporter and being directly addressed by the narrator. The opening lines of the novel read as follows: Ha ha. You say you’re going to take down my story and put it in the newspaper, eh? There are certainly some curious newspapers, aren’t there? First of all, I’m not the sort of celebrity written about in newspapers. What? You say there isn’t anyone in these parts who doesn’t know my name? Hmm. That’s news to me. But I doubt there’s even a single person out there who knows my real name.  415  Kotabe, “Yumeno Kyūsaku o omou,” 17. 157  Huh? I’m not famous for my real name, but my nickname? Well now, I can’t just let that go. What kind of a nickname? Say it… I’m not the kind of petty man who gets angry at hearing his own nickname.416 There is no delving into the narrator’s internal psychology, a conventional feature of “pure” literature at the time. The dialogic gesture to the reader to help construct the narrator, and the Fukuoka setting combined with the reader being put in the position of newspaper reporter while reading a novel in a newspaper is a reflexive narrative strategy that would enhance a sense of both local place and reader involvement. Following the opening monologue, which takes place in the present-day of 1931, the setting shifts to the early 1890s when the narrator was about six or seven years old, and was known by the name Chii. At the time, Chii was a traveling performer, a daidō geinin , who roamed about northern Kyushu. Abused by his parents—who turn out not to be his biological parents—Chii is dressed up as a girl and made to dance erotically to folk songs with racy lyrics inserted in place of the original words. The first half of the story is like an adventure novel, filled with dramatic encounters and a humorous tone. In one such episode, Chii and his father are arrested for Corruption of Public Morals (fūzoku kairan  ).  Chii, thought to be a little girl by everyone except his parents, has a reputation as an exceptional dancer, and a local yakuza boss has been searching for him. Learning of Chii’s arrest, the boss sends his assistant, Miss Dragonfly, to pick Chii up and adopt him with the intent of making him into the number one geisha in Fukuoka. Before that, however, Miss Dragonfly is supposed to take Chii to perform for the prefectural governor, Tsukuba Shishaku, a charismatic simpleton with a taste for lewd performance. Before leaving the  416  Yumeno, Inugami hakase, 3. 158  police station, Miss Dragonfly decides to change Chii’s clothing—only to discover he is not a girl. “Ah, this child’s belly button is an ‘outie.’ How disgusting … And what are you doing in these sarumata?417 Goodness me, what dirty underpants!” said Miss Dragonfly with a tone of suspicion. In fact, I had never known the reason I was made to wear sarumata. I simply shook my bobbed hair side to side. “I don’t know.” Miss Dragonfly made a funny face and looked up at me. With her fingernails, she swiftly untied the laces and pulled my sarumata completely down. “Ara!” she exclaimed, squinting in a cockeyed fashion. Her complexion turned pale and she had a look on her face as though she might bite off my belly button. At the same time, my father, who had been sitting near my feet, tried to slink away with his hands on his cheeks, shaking and muttering to himself. It all gave me a strange feeling … She continued, "Having such a thing—what is—?" "It's my pee-pee (Chinko ja ga na)." "What on earth do you with such a thing? It's just silly." "Well, it's always been there." "I know that. It's not the kind of thing you just pick up after the fact. But if you're going to have one, you have to get it out in the open sooner."418 After the others in the room, with the exception of Miss Dragonfly, have a good laugh, she speaks to Chii again. “You’re a boy? If …” “I don’t know,” I stopped laughing and answered. Miss Dragonfly seemed so serious … “You really don’t know, yourself, whether you’re a boy or a girl?” Once more I nodded my head casually. “I don’t know. Anyhow, I don’t care either way.”419 Miss Dragonfly becomes flustered because she and others had worked so hard to track Chii down with the expectation he would become a geisha. Chii, for his part, responds: “I don’t like geisha. Being a hinin420 is better.”421 Still naked, he jumps up on a stone wall in back and  417  Underpants for boys. Yumeno, Inugami hakase, 79-83. 419 Ibid., 81-82. 420 The word hinin literally means “nonhuman,” and was used in reference to social outcasts in the premodern eras. The term, originally a Buddhist word, dates back at least as far the 14th century when it was used in reference to a variety of people that included 418  159  urinates in front of everyone, flaunting his nakedness and lashing out against the efforts of others to control him. He rejects his gendering and in his proclamation that being a hinin is better than being a geisha, revels in his lower class status. This episode is a turning point in the narrative, a signal that things will get serious in the second half of the story. Chii’s urination, normally a vulgar act, is rendered in elegiac language. That pee, perhaps because I had been holding it for so long, seemed endless. It was becoming cold as the night wind blew in off the river, and the tide on the other side of the river was getting higher and higher. The lights of Higashi Nakasu were just beginning to form a beautiful line, looking as though they might drift under my stream of pee—such beauty.422 Trembling, I took in this view, and wondered where I would be going next. I couldn’t make sense of the situation, but nevertheless I began to experience a pleasant feeling. I thought to myself, “It’s interesting, isn’t it—where will I be tomorrow?”423 Historian Donald Roden writes about gender ambivalence in the interwar period, especially the 1920s, as a modern sensibility that reveals the shift from the Meiji “civilization of character” to a Taishō “culture of personality.”424 However, even during the Meiji period, with its “sanitized and boring normality of ‘civilization and enlightenment,’ there existed an underground culture of peep shows, street carnivals, and masquerades that appeared to make light of the reformulated codes of masculine and feminine etiquette.”425 This is the culture to criminals, the handicapped, lepers, orphans, vagrants, executioners, butchers, hide tanners, buriers of the dead, and street performers. Hinin faced social discrimination that became increasingly codified in the Edo period by the bakufu government (including measures to make them more visible through dress, hairstyles and the carrying of wooden tags). There were approximately 10,000 hinin in Edo at the end of the Edo period, and although the category of hinin was abolished in the early years of the Meiji period, it was replaced by the term shin-heimin (new commoner), which continued to mark former hinin as a target of discrimination. See Groemer (“The Creation of the Edo Outcaste Order”) for a comprehensive history of outcasts in premodern times. 421 Yumeno, Inugami hakase, 83. 422 Located in central Fukuoka on a sandbank between the Naka and Hakata Rivers, Nakasu has been a famous entertainment district since the early Edo period. 423 Yumeno, Inugami hakase, 85. 424 Roden, “Taishō Culture and the Problem of Gender Ambivalence,” 39. 425 Ibid., 43. 160  which Chii belongs. Inugami hakase takes place in the middle of the Meiji period when fūzoku kairyō  (improvement of public morals)426 was being put in place by the  government bent on creating a ‘civilized’ Japanese society, but the late 1920s and 1930s— the present from which the Inugami Hakase narrates and the period in which the story is published—also saw government censors at work attempting to “sanitize Taishō culture.”427 The gender ambivalence of interwar Japan that inspired government campaigns to eradicate the perceived excess and perversion of Taishō and early Showa culture parallels similar efforts in the Meiji period.428 Roden writes that the genre of ero guro nansensu was particularly offensive for the way it “confounded the male-female assumptions of the classroom.”429 Indeed, the words gurotesuku (grotesque) and nansensu (nonsense) appear in Inugami hakase several times, and Chii’s ero dancing is the reason he is famous (and gets arrested). Androgyny and gender ambivalence were a common motif in the work of writers such as Tanizaki Jun'ichirō (18861965), Kawabata Yasunari (1899-1972), Miyamoto Yuriko (1899-1951) and others, but Inugami hakase makes no such pretensions to being part of the Taishō-era high culture epitomized by such authors. Instead, Kyūsaku depicts underground, local culture in a local dialect for a regional readership. Roden’s statement, “the expression of gender ambivalence in both the popular and high arts of interwar Japan produced a variety of interpretive 426  Starting in the 1880s, the government implemented policies intended to improve public morals (fūzoku kairyō) by suppressing public performance. Traditional festivals, such as bon odori (celebrations based on Buddhist belief in which people honor their ancestors), were banned in many places. See Nakanishi (28) for information on specific dates and the specific language used in the policies. 427 Roden, “Taishō Culture and the Problem of Gender Ambivalence,” 53. 428 See Yonezawa, et al., Hakkinbon, for examples of the types of print media banned by the Japanese government since the Meiji period. 429 Roden, “Taishō Culture and the Problem of Gender Ambivalence,” 53. 