The Birth of Shinkankaku-ha Bungejidai journal and Paul Morand

Azusa Omura, PhD Candidate, Graduate School of Decision Science and Technology, Tokyo Institute of Technology [About | Email]

Volume 12, Issue 1 (Article 6 in 2012). First published in ejcjs on 1 May 2012.


This paper examines the role of Bungeijidai (Literary Age, literary magazine) in Japanese literary society in the 1920s. Yokomitsu Riichi (1898-1947), Kawabata Yausnari (1899-1972) and others launched Bungeijidai in 1924 in order to oppose the literary mainstream, which was under the influence of Japanese naturalism and the Proletarian movement. The Bungeijidai coterie initially aimed to create a new literature that was influenced by Western Modernist Literature and employed abundant experimental metaphors in their works. However, since Chiba Kameo (1878-1935) dubbed this group the Shinkankaku-ha (New Sensationalists) and described their style of writing as similar to that of Paul Morand (French novelist, 1888-1976), they decided to act out their role as the Shinkankaku-ha. Moreover, the birth of the Shinkankaku-ha gave existing literary society significant opportunities to discuss what literature in the 1920s was. This study explores how Bungeijidai created 1920s Japanese Modernist Literature and what Shinkankaku-ha literature was.

Keywords: Modernism, foreignness, Shinkankaku-ha, Paul Morand.


The artistic movement now known as Modernism began around the late 19th century in Western countries and later came to Japan. The trend particularly blossomed in the 1920s and 1930s under the following circumstances: Capitalism, consumerism, urban life, the mass destruction of the First World War (1914-1918). Given that the origins of the city lifestyle we have nowadays were born at this moment, Modernism is recognized as a significant phase for present culture and society (Levenson 1999; Shiach 2007). Literature was one of the most significant products of the Modernist movement. Following other Modernist artists, Modernist novelists attempted to invent a new style of writing and in their works employed various modern elements such as the figure of the ‘new women’, café and salons, and also described the luxurious and decadent life in cosmopolitan cities. These novels attracted young readers and the novelists acquired popularity as representatives of the glittering new age. Nevertheless their works were camouflaged by a mass of metaphors and the authors’ ideas and protagonist’s feelings remained hidden. Their reputations were always controversial because of the difficulty in understanding their texts.

The young Japanese literary group, Shinkankaku-ha (the New Sensationalist school), is recognized as the beginning of Modernist literature in Japan (Keene 1984, p. 644). At the same time, the French novelist and diplomat, Paul Morand (1888-1976), was popular in France, America and Japan. Morand’s name has been emphasized for over 30 years in Nihon kindai bungaku daijiten (The Encyclopedia of Japan Modern Literature, 1977) as the person who inspired young Japanese to launch Bungeijidai (Literary Age, 1924-1927), the New Sensationalist school’s coterie magazine (1977, p. 221). This study reveals the relationship between the New Sensationalist school and Paul Morand focusing on how Literary Age coterie accepted and developed the label of the New Sensationalist school. Despite the fact that Morand’s connection with the New Sensationalist school is clearly acknowledged in Japanese literary history (Sasaki 1959; Keene 1984), the relationship has never been a main topic of any academic study. Yamazaki Kuniki remarked that studies hitherto mainly focused on the label of the New Sensationalist school rather than its journal, Literary Age, and “Although Literary Age has been recognized as an important coterie magazine, its practical activity aside from the New Sensationalist school movement is rarely the main issue” (1983, p. 125). Yamazaki clearly stated that research on the Literary Age is scarce. As far as I am aware, this article is the first to scrutinize the connection between Literary Age and Paul Morand in detail.

Firstly, in chronological order, I will explain how Paul Morand was connected to Literary Age.

The Birth of Shinkankaku-ha (the New Sensationalist school)

Horiguchi Daigaku (Japanese poet and translator, 1892-1981) first introduced Morand as a Dadaist (Morand 1924, pp. 14-15 [Translator’s introduction]) to Japanese literary society in July 1924 in Horiguchi’s introduction to Open All Night (Yoru hiraku). He noted that Morand’s work was the model for a new era and it had inspired young people to employ an experimental style of writing (Morand 1924, pp. 14-15 [Translator’s introduction]). According to Horiguchi, Morand used the logic of the senses instead of rational logic to describe relationships between things (1984, p. 220). One of the stories in Open All Night, ‘Borealis’ (Hokuō no yoru), was about a secret group of nudists; thus it triggered criticism of Morand as writing erotica. Open All Night was banned in America because of its sexual frankness. Ikuta Chōkō (Japanese critic, 1882-1936) wrote that there is little difference between Morand’s writings and erotic literature in the Edo period (1925, p. 53). On the other hand, Satō Haruo wrote a positive review in the Jiji shinpō newspaper on 1 October 1924. Satō remarked that Morand’s style of writing was extremely novel and that the images in Open All Night seemingly do not relate to each other, but connect enough to tell readers the point of the story (1924, p. 10). We can find that it was Morand’s style of writing that mainly drew the readers’ attention, not his themes.

