The early twentieth century Shirakaba ('White Birch') movement's later involvement with "prewar Japanese nationalism has hitherto caused especially Western scholars to neglect its major significance. Shirikaba was created by graduates of the aristocratic Gakushuin ('Peers' School') in reaction against the dominant naturalism of contemporary Japanese literature. Though at first seeking ideological and cultural models in Europe, Shirakaba writers soon developed an increasing sense of their own "Japaneseness. The first part of this volume chronicles the birth of this literary movement and of its important magazine under the charismatic leadership of Mushanokoji Saneatsu. In the second part the author illuminates the ethos of the movement by analysing the figure of the Sensei (Master) in key Shirakaba texts by Mushanokoji Saneatsu, Nagayo Yoshiro and Kurata Hyakuzo. This volume definitely breaks new ground by seeing the movement as one of the significant episodes in the cultural history of Japan.Mortimer, Maya is the author of 'Meeting the Sensei The Role of the Master in Shirakaba Writers' with ISBN 9789004116559 and ISBN 9004116559.
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