161  responses, most of which were decidedly negative,”430 suggests that gender bending of the sort in Inugami hakase would have added to the novel’s subcultural affective register in the prewar period, and I would argue that it added to the potency of its dochaku affect in the postwar period. Early in Inugami Hakase, the narrator recounts that it was not only the authorities who cracked down on traveling actors. Village and town heads, as well as average bystanders, would intervene and send itinerant performers back onto the road. The narrator refers to these people as “morality beasts” (fūzoku kairyō no kedamono).431 Street performers and stall vendors go without saying, but also vaudeville performers, naniwabushi singers, charlatans, quacks, people selling wares from bags on their backs as they walked the street, and all the other folks in these types of business endured many types of unseen hardships. The more happy-go-lucky they appeared, the more difficult their lives really were. It is the same as the situation in which the more legitimate and prominent a business appears on the surface, the more indecent the half on the underside turns out to be.432 Even as Chii embarks on adventures in the first half of the story, the narrator’s commentary on “morality beasts,” class and gender ambivalence give the narrative a critical component. The challenges to authority, celebration of marginality and ero guro nansensu in the first half of Inugami hakase take on a different tone in the second half when Chii becomes embroiled in the battle between political factions for control of the local coalmines. The novel climaxes with a violent, fiery showdown involving the police, ruffians from the local Gen’yōsha political group, and yakuza thugs. The story is littered with glimpses into the seedy side of life—gambling, corrupt politicians, shabby inns, lechers, hinin, drunkenness, theft, murder, arson, child abuse and bloody hand-to-hand combat. These elements were no doubt titillating  430  Ibid., 52. Yumeno, Inugami hakase, 21. 432 Ibid., 20-21. 431  162  for readers in 1931, and the well-paced action would have been useful for keeping them interested in the upcoming installments. The blend of adventure entertainment, humor and politics makes for a unique style. The celebration of the vulgar and low-class in Inugami hakase is part of the dochaku affect, and is reflected even in the title of the story. In the third installment, the narrator explains the origin of his nickname to the newspaper reporter (the reader), prefacing his account by saying that the inugami is the “basest, most vulgar of all superstitions in Japan,”433 used as a last resort for dealing with natural catastrophes, thefts, murders, kamikakushi (mysterious disappearances), kakeochi (runaways and elopements) and other such problems. The village chief would order a shrine built and have a dog buried alive up to its neck and starved for a week, at which point hunger would turn it into a kichigai (lunatic). Then a piece of meat, fish or cool water would be placed before the dog, sending it over the edge. “Its eyes and tongue would roll around wildly, showing its sublime form as a kami (god),”434 and at that moment its head would be cut off from behind and thrown into a cooking pot and blackened, after which it would be used as the object of worship for a wild festival. The title of the story refers not only to the title character and narrator, but also to a grotesque dorodoro—or dochaku—folk superstition. The inugami turns out to be an apt characterization for Chii. He is constantly hungry, as though starved; has lowly roots; and he has special godlike abilities. Besides his dancing skill, he can determine a person’s true nature just moments after meeting him or her, he is able to “see” playing cards by touch and master the use of loaded dice in minutes, and at one point he renders the most notorious local yakuza enforcer unconscious with a well-thrown 433 434  Ibid., 8. Ibid., 9 163  handkerchief. He is rumored to use dogura magura,435 a term that is glossed as magic or witchcraft in the local dialect, and the fight between local and central government factions in the second half of the novel becomes at times a battle for possession of Chii, with the implication that getting him will be a source of power. In 1925, eight years before Kyūsaku wrote Inugami hakase, ethnographer Yanagita Kunio began writing a series of essays called “Imo no chikara” (The power of women) in which he argued that women possessed a special power in traditional folk life because of their aptitude for shamanistic skills,436 and though Chii is a boy he performs as a female and, moreover, the narrator admits that he did not comprehend gender difference as a child. He recalls, “the spectators, thinking they were watching a young girl, enjoyed the dancing, but my true character was simply that of a boy in tears—it was the pinnacle of nonsense (nansensu).”437 As far as Chii understood at the time: There were women taking on the airs of men, and men taking on the airs of women, and I would imagine myself in comparison to them. Those who were strong and toiled with their brute strength until their hair turned white would become jijii (old men), and those who were weak and did nothing but talk would become babaa (old women). My parents, for their part, might end up contrary to this, turning “man” and “woman” upside down. At the time, I endured as a small, weak girl, unable to think of anything other than how once I got stronger, I would turn both my parents into girls and make them dance on a stage while I alone, as a man, sang and beat the drum. Even now I sometimes have this dream. My view of the world at that time was really very strange indeed.438 This quotation captures once again the gender ambivalence that runs throughout the story. Several Japanese literary critics have related Chii’s gender ambivalence to earlier Japanese (and universal) cultural figures. For example, literary critic Matsuda Osamu has written about Chii as a kami, a messiah who can lead the beleaguered Chikuhō (northern Kyushu) region  435  Outside of the novel Dogura magura, this is the only time that the phrase dogura magura appeared in any of Kyūsaku’s works. 436 Figal, Civilization and Monsters, 178. 437 Yumeno, Inugami hakase, 18. 438 Ibid., 19. 164  out of its woes, while scholar Nakanishi Yukiko has described Chii as a “trickster” whose role is to question socially accepted norms. Matsuda notes that Japanese kami heroes are traditionally androgynous, wandering beggars—often orphaned—who must endure hardship. He cites Yamato Takeru as the most famous example.439 Folklorist and ethnographer Akasaka Norio notes several similarities between treatment of Chii and kami in shinji geinō (performances traditionally carried out at shrines, including dengaku, noh, kabuki, lion dances, etc.), and further points out that the tropes of chigo arasoi and kishuryūritan have been familiar since ancient times.440 For this, Akasaka calls Chii a “protagonist of a typically Japanese sort,”441 though he leaves open the possibility that Chii could be a parody of these traditional forms. Despite similarities to traditional tropes, however, I would add that it is telling that Chii is modeled after a kami—the inugami—that has grotesque associations, based on vulgar folk superstition. Chii is an effective focalizer because of his vulnerability and mistreatment at the hands of others. Moreover, his special abilities—especially being able to discern a person’s true character—engender trust in the reader. The reader can take pleasure when Chii mocks the Governor for being a hypocritical lecher and a fool, as he does when they meet briefly in the first half of the story, and similarly, the reader feels closer to those Chii likes. Chii is constantly at the mercy of adults, and the narrator remarks several times that he found adult  439  Matsuda, “Kaisetsu,” 336. Yamato Takeru cross-dressed as a ploy to fight and subdue the Kumaso. Matsuda further suggests that Narihira no Ariwara and Hikari Genji follow the same pattern of androgyny, wandering and hardship. 440 Chigo arasoi translates as “battle for a child.” Kishuryūritan, coined by Orikuchi Shinobu, describes the genre in which the protagonist is a young wanderer who endures hardship, unaware of his noble birth, but in the end accomplishes great deeds. 441 Akasaka, “Hōnyō suru chigo,” 149. 165  thinking to be frustrating and illogical. Despite this, there is one adult character with whom Chii is able to identify: Narayama Itaru, the leader of the Gen’yōsha  .  In real life, the Gen’yōsha442 was an ultranationalist political faction started by former samurai from the Fukuoka area. Though involved from before the Meiji Restoration in the movement to return the Emperor to power, Fukuoka-based samurai were left out of the coalition led by Satsuma and Chōshū that consolidated power in the early Meiji period. Many Fukuoka samurai participated in rebellions in support of Saigō Takamori (1828-1877) ten years after the Restoration, yet another losing proposition.443 The disaffected samurai who started the Gen’yōsha did so in the context of the People’s Freedom and Rights Movement (jiyū minken undō  ), but lacking the ability to greatly influence the central  government in Tokyo, they began to exert power by building a network in the underworld, both in Japan and in Asia. The Gen’yōsha pushed a Pan-Asian view that would resist Western colonial designs, and they often resorted to terrorist tactics and criminal channels to raise money and instigate wars and revolution throughout Asia. Kyūsaku’s father, Sugiyama Shigemaru, was a political “fixer” who worked behind the scenes; he was sometimes referred to as the seikai no kuromaku (black curtain of the political world). Shigemaru worked independently, but was friends with top members of the Gen’yōsha and collaborated with them on occasion. Shigemaru disagreed with many of their policies—for example, he questioned the wisdom of invading China—but the relationship between the Gen’yōsha and the Sugiyama family meant that Kyūsaku grew up in close proximity to members of the 442  For more details on Gen’yōsha activities, see Crowdy, The Enemy Within, 214-29, and Tada, Yumeno ichizoku, 22-99. 