In October 1924, three months after Open All Night was published, the journal Bungeijidai (Literary Age) was launched by such young novelists as Yokomitu Riichi (1898-1947), Kawabata Yasunari (1899-1972) and Kataoka Teppei (1894-1944). The name Bungeijidai was given to the magazine by Kawabata, and the journal was edited by all of its members in turn. Even though the members of the coterie changed and they invited critics and novelists outside the coterie to publish in their magazine, the main members of the group were 19 young novelists: Itō Takamaro (1893-1967), Ishihama Kinsaku (1899-1968), Inagaki Taruho (1900-77), Jūichiya Gisaburō (1897-1937), Kamiya Kiichi (1901-86), Kan Tadao (1899-1942), Kataoka Teppei, Kawabata Yasunari, Kishida Kunio (1890-1954), Kon Tōkō (1898-1977), Minami Yukio (1896-1964), Miyake Ikusaburō (1897-1941), Nakagawa Yoichi (1897-1994), Sakai Masato(1898-1974), Sasaki Mitsuzō (1896-1934), Sasaki Mosaku (1894-1966), Suwa Saburō (1896-1974), Suzuki Hikojirō (1898-1975) and Yokomitsu Riichi (This list is from Kawabata 1950, p. 3).

Although the Literary Age coterie was composed of young novelists, 13 out of the 14 initial members had belonged to the Bungeishunjū (Literary Chronicle, general magazine, 1923 to present) group (Fukuoka 1967, p. 8). The critic Kikuchi Kan (the founder of Literary Chronicle, 1888-1948) offered these young men the opportunity to have their work published in Literary Chronicle. However, they chose to launch the new journal, Literary Age. A few scholars have commented on the origin of Literary Age: “while Kikuchi was depressed by the Great Kantō Earthquake [1923] Kawabata Yasunari and Yokomitsu Riichi regarded it as a chance to invent ‘new’ things’” (Hoshō 1999, pp. 145-146) and “They [the Literary Age authors who formerly belonged to the Literary Chronicle group] could not help but clarify their attitude as inventors of a new literature and not as a follower of the previous literary generation including Kikuchi Kan” (Odagiri 1975, p. 347). These young novelists picked the right moment to become independent from their literary teacher. This move surely created a negative impression in literary circles and, consequently, they became the object of criticism. (However Yokomitsu and Kawabata denied the rumour that there was a conflict between Kikuchi and the Literary Age coterie. [Yokomitsu 1924, p. 15 [vol.1, no.11]; Kawabata 1950, p. 3]) In fact, the target of criticism was not only their background, but also their style.

Yokomitsu Riichi wrote a short novel for the first issue of Literary Age (October 1924), which is called Atama narabi ni hara (Heads and Belly). The first sentence of Heads and Belly goes as follows: “Mahiru de aru. Tokubetsu kyūkōressha wa man’in no mama zensokuryoku de kakete ita. Ensen no shōeki wa ishi no yōni mokusatsu sareta” (1924, p.50 [vol.1, no.1]). [It was noon. A packed special express train was passing at full speed and a small station on the railroad was ignored like a stone.2] This provoked some amount of controversy in Taishō literary society. While the language was celebrated as an example of a new mode of expression, it was criticized as excessively decorative. In the third issue (December 1924), Kataoka Teppei praised this style: “Yokomitsu was not satisfied with just describing the scene in an ordinary way. Rather, he aimed to describe the relationship existing in front of the express train, the small station and his own consciousness. […] He did not see the scene with his mind, but felt the scene” (1924, p.4 [vol.1, no.3]). Yokomitsu’s language was recognized in both a positive and negative way as a representative expression of the New Sensationalist school. In 1925, Komiyama Akitoshi noted that since Yokomitsu’s language astonished readers, the New Sensationalist authors were criticized for creating a ‘new’ style of writing without any ideology and social criticism (1973, pp. 110-114). This image did not change during the entire publication history of Literary Age.

A month after the first issue appeared, Chiba Kameo (Japanese critic, 1878-1935) pointed out the similarity of the style of writing between the New Sensationalist school writers and Paul Morand in his essay, ‘Shinkankaku-ha no tanjō’ (‘The Birth of the New Sensationalist School’, November 1924). Actually the term the ‘New Sensationalist school’ is more famous than the name of the magazine, Literary Age. At the beginning of the essay, Chiba remarked that “present day literature was in decay and accordingly young novelists attempted to reform it. […] The era itself was composed of new sensations and these writers were staring at life through a small hole” (1980, pp.357-358). The 'small hole' indicates the New Sensationalist school authors’ style of writing as something new, acute and daring, with vivid descriptions and metaphors. In addition, Chiba noted that “the popularity of Open All Night among Japanese readers implied the birth of the New Sensationalist school” (1980, p. 359). Chiba was the first to note similarities between the works of Morand and the New Sensationalist school. As a result of that, the name of Paul Morand was inscribed into Japanese literary history, as for example: “the [Literary Age] coterie learned their literary style from Paul Morand’s Open All Night, the German expressionist movie, Das Kabinett des Doktor Caligari [The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari] and other devastating ideas and fashions depriving from Dadaism, Futurism and Expressionism;” these remarks were expressed in The Encyclopedia of Japan Modern Literature (1977, p. 221). Consequently, a strong relationship between the New Sensationalist school and Paul Morand was established and became rooted as fact in Japanese literary history.