443 Saigō, a samurai from Kagoshima (the southernmost prefecture of the main Japanese islands) led disaffected samurai in a rebellion known as the Seinan sensō (southwestern war) in 1877. The end of the rebellion solidified the leadership position of the young Meiji bureaucracy. 166  group and he often heard stories about the political, economic and criminal machinations that took place in Japan and abroad. Narayama Itaru, the fictional leader of the Gen’yōsha in Inugami hakase, is a combination of two real-life models: Tōyama Mitsuru (1855-1944), the actual leader of the Gen’yōsha, and Narahara Itaru (1857-1917). Tōyama and Narahara were boyhood friends and co-founders, with others, of the Gen’yōsha.444 The first time Chii encounters Narayama, the fictional Gen’yōsha leader, is near the end of the story, in the one hundredth installment (out of 108). Chii has just escaped from a bloody showdown involving Gen’yōsha thugs, the police, and hired yakuza muscle. Coming to an open field, Chii urinates for the second time in the story, and once again it is rendered in elegant prose, marking a turning point. Just then, a large man approaches from behind; he “had an eerily uncanny appearance somewhere between that of a tengu (goblin) and a badger… an old-man goatee like that of a fortune-teller… [He was] wearing geta (wooden sandals) and dressed in a ragged, purplish-blue striped kimono coat with a woman’s red obi (belt) slung loosely around his waist.”445 The man had “a laughing look in his eyes of the sort one often sees in village idiots”446 and Chii is convinced the man is just that: a harmless old fool. Chii asks, “Hey, are you a fool… or crazy?”447 The man replies with a hearty laugh and introduces himself as Narayama, the leader of the Gen’yōsha, and joins Chii to urinate. Despite his unusual appearance, Narayama has a calming aura. The narrator recalls, “As we  444  The description of Narayama as a “large man” (ō-otoko) suggests that Kyūsaku’s father, a very large man, might also have been part of the combination of real-life models. 445 Yumeno, Inugami hakase, 301-2. 446 Ibid., 302. 447 Ibid., 302. 167  spoke, the initial nervousness wore off and I suddenly was overtaken with a sense of ease, an indescribable feeling of familiarity.”448 From there, Narayama carries Chii on his shoulders to the inn where the prefectural governor—the representative of Tokyo-based state authority—is sleeping. Chii and Narayama enter Governor Tsukuba’s opulent room and sit formally in seiza style next to his futon. Upon entering, Chii is assaulted by the strong smell of mosquito incense, an extravagance at the time. Chii also notices the several layers of fine bedding and two pillows being used by the governor, prompting the remark, “[H]e may be the governor, but two pillows? What a fool. I immediately wanted to tease him.”449 Chii remains seated next to the futon as Narayama and Governor Tsukuba talk. “Mr. Governor. It is I, Narayama from the Gen’yōsha.” “What – Narayama?” “I’ve come to speak to you about something.” The veins on the Governor’s forehead that had become visible when he was abruptly woken up now began to disappear. Like receding waves, his temple continued to throb slightly, but soon even that ceased and he simply lay there dazedly, looking back and forth at our unusual appearances… “Mr. Governor.” “…” “Who, now, is the most important person in all of Fukuoka prefecture? “…” “You are the most important person in all of Fukuoka prefecture … [B]ut why are you, the most important government official in all of Fukuoka, using the police to take away the coalmines that rightfully belong to the citizens?” … “You don’t understand. The coal fields of Chikuhō are a necessity for the nation.” “Hmm, yes, yes, I imagine you’re probably right—I understand that. Japan will be forced to go to war with China and Russia in the near future, and coal will be second in importance only to guns.” “…” “However, Mr. Governor. Do you know who is starting the Sino-Japanese War?” “Ridiculous. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, following the foreign policy of the Empire is…” “Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha!” 448 449  Ibid., 307. Ibid., 316. 168  “What’s so funny?” asked the governor, now turning pale as he looked at Narayama. “Ah ha ha ha ha! Do you really think those translators in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs could start a war? Ah ha ha.” “If—if that’s so, then who is starting the war?” “I’m starting this war, friend.”450 Narayama tells Tsukuba that his Gen’yōsha men are stirring things up in Korea and China and will need the coal when war breaks out, whereas the rich industrialists the Governor is aiding are only in it for the money, not the welfare of the nation. Still Governor Tsukuba resists: “But, but I, I am acting on orders from the government.” “Ha ha ha ha ha. Are you really spouting such childish words? … The men in that government are no different than sales clerks being used and ordered around by their supervisors. Whether the navy from Satsuma or the army from Chōshū, they’re all just coolies who now have money and gold braids on their clothing.” “…” “We people of Fukuoka Prefecture are the only ones that have really worked for the good of the nation, putting our lives on the line—and without pay.” “…” “Really think about it. You are a government official, but you are also still a Japanese citizen and should be able to understand our magokoro (devotion).”451 Narayama is a model of dochaku; he is a salt-of-the-earth patriot, a man unconcerned with personal wealth or extravagance, a defender of the people and the nation against the encroachment of industry and self-interested Tokyo bureaucrats. Though Narayama appears only in the final pages, he is a critical figure because the reader is expected to connect him to the narrator as the model for the adult—the Inugami Hakase—that Chii will become. The outward appearance of Narayama and the narrator is similar, and Chii’s rapport with Narayama suggests that Narayama is a figure worthy of emulation. On the way to the confrontation with the governor, Chii asks Narayama about the rumors that he is a “sukebee” 450  Ibid., 319-21. Ibid., 323. The characters used here for magokoro ( ) are normally read as aikokushin (patriotism, or literally, “spirit for the love of one’s country”). Here they are glossed as magokoro (sincerity, devotion). 451  169  (pervert, lecher), and Narayama readily admits the truth of that characterization. Chii thinks to himself, “if this kind of a guy is a sukebee, maybe it isn’t such a bad thing to be.”452 Despite the links between Chii/the narrator and Narayama, the narrative does not close the loop. The final lines of the story are as follows: Looking at [the Aoyagi Inn on fire in the distance], I suddenly became frightened and started running again. I felt as though the previous night’s battle, the fire in the morning and the strife occurring throughout Nōgata were all my doing. I didn’t know where I was going, but I recklessly, blindly continued to run deep into the mountains … and just kept running … and running … and running …453 The narrative is left open-ended, stretching into the future—presumably into the present of the first-person speech of the narrator/Professor Inugami at the beginning of the story and beyond—suggesting an unwritten future for the reader, too. The first installment of Inugami hakase appeared just five days after the Manchurian Incident,454 and the events in China were still splashed all over the headlines as the story started its run. No great leap of imagination would have been necessary to connect the battle for control of coal resources against the backdrop of wars with China and Russia in the Meiji period with current events and war on the Asian continent in 1931. At the time Inugami hakase was serialized, Fukuoka had a population of approximately 230,000, and the Fukuoka nichi nichi shinbun (Fukuoka Daily Newspaper) had a circulation of approximately 140,000.455 Although the newspaper was distributed in Yamaguchi, Shimane and Okinawa prefectures, as well as the Korean  452  Ibid., 309. Ibid., 332. 454 The Manchurian Incident was a bombing staged by the Japanese army of a Japaneseowned railroad in Manchuria. The Japanese government blamed Chinese dissidents for the attack and used it as an excuse to invade China. This incident marks the beginning of the Fifteen-Year War (Jūgo-nen sensō), as it is sometimes called in Japan. 455 Matsuda, “Kaisetsu,” 333. 453  170  peninsula, Manchuria and Taiwan,456 Inugami hakase almost certainly did not have readers in Tokyo; it was first published in book form as part of Kyūsaku’s posthumous collected works in 1936.457 In the first volume of those collected works, fellow mystery writer Ōshita Udaru called special attention to Inugami hakase at the end of his introduction as a story that he very much wanted readers to see. He writes, “[It] is not a mystery novel or a romance novel or a ‘humor’ novel, or even a ‘strange’ (kaiki) novel, but the merit and strength of writing as an amateur—without the awareness of having to write as a professional—come through fantastically.”458 The June 1936 issue of Shinseinen ran an advertisement for the first printing of Kyūsaku’s complete works and listed Inugami hakase most prominently; it seems that there was interest in the story, but, according to Tsurumi Shunsuke’s essays in the 1960s, Inugami hakase faded quickly from people’s memory. As might be expected, eulogies written for Kyūsaku in 1936 in Fukuoka-based publications mentioned Inugami hakase while those magazines with a national circulation did not. Moreover, many of the Fukuoka eulogies paid tribute to Kyūsaku’s loyalty to his hometown despite his having found success in metropolitan literary circles. Fukuoka-based author Hayashi Itsuma (1903-1972) wrote that Kyūsaku often contributed to a local journal called Fukuoka kenjin (Fukuoka-ites) without expecting money in return,459 and family friend Yamada Fumio wrote, “He was poised to become a member of the bundan. The passing of Sugiyama (Kyūsaku), the only writer from Fukuoka to flourish in central literary circles, is a cause for utmost sadness.”460  456  Nishi Nihon shinbun hyakunen shi, 368. Eguchi, “Yumeno Kyūsaku shuyō sakuhin annai,” 247. 458 Ōshita, “Tashu tamen na Yumeno Kyūsaku,” 120. 459 Hayashi, “Ko Yumeno Kyūsaku o oshimu,” 10. 460 Yamada, “Kyūsei shita Sugiyama Taidō kun,” 11. 457  171  Dochaku in Inugami hakase is constructed in two major ways: as an opposition of center (Tokyo-dominated politics) and periphery (Gen’yōsha), and as a clash between social classes that is focalized through the point of view of a hinin child. The settings, songs and dialogue written in the local Hakata dialect, and the real-life characters and events that serve as models in Inugami hakase would have added to the dochaku affect. Inugami hakase clearly distinguishes between the interests of local commoners, which are to be protected, and the industrialists in cahoots with the central government, who are to be resisted; this view would have been at odds with the mainstream national narrative forming in 1931. Inugami hakase is critical, and sometimes outright mocking, of many aspects of society, including the family unit, gender roles, capitalism, and governmental authority. Primitive pleasures (food, performance, sex, urination), the social margins (hinin, itinerant travelers), “people’s rights” and the northern Kyushu region are celebrated. In short, Inugami hakase revels in perversion and deviance. In real life, the Gen’yōsha was a feared group, but Kyūsaku presents a sympathetic, and local, perspective in Inugami hakase. However, since the story would not have been easily available in Tokyo in 1931, many of Kyūsaku’s regular readers did not have the chance to encounter Narayama Itaru, the fictional Gen’yōsha leader in Inugami hakase. Instead, many would learn about the real-life models, Tōyama Mitsuru and Narahara Itaru, through a biographical series called “Kinsei kaijinden” (A Biography of Merry Fellows from the Early Modern Period)461 that Kyūsaku wrote in 1935. While both “Kinsei kaijinden” and Inugami  461  The characters used for kaijin ( ) are an unusual combination that means something like “cheerful/merry person.” The normal combination with the same reading is , which translates as “phantom” or “mysterious person.” The title might also be a play on kijin ( ), which now means “eccentric person,” but in the Edo period referred to men who accomplished great deeds. In the opening to “Kinsei kaijinden,” Kyūsaku writes that the 172  hakase deal with the Gen’yōsha from a Fukuoka-centered point of view, they are quite different. Whereas Inugami hakase is fictional, features local dialect and is intended for a local readership, “Kinsei kaijinden” is non-fiction (biography) and written in standard Japanese for a national audience.462 If Inugami hakase was preaching to the choir with its settings, language and politics, “Kinsei kaijinden” was a surprisingly warm introduction of the Fukuoka spirit via anecdotes that showed the human side of his subjects. Politics take center stage in the fictional Inugami hakase, but are practically nonexistent in “Kinsei kaijinden.”  Merry Fellows  Published from April to October 1935 in seven installments in Shinseinen, “Kinsei kaijinden” consisted of profiles of four men from Fukuoka: Tōyama, Narahara, Kyūsaku’s father (Sugiyama Shigemaru) and a fishing magnate named Shinozaki Nisaburō. Kyūsaku worked on “Kinsei kaijinden” without having had it commissioned by any magazines, and he submitted it for free to Shinseinen. It was a labor of love, and his portrayals of Tōyama and Narahara are both humorous and moving. Tōyama was already famous in some circles as the leader of the Gen’yōsha, but Kyūsaku describes him as having an “utterly commonplace manner [that is] is strangely difficult for others to emulate” and continues, “It is fair to say that the horror and greatness of Tōyama is to be found precisely in that run-of-the-mill biographies he is presenting “are about kijin kaijin … who absolutely would not be models” (7) for the young people who read Shinseinen. Knowing his audience, Kyūsaku writes that he wanted to avoid a tale of successful heroes of the sort on postage stamps. 462 The exception to the use of standard Japanese in “Kinsei kaijinden” is in the quotations of the men who are profiled. The effect is to heighten the ‘otherness’ of their speech and give it a folksy, down-home flair that celebrates regional accent and dialect. 173  nonsense demeanor (heihei-bonbon nonsensu-buri).”463 Kyūsaku uses the phrases heiheibonbon and nonsensu several times to describe Tōyama—these are hardly the words someone would normally choose to characterize him. Kyūsaku writes that when Tōyama was young, he watched Japan become infatuated with Western ways after the Restoration and was not pleased with the “condition of materialism and rotten depravity” (yuibutsuteki ni fuhai daraku shite iku jōkyō  )464 that took over, and several of  the anecdotes show Tōyama’s disinterest in Western values and capitalism. In one, Tōyama sold a coal mine in Hokkaido for 75,000 yen and immediately afterward was inundated with visitors who came to borrow money. Even knowing most were scam artists, he gladly doled out the cash and the entire fortune disappeared in no time. When Tōyama was told that he would end up dying in an open field one day with nothing, he stroked his beard and with a smile said, “Ah well, there isn’t a need to drive them all out. If we run out of food to eat, we’ll just head somewhere else.”465 In another anecdote Tōyama’s “guro” side is revealed. Before going to a meeting with the mayor of Osaka, Tōyama took a laxative to help get rid of a tapeworm, and it began to come out of his rear while he was in the waiting room. Tōyama reached down and pulled out a three centimeter-long piece of tapeworm, and not having anywhere to put it, wrapped it carefully around the edge of the hibachi. Then another one, twice as long, came out and he did the same. Finally the mayor came out to greet him and used the hibachi to steady himself as he sat down, only to find “soft, white, flat, tofu-like fragments” stuck to his hand. Noticing an odd smell, the mayor quickly asked the secretary what it was, and Tōyama offered, 463  Yumeno, “Kinsei kaijinden,” 11. Ibid., 13. 465 Ibid., 12. 464  174  “That’s a tapeworm I pulled from my ass.”466 The mayor let out a surprised yell and ran off; the meeting never did happen. Tōyama remarked, “Heh heh, that fella was useless.” As for Narahara Itaru, the other half of the model for the fictional Narayama Itaru in Inugami hakase, Kyūsaku paints an even more sympathetic picture. Tōyama was still alive in 1935, but Narahara had died in 1917 and perhaps this partly accounts for the difference in tone. Additionally, Narahara’s son was one of Kyūsaku’s closest longtime friends.467 Narahara and Tōyama were both part of the failed uprisings that occurred ten years after the Meiji Restoration and both helped start the Gen’yōsha, but unlike Tōyama, Narahara never got into politics. Kyūsaku writes that he had never met anyone who looked more frightening than Narahara, and among the Gen’yōsha members, no one had cut down as many men as he.468 Narahara’s sense of loyalty was second to none and he was willing to die for a just cause at any time. Kyūsaku supposes that in a different age Narahara might have become a famous figure, but he is left behind in modern Japan, living in destitution, a man of fierce pride and patriotism. Narahara is tragic but not pitiful. Tōyama and Narahara are both shown to be opposed to materialism and to harbor fears about the possibility of Japan becoming a colony to the West, but Kyūsaku seems more empathetic toward Narahara’s lifestyle, and indeed devotes twice as much space to Narahara as he does to either his father or Tōyama. Yamamoto Iwao astutely suggests that a continuum of “idleness” and “nonsensu” can be discerned from the various anecdotes in “Kinsei kaijinden,” and Narahara is at the top because his philosophies were furthest from mainstream, contemporary values.469 Depending  466  Ibid., 10. Tsurumi, Yumeno Kyūsaku, 115. 468 Yumeno, “Kinsei kaijinden,” 29. 469 Yamamoto, Yumeno Kyūsaku no basho, 76. 