The New Sensationalist school was influenced by Western artistic movements and nobody doubts this; however, the discussion around the Literary Age has not been fully investigated yet. I will leave a detailed discussion of Literary Age to the next section in order to clarify how coterie members reacted to the labelling of the New Sensationalist school.

The Label of Shinkankaku-ha (The New Sensationalist school)

The Literary Age coterie wrote a manifesto under the title of “Atarashiki seikatsu to atarashiki bungei” (‘New Life and New Literature’) in the first issue (October 1924). Dennis Keene remarked “The first concern of the Shinkankakuha was with the novel, with prose” (1980, p. 70). Donald Keene also wrote that the New Sensationalist school movement was not based on a strong ideology (1984, p. 644). Yet, if they did not share a single ideology, there was apparently something that persuaded these writers to leave the Literary Chronicle and Kikuchi Kan, and launch the new journal. In this manifesto, the writers expressed a firm request for a new mode of writing, in order to describe the reality of Capitalist society and modern life after the Great Kantō Earthquake. Kawabata stated as follows:

We anticipate that Literary Age will destroy current literary society that is in a state of decline. […] I declare here that our purpose in creating this magazine is to destroy our own life and art. […] What is the new life? What is the new literature? We are going to answer these questions in this magazine (1924, pp. 7-10 [vol. 1, no. 1]).

As Kawabata noted, they did not decide what this new literature was in the first issue. They simply had an enthusiasm for creating their original literary style and their ideas were still vague. In adittion, Kon Tōkō compared the ideological history of Japan and Europe. Mentioning André Gide (French novelist, 1869-1951), he pointed out it was a tragedy for Japanese and Europeans that Capitalism deprived them of their one traditional reliable virtue: Hotoke (Buddha) or God which confirmed their existence (Kon 1924, p. 11 [vol. 1, no. 1]). Kataoka Teppei also mentioned about the loss of God in his essay, ‘Tōan hitotsu’ (1924, pp. 18-19 [vol. 1, no. 1]). One of the essential elements that encouraged these young novelists to launch Literary Age is definitely the loss of traditional, dependable beliefs. Another opening essay in the first issue written by Jūichiya Gisaburō showed clearly what they were trying to achieve. He compared the literary history of Europe and Japan and insisted that their concept of art was similar to that of Henrik Ibsen (Norwegian playwright, 1828-1906) or Vasily Kandinsky (Russian painter, 1866-1944) (1924, p. 3 [vol. 1, no. 1]). Both of them are famous as rising stars in their respective fields. By reading the manifesto and essays, we can conclude that the Literary Age authors attempted to establish the legitimacy of their movement by comparing their writing with their European counterparts.

Sans Ideology

The Literary Age authors wrote an essay on the topic, entitled ‘Shisō naki shōsetsu no kachi ikan’ (‘What is the Value of Literature without Ideology?’), in the second issue. In Nakagawa Yoichi’s essay (‘Takaki sonzai eno kyūkaku’, [The Sense of Smelling to Search for More Valuable Spirits]), he mentioned the conflict between proletarian literature and bourgeois literature (Japanese Naturalist literature), and denied the need for a philosophical and ideological basis for literature (1924, pp. 10-11 [vol. 1, no. 2]). Another member who wrote about the same topic, Sasaki Mitsuzō, also did not have much interest in ideology, and wrote that theme and style were more important for literature in his essay entitled ‘Saishoku kenbi shugi’ (Having both Brains and Beauty) (1924, p. 14 [vol. 1, no. 2]).

Through their discussions, these novelists focused on literature as a non-ideological construct; their texts apparently were to be ‘new’ and different from proletarian literature and Naturalism. However, the editor’s note in the first issue says Kaneko Yōbun (Japanese novelist, 1893-1985) promised to send an article (1924, p. 108 [vol. 1, no. 1, ‘Henshū kōki’). He was already a representative proletarian novelist at that time (yet he did not contribute to Literary Age). By viewing the first and the second issue, we can see that the Literary Age authors did not have a single concept of the ‘new literature,’ as Odagiri Hideo pointed out (1975, pp. 347-348). However, after being labeled as the New Sensationalist school, they soon needed to create a definition of ‘new literature.’

Critiques of Shinkankaku-ha

The scholar Odagiri Hideo remarked that since the group members accepted the name, i.e., the New Sensationalist school, they were required to perform as New Sensationalist authors (1975, pp. 352-359). By noting the affinities between the writing style of the New Sensationalist school and Morand, who was recognized as a new star in French literary circles (Shibata 1923, p. 79), and who inspired a new generation of novelists in Japan (