467  175  on the context in which “Kinsei kaijinden” is read, it is possible to see the work operating in both nansensu and dochaku affective registers. “Kinsei kaijinden” tells, in part, how Fukuoka came to be excluded from the postRestoration governing coalition despite the true spirit of patriotism embraced by the Fukuoka samurai. This history is not dramatized as in the showdown between the governor and Narayama in Inugami hakase. While it is possible to try to infer Kyūsaku’s political stance through his fictional representations of real-life people, he never did take action in the real world like his father or Tōyama Mitsuru. Instead, he produced complicated narratives— fictional and historical—that suggest a man who felt keenly both the gap between the past and present and the gap between what we see on the surface and what lies underneath. In this sense, it is easy to imagine that Kyūsaku might have felt closest in spirit to a romantic soul like Narahara Itaru, and perhaps there is more of Narahara in the fictional Gen’yōsha leader than Tōyama, the real-life leader. Those who revived Kyūsaku in the postwar period likely felt similar gaps between past and present, surface and depth, and they found inspiration in his dochaku-inflected texts. Kyūsaku sketched out a premodern spirit that offers an alternative—and local—version of history, and by extension, the possibility of an alternative present.  Dochaku after the 1960s  As author Shibusawa Tatsuhiko stated in his 1969 review of the Yumeno Kyūsaku compendium, dochaku was a word bandied about readily in the 1960s, but it is surprisingly difficult to find a substantial body of scholarly discourse on the subject. Postwar poet and  176  critic Yoshimoto Takaaki, who looked to early ethnologists Orikuchi Shinobu (1887-1953) and Yanagita Kunio (1875-1962), rejected the idea that Japan needed to learn from the West, and instead emphasized that “the people” should forge identities based on daily-life. As Kyoto School philosopher Ueyama Shunpei (1921-2012) writes, “Yoshimoto took up his dochaku position: we cannot separate ourselves from the living sphere that is connected with our own occupation, our family, nor should we try.”470 However, by the middle of the 1970s, dochaku was losing steam. It is perhaps surprising, then, that literary critic Katō Shūichi (1919-2008) should make dochaku the core thesis of his two-volume history of Japanese literature, Nihon bungakushi josetsu (1975). Dochaku is the word with the most references in Katō’s study; or to be specific, dochaku sekaikan (dochaku worldview) has the most references, and there are additionally many for dochaku shisō  (dochaku thought), dochaku shinkō  beliefs/religion) and dochaku bunka  (dochaku  (dochaku culture).471 Katō frames his research  around the belief that a true history should take into account not just past chronologies and facts, but should use that past to find connections in a straight line with events yet to occur; and a literary history must take into account non-literary factors. Katō writes:  470  Olson, Ambivalent Moderns, 108-9. Katō’s work was translated into English as A History of Japanese Literature and published in three volumes with the subtitles The First Thousand Years (1979), The Years of Isolation (1983), and The Modern Years (1983). The first volume was translated by David Chibbett and the other two by Don Sanderson. In English, dochaku sekaikan is rendered variously as “indigenous Japanese thought,” “Japanese world-view,” “indigenous world view,” “indigenous attitude,” “world-view background” and sometimes just “world-view.” Though Katō coined the term dochaku sekaikan by combining the English “indigenous” and German “Weltanschauung,” (Josetsu, vol. 2, 492), and uses dochaku as the principal organizing concept of his History, there is no entry for it in the glossary to the English translations; dochaku is assimilated into the English editions, losing its impact and visibility. 471  177  Here, I use Japanese dochaku sekaikan as a way to confirm, through the form of literature—and taking into consideration the various social conditions in each age—the system of responses that arise in every era against the thought and philosophy that come from outside.472 Katō puts forth his notion of the dochaku sekaikan most clearly in the introduction, where he writes that, “Historical transformations in the Japanese world-view have been characterized not so much by the infiltration of various foreign thought systems as by an obstinate clinging to an indigenous attitude and over and over again imparting a Japanese flavour to those systems.”473 Such foreign systems include Buddhism, Confucianism Christianity and Marxism, all of which Katō believes have structures that can be easily described and transcendental beliefs. The dochaku sekaikan, on the other hand, is not as easy to define, and is predicated on material and practical concerns. When the two meet, foreign systems get adapted to local needs with the “abstract, theoretical aspects … weeded out”474 and the foreign system dismantled. Aside from the concern with practical, this-worldly matters rather than transcendental beliefs, the dochaku sekaikan is comprised of the concrete, irrational, fragmentary and specific (as opposed to universal values). For Katō, language, thought and literature reflect the dochaku sekaikan, thus “Japanese writers in the native language have excelled at abbreviated forms of literature, at brief and pithy descriptions of particular objects or thoughts.”475 Japanese language and literature—and even sense of time—is based on  472  Katō, Nihon bungakushi josetsu, vol. 2, 492 . Katō suggests three ways to unearth the dochaku sekaikan: 1) examine ancient documents that have no foreign influence, 2) observe the expression of groups that have minimal influence from foreign cultures (e.g. look to remote islands or common folk in the countryside), and 3) analyze the process of “Japanification” of foreign systems. He considers the first two options to be limited by lack of materials, and thus has based his History on the third. 473 Katō, A History of Japanese Literature, 18. 474 Ibid., 21. 475 Ibid., 8. 178  discrete parts “with seldom any consideration of the whole structure.”476 Nevertheless, Katō’s dochaku sekaikan itself comes off as a transcendental system, reifying Japanese literature into an unchanging force. Scholar Ekkehard May calls Katō’s dochaku sekaikan a “tiring and extremely uni-dimensional”477 perspective that overlooks the merits of individual works and ultimately falls into the realm of nihonjinron478 thought. I would add that Katō’s dochaku subsumes difference within Japanese thought and literature, erasing the possibility for productive tension promised by the 1960s iteration of dochaku. He shifts the focus from the power latent in marginalized elements of society—a subcultural power—to a homogenous Japanese spirit that endures unchanged for all time. Katō’s usage of the word dochaku is an example of how a subcultural affect, once recognized as such, influences mainstream culture and results in the production of new cultural forms. Defanged by Katō’s text (and the post-political tenor of the latter half of the 1970s), dochaku dropped out of usage almost entirely. It is not a surprise that the cultural significance of dochaku has changed over time. In the 1960s, dochaku was imbued with affective power—that is, it called forth many reactions, and had ideological use-value for those who tried to wield it. In the prewar context, I argue that Kyūsaku’s works produced a dochaku affect similar to that which made him a subculture icon in the 1960s; in both cases his narratives present an alternative, potentially dangerous view of the world that brought specific aspects of Japan’s modernization into relief. Since the middle of the 1970s and the turn away from 1960s political movements, dochaku has largely disappeared, but following a furusato boom throughout Japan in the 1980s that brought 476  Ibid., 9. May, Review of A History of Japanese Literature, 346. 478 Nihonjinron (theories of the Japanese) is a postwar genre of research in many disciplines that focused on the particularity and exceptionalism of Japanese people. 477  179  renewed attention to smaller regions and towns, the native aspect of Kyūsaku’s reputation once again has come to the fore. Since the early 1990s, much of the attention devoted to Kyūsaku has come from the Fukuoka area and several events have been held there.479 This most recent iteration of ‘local’—it would be difficult to call it dochaku—affect is not political in the way that it was in the 1960s (or the 1930s) when it was embraced by the first generation for which “subculture” was a meaningful term. However, by revisiting the texts and contexts of Inugami hakase and “Kinsei kaijinden,” we can see the potential of dochaku as a subcultural affect. And much as the possibility of an alternative present and future was intimated in the open-ended final scene of Inugami hakase, so dochaku may be waiting for its next chapter to be written.  479  For example, in 1994 a month-long Yumeno Kyūsaku exhibit was held in Fukuoka and organized through local agencies (including the city of Fukuoka, the Nishi nihon shinbun [West Japan Newspaper], and a major local television station). Kaijin Q-saku rando (Yamamoto, ed.) was the name of the book that came out of the exhibit, and the content was focused on rediscovering the importance of Fukuoka for Kyūsaku’s writing. It included family histories, walking maps inspired by his stories, and other Fukuoka-related information. In early 2011 NHK BS Hi-Vision aired a ninety-minute special profiling three generations of the Sugiyama family, and in the fall of 2011, Kyūsaku’s grandson, Sugiyama Mitsumaru, spearheaded a series of symposiums on the Sugiyama clan. The “Inaugural Yumeno Kyūsaku and Three Generations of the Sugiyama Family Research Conference” took place at the beginning of March 2013 and Sugiyama Mitsumaru plans to hold the event annually. 180  Conclusion  Literature, subculture and Japan are three keywords that have guided this study. If asked to define these terms, people would likely have little trouble coming up with concrete examples of literature and Japan. Individual answers would vary, but there would be some (stereotypically pat) consensus, too—Shakespeare, Twain and Austen are literature; robots, samurai, sushi and temples are Japan. However, ask them to define subculture, and chances are there will be little consensus. Someone who has taken a sociology or cultural studies course in college might offer a response about mainstream culture and resistance, and someone who uses the term colloquially might name body-mod clubs or “cosplayers” dressed up as anime characters at a comic-con. If pressed to explain what makes body-mod or cosplaying subculture, they might start to beg the question: “Body-mod is subculture because it’s not mainstream,” or “Body-mod isn’t mainstream because it’s a subculture.” Subculture is a fluid concept by nature, dependent on context: it can mirror or subvert mainstream social values; it can be working class youth culture or the art gallery scene in Manhattan; there is probably nothing more mainstream than the Beatles, but they were subculture in the early 1960s. Some would argue that there is no such thing as a mainstream anymore, yet the idea of subculture persists as a form of difference—subcultures jockey amongst themselves for subcultural capital and claims to authenticity. Subculture tends to be a synchronic category—subculture yesterday might not be subculture today, and today’s subculture will be something else tomorrow. In this way, concrete subcultures come and go, but as a (meta)genre, or as a structural category, subculture maintains relevance. It is a marker of difference, a tag that signifies minorness, marginality, and sometimes danger.  181  There is no concrete “thing” that makes something subculture. Subculture is what “we”— through the media, by word of mouth, through the Internet and so on—decide is subculture, and that status is never stable. As we have seen, the word “subculture” first appeared in Western scholarship just after WWII, but was theorized most famously by scholars in the Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies and at the University of Chicago from the late 1950s through the 1970s. Dick Hebdige’s seminal 1979 study of the fashion of post-WWII British youth groups, Subculture: The Meaning of Style, marked the culmination of the cultural studies approach. Studies since 1979 have frequently moved away from group identities and instead adopted a postmodern methodology that emphasizes fragmentation, individuality and subjective values and goals. Contemporary usage of the word subculture rarely engages theoretical foundations and its meaning appears to have become self-evident; it is used as catch-all for any cultural scene an individual critic deems deviant or marginal. In Japan, subculture, or sabukaruchā, was introduced simultaneously in academic discourse and the popular media in the 1970s, but its meaning was never fully explored. Sociologist Miyadai Shinji’s study, Sabukaruchā shinwa kaitai (The dismantling of the subculture myth), came out in the early 1990s, but due to the lack of a rigorous investigation in prior years of what subculture actually meant, it was not entirely clear what was being “dismantled.” By the early 2000s, as the discipline of cultural studies began to gain traction in Japan, academic studies were using the term subculture more often than before, but in the popular media, subculture’s death knell was constantly being tolled. Nevertheless, it was just about this time —the late 1990s and early 2000s—that the sabukaruchā kōnā, or “subculture  182  corner,” became a permanent part of bookstores. These sabukaruchā kōnā are still found in every major bookstore in Japan to this day. Moreover, Azuma Hiroki, the leader of the wave of sociology and cultural criticism that followed the New Academism of intellectuals Karatani Kōjin (b. 1941) and Asada Akira (b. 1957), made subculture an important component of his research. In this latest iteration of subculture studies, however, subculture is usually equated with the figure of the otaku, or with popular culture more generally. Ōtsuka Eiji, a manga producer and cultural critic, is a peripheral figure in Japanese academia, but he wrote prolifically on subculture from the middle of the 1990s until the middle of the 2000s, and his views on subculture as a postwar ethic that reflects the loss of grand narratives has influenced the work of Azuma and others.  Subcultural Affects  Disparate discourses of subculture (and sabukaruchā) have developed over the decades. Rather than try to adhere to a single definition or look at it as a concrete genre or medium (e.g. manga or other popular culture media and products), I argue that it is more productive to think about what a subculture does. One way to do this is to think of subculture as a genre, or more accurately a metagenre. Any consideration of subculture—including the relationship between subculture and literature—must deal with the dynamic between the text and the outside world. Much as cult film discourse cannot ignore the role of the audience, an examination of “subculture literature” cannot be based on formal characteristics alone. John Snyder claims that genres are historical configurations of power that exert a kind of violence,  183  and this dissertation has been my attempt to determine the type of violence and power that “subculture literature” exerts. At the same time, the power of a text (or set of texts) depends on intrinsic elements, too—there must be something for audiences to latch on to. Using Ken Gelder’s writing on the relationship between narrative and reception, I have made the idea of “subcultural affects” central to this study. The combination of narrative content and meta-narrative elements— such as an author’s reputation, the medium in which the text was disseminated, and the ideology of the reader—work in tandem to construct the category of subculture as a metagenre. Subcultural affects in literary (or other creative) works are akin to what might be more traditionally thought of as narrative elements. Those elements become a focal point for a certain portion of society—they are celebrated or vilified, constructed through communities and various forms of media. A subcultural affect, like subculture itself, has marginality, minorness and deviancy at its root. The example of kawaii (cute) culture is indicative of this aspect. Kawaii is diminutive, easily deformed and non-threatening: it is associated with women and children, two segments of society that have traditionally been placed in a minor position. A subcultural affect is secondary, which is to say the effect the subcultural object engenders is a step removed from the affect. We may recognize kawaii as a subcultural affect, but a “feeling” of kawaii, were such a thing possible, would not be the point. The way that kawaii is associated with minorness and is received by certain groups within society at different periods is the point. Affect theory asks questions about emotion, cognition and desire—the crux of subcultural affect is the way an element in a text (or other form of  184  expression) is not only felt, but how that feeling, in turn, encourages a larger set of reactions (and receptions).  Yumeno Kyūsaku, Henkaku, Nansensu and Dochaku  My investigation into the potential of a fresh framework for literary and cultural scholarship based on subcultural affects has been centered on a single author, Yumeno Kyūsaku. An outsider within pre-WWII mystery writing circles—a scene already marginal within literary circles of the day—Kyūsaku was an enigmatic figure. He avoided Tokyo in favor of northern Kyushu, wrote about and taught noh theater, fancied himself a modan bōi (modern boy), was close to leaders of the provincial, ultranationalist Gen’yōsha political group (by way of his father, a political fixer known as the “black curtain of the political world”), and perhaps most importantly, he wrote stories rich with intellect, horror, humor, and a critical eye towards modern society. Sugiyama Naoki, as Yumeno Kyūsaku was known during his childhood, changed his name to Sugiyama Taidō at age twenty-six after a period of wandering in which he took the Buddhist tonsure, and in 1926, at the age of thirty-seven, published his first story under his memorable penname. Until his death in March 1936, Kyūsaku achieved modest success, but his star truly rose in the 1960s when his writing was rediscovered in the context of the burgeoning countercultural movements and political activism. For this reason, my analysis has taken on dual timeframes: from the 1920s to the middle of the 1930s and then from the 1960s on.  185  The subcultural affects that I have examined within this methodology are henkaku, nansensu, and dochaku. These terms can be translated loosely as “strange / unorthodox / inauthentic,” “nonsense” and “native / indigenous,” respectively, but I use them in the their original Japanese in order to mark them off as discrete affective constellations. In the first chapter, I argued that henkaku, which was used as part of the term henkaku tantei shōsetsu (unorthodox detective fiction) from the middle of the 1920s, has roots in the discourses of abnormal psychology (hentai shinri) and abnormal sexology (hentai seiyoku). Hentai, which has come to signify sexual perversion in contemporary usage, came to Japan through scientific study in Europe and America at the end of the nineteenth century. At that time, sexual perversion was one part of a larger field of hentai that included occultism, genetics, criminology, madness and other abnormalities associated with mental illness. Whereas hentai seiyoku was concerned with the body, hentai shinri dealt with the mind and the world of the subconscious, but both normalized prejudice in the name of science toward transgressive or deviant types in the name of science. For Kyūsaku, the transgressive power of henkaku was its use-value for displacing honkaku tantei shōsetsu (orthodox detective fiction), thereby serving as the vehicle for readers to confront their consciences (ryōshin). By exploring abnormal psychology and deviancy in his fiction and essays, Kyūsaku opened a space by which the effects of the excess stimulation of modern life could be encountered. Excessive time, excessive (female) bodies and excessive anxiety appear over and over in his writing, especially in his fictional “hells” that are as much a topos of the damaged mind as actual places. By looking at a range of Kyūsaku’s texts—from his reportage for the Kyūshū nippō newspaper in the wake of the earthquake that leveled Tokyo in 1923 to his breakthrough into mystery writing circles and  186  then his defense of the henkaku form not long before he died—we can see that he not only engaged with the hentai discourses of the time, but he exhibited a shift from an early emphasis on hentai seiyoku to hentai shinri in his later work. For Kyūsaku’s readers in the 1920s and 1930s, henkaku was not just a genre of detective fiction, but also an exploration of mood and emotion. Writing about his reaction to “Oshie no kiseki,” Ranpo called attention not to the central mystery of the story (did Toshiko’s mother commit adultery?), but to his quickened pulse and the tightness in his chest as he read the story straight through. The thrills of henkaku were difficult to explain logically, but logic had little bearing in the henkaku world. At the same time, the inability to separate oneself from the mind afflicted with hentai shinri was itself a cause for anxiety, which was evident in Ranpo’s admissions that Kyūsaku’s kichigai motifs were unsettling. Madness and the workings of the mind gone mad were fertile literary grounds, but Kyūsaku showed excess here, too—his narrators took readers directly into the heart of that madness. The word henkaku itself fell out of usage, for all intents and purposes disappearing by around 1950; unless the youth who celebrated Kyūsaku in the 1960s were avid fans of prewar detective fiction, there is a good possibility they would not have recognized the word henkaku even if they heard it. Nevertheless, the elements of transgression and deviance that appealed to those youth were the very same ones that earned Kyūsaku’s writing the label of henkaku. The second subcultural affect I took up was nansensu, a term that derives from the English “nonsense,” but which took on new significance when ero guro nansensu—erotic grotesque nonsense—became a catchphrase in 1920s and 1930s Japan. Each word could be used independently from the others, but ero carried the most weight of the three, followed by guro. Ero and guro proved to be compatible terms, and were frequently combined as ero  187  guro. Nansensu was the least appealing of the ero guro nansensu triad—and the least understood. Whereas ero and guro were immediately apparent through stable visual cues, nansensu was more of a cheerful or absurd sensibility. Ero and guro often made the primitive (and colonial) body the object of its gaze, but nansensu was of-the-moment, and America (especially Hollywood) was seen as the place where nansensu thrived. Quick-witted banter between the moga (modern girl) and mobo (modern boy) typified the mood of nansensu literature, and the decision by Shinseinen magazine to shift its emphasis to nansensu in 1927 was done in the spirit of capturing the essence of the modan, or modern. However, nansensu was not all humor and lightness. As Nii Itaru wrote in 1931, what appears to be nansensu to those watching may be of the utmost seriousness for the person doing it. The spirit of competition and progress that drove modernity also drove nansensu, and people were pushing beyond their normal limits of physical and mental stress. In Nii’s conception of nansensu, pain and cruelty were never far away. Kyūsaku was interested in the gap between what was visible on the surface and what lay invisible beneath, and the dual nature of nansensu may have been a reason he was drawn to it. He wrote with a dry wit and showed a predilection for humor, especially compared to fellow mystery writers, but pain was usually near at hand. In this respect, the affective potential of nansensu was more complex that it might have appeared at first look. Kyūsaku’s example of noh theater as the ultimate expression of nansensu goes against the typical association of nansensu with cosmopolitanism and the modan (modern), but it also introduces the notion of “pure feeling,” a term used by William Tyler and Jay Rubin to describe the crux of a noh performance for an audience. The exact feeling that is induced is not fixed, and likewise with Kyūsaku’s equation of noh with nansensu, his nansensu was not  188  limited to the smile on the surface. Whether writing about incidents in the countryside, the “meaninglessness” of noh theater, or even the terrors of war, Kyūsaku used nansensu as an aesthetic of duality to “make strange” the taken for granted. The nansensu that emerged in the 1960s and 1970s as the cry of “bullshit” directed at authority figures was not identical to the one that Kyūsaku wrote about in the 1920s and 1930s, but the idea that nansensu had a critical bite was certainly the same. The word dochaku, the topic of the third chapter, is nowhere to be found in Kyūsaku’s texts. Critics in the 1960s used dochaku to signify an indigenous, premodern (or antimodern) philosophy as an alternative to postwar politics. Japan’s economy was growing at a spectacular rate, but at the cost of environmental degradation and an alliance with the US that alienated many citizens. The baby boomers who reached college age in the early 1960s would become the most visible protestors, but intellectuals such as Tsurumi Shunsuke, who was born in 1922 and graduated from Harvard, helped to establish the ideological platform atop which rebellious youth could congregate. Dochaku, as it came to be understood in the 1960s, celebrated a native, everyday lived experience that predated modernization. Paradoxically, returning to a premodern perspective held the potential for social progress, and even a truer form of democracy in their eyes. The intellectual class had led Japan into war, and dochaku, as a kind of pragmatic (rather than essentialist) ethnic nationalism, stressed the power of the “people.” As an aesthetic, dochaku was dirty and grotesque, at times erotic, and wrapped in a veil of mystery and premodern irrationality. The work of artists and writers such as Terayama Shūji, Yokoo Tadanori and Fukuzawa Shichirō exemplified dochaku in the 1960s, and postwar critics slotted Kyūsaku’s serialized novel from late 1931, Inugami hakase, into this  189  category. Chii (the child version of the adult narrator), the brash, gender-bending “godlike” protagonist from the outcast hinin class, fit right in to the context of postwar counterculture, as did the fictional Gen’yōsha’s disdain for Tokyo-based central authority. In another sense, however, the image of Kyūsaku himself as an eccentric, romantic writer from the provinces who died young encouraged his reception as a minor—and even resistant—figure.  Dual Timeframes  A major challenge when organizing this study was how to deal with multiple time frames: the 1920s and 1930s, when Kyūsaku was writing, and then the 1960s and 1970s, when he was rediscovered (and to a lesser extent, his post-1970s reception). Subculture, and sabukaruchā, was being established in the postwar period, and counterculture, as an iteration of subculture, was actively oppositional; Kyūsaku’s narratives had use-value for those in the countercultural movements. As such, Kyūsaku’s postwar revival is really the starting point for considering the power of subcultural affects in relation to his texts. Indeed, it is fair to wonder whether or not he might still be a forgotten author had the countercultural movements never taken place. I have defined subculture literature as a reception category that draws on affects within the text. As such, in each chapter I have attempted to look critically at those texts and see the cultural work they perform in different periods. It is not a given that a particular element in a Kyūsaku story, or in multiple stories, has the same potential to register with readers in different historical times to produce complex affective constellations that we call, in hindsight, subculture. The names I have given to these affects—henkaku, nansensu and  190  dochaku—are subjective. Henkaku was a prewar term that disappeared by the early 1950s, nansensu spanned the pre- and postwar periods, and dochaku appeared as a meaningful term only in the postwar period. Dochaku was the most overtly political of the three because it emerged within the context of postwar counterculture. Nansensu also took on a political valence in the postwar that it did not have in the prewar period, but it was partly—even if only in name recognition—a carryover from the prewar ero guro nansensu. Henkaku was confined to the literary world in terms of actual usage, but its underlying themes of abnormality and transgression certainly carried the potential to support a politics of subversion or resistance. If we go back to the 1920s and 1930s, when Kyūsaku’s writing first circulated, how were those elements that I have called henkaku, nansensu and dochaku received? If we jump to the 1980s or 2000s, how are they received? Kyūsaku’s texts are the same, but the way they are received has changed. I have shown that the elements mobilized for a resistant politics in the 1960s were tied up with issues of marginality and minorness even in their original historical contexts, though net necessarily in terms of politics. From the 1920s to the 1960s, the “Inovel discourse” became the “dominant paradigm and meta-narrative by which almost all literary works, including classical texts, were described, judged, and interpreted.”480 Kyūsaku’s decidedly non-“I-novel”-esque fiction was minor from the perspective of elite writing circles. The closest that Kyūsaku came to participating in a public debate was in his essays in support of the henkaku tantei shōsetsu at the time that author Kōga Saburō was  480  Suzuki, Narrating the Self, 3. 191  serializing an essay, “Tantei shōsetsu kōwa” (Lecture on detective fiction).481 Before WWII, Kyūsaku’s politics were rarely on display, and if he were to be considered marginal in any way, it would have been mostly in literary terms. Not only did he write within the genre of tantei shōsetsu, but within a minor form, henkaku, and even within that field he remained an enigma to fellow writers because of his distance from Tokyo and his focus on psychological abnormality. Yumeno Kyūsaku was writing in a time when the word subculture did not exist, but notions of marginality did. In the late 1920s and 1930s, when the idea of bunka (culture) had replaced the Meiji era focus on bunmei (civilization), new literary cultures were taking shape thanks to an increasingly cosmopolitan, urban society and booming print culture. These factors bear some structural similarities with the postwar emergence of subculture (and sabukaruchā). Following Japan’s postwar economic recovery driven by the overarching narrative of reconstructing the nation, people could, as in the 1920s and 1930s, shift energy into the pursuit of bunka interests. This trend accelerated after broad interest in politics died down in the early 1970s. Many phenomena designated as subculture since the 1990s, such as manga fandoms, shōjo culture, youth music and fashion scenes, have their roots in this postpolitical environment of the 1970s and early 1980s. This is a sweeping view of the bunka and bunmei dichotomy, and in using a dual time frame, one runs the risk of oversimplifying differing historical periods. It is too simplistic to say the 1960s are a repeat of the 1930s, for example, just because both decades were political in nature, or that the 1910-1920s, 1950s, and the late 1970-1980s were the same because they  481  Kōga Saburō’s essays ran from January to December 1935 in Purofiiru (a popular detective fiction magazine) and showcased his views on what constituted an authentic detective story. See Saito, “Culture and Authenticity,” 77. 192  were characterized by economic growth and the spread of popular culture. For one thing, cultural contexts do not break up so neatly by decade, and for another, there are just too many variables that make the overall situations different even when some similarities are apparent. However, it is possible to make some comparisons if the scope of the comparison is made explicit. In the case of this study, I have focused firstly on a set of discrete texts and how they have traveled through the dual timeframes of prewar and postwar rather, thus my scope has been limited by those texts. Secondly, it is not my intention to prove or disprove cycles of historical repetitions—the time periods I have looked at are based on when the texts received attention from audiences. A core concern of this study is the question of marginality and how narratives of marginality change over time. In identifying henkaku, nansensu and dochaku as subcultural affects, it is not my intention to claim that they will always be received as marginal. However, they were received as such at different times, and we might ask why that is the case. What aspects of the different time periods made possible the recognition of texts with those particular affects as marginal? Since I have tracked the trajectory of particular texts, the comparison of different time periods is a necessary byproduct of my interest in the long-term journey of a work, author or genre. My goal is not simply to compare time periods, but to see how texts (and affects) travel through time. Using a dual time frame introduces a diachronic aspect to subculture, which is useful when thinking about it as a metagenre. Genres form over long periods of time as formal characteristics coalesce into a recognizable shape, but as a metagenre, subculture has the possibility of remaining fluid—it exists as a structure in which marginality in a particular context is the main criterion. By looking at an author who has been considered subculture at  193  a particular time and identifying the pertinent subcultural affects, we can turn to the longterm reception of that author and examine how the narrative elements in the work were received in different times. This is the approach I have taken in this study. Alternatively, rather than trace a single author, we can take up other works that fall within the same category of a subcultural affect and compare them. Why is one work more popular than another? Why is this text considered more authentic than the other? By looking at how multiple texts work together in a synchronic analysis, a deeper understanding of marginality in a particular historical context emerges, but if we do a comparative analysis across time periods, we might find that texts and authors we would not normally examine in conjunction have points of intersection not previously noticed. Conversely, the subcultural affect that ties the works together in a synchronic analysis might diminish in importance when considered over a longer period of time. In my attempt to illuminate the intersections between literature, subculture and modern Japan, I have worked from the perspective that subculture is not a rare phenomenon. To the contrary, it is a very common thing—subculture is a secondary category that becomes visible only vis-à-vis something else (e.g. mainstream culture or other subcultures), but when it does, questions of marginality, dominance and the status quo come to the fore. The process of responding to those questions is an intrinsic part of the process of cultural evolution. Specific subcultures, or examples of “subculture literature,” do not necessarily maintain that status over long periods of time or when they cross cultural boundaries. And by the same token, something mainstream, such as manga in Japan, can become subculture when it travels abroad. Moreover, if the subcultural affect of a text carries over to different contexts, the nature of the affect can change.  194  Subculture is a wide-ranging concept, one characterized by a sense of tension, provocation and sometimes danger. Subculture is by nature a secondary category, one that asks us to conceive of alternative ways of thinking and acting. By turning to works and authors that are outside dominant frameworks—that is, by creating a category such as “subculture literature”—we can find alternative streams of cultural expression and show alternative visions of how a society defines itself (and responds to external definitions). My research will begin to bridge not only the gaps between eras, but between literature and subculture, center and margin, popular and elite. Although I said this is about literature, Japan and subculture, the stakes are not limited to the Japanese case. Contemporary Japanese culture—from manga, anime, film and video games to music, fashion and food—is exported as “Cool Japan” around the world, and in the English-speaking world it is usually received as subculture. Cosplayers can be found at comic markets and anime expos across the globe, and Internet forums make possible the nearly real-time exchange of cultural products that a generation ago would have remained out of sight for those not living in a particular place. European culture, science and art have had a great influence in Japan since it began its modernizing project in the Meiji period, and after WWII the culture of the United States poured into Japan. Japan, on the other hand, was exporting hard goods and creating economic wealth in the postwar era, but over the last twenty-five years or so, the exportation of Japanese popular culture has become increasingly visible outside of Asia. Do phenomena that operate as subculture in Japan function the same way outside Japan? Even if something is received as subculture in both the Japanese and non-Japanese contexts, is the subcultural affect still the same? What about Japanese popular culture that assumes a subcultural identity only outside of Japan?  195  The cultural products associated with Japanese subculture—and the narratives that undergird them—did not appear out of thin air. With global interest in Japanese culture at a high point, now is the time to investigate the roots of the narratives, many of which have come from literary sources. The subcultural affects, in their rawest form, are found in these narratives. The potency of the affects depends on many factors, including the media through which they are disseminated, linguistic competency of the audience, the narrative’s relevance to the social circumstances of the audience, and an infrastructure—virtual and physical—that allows for the construction of community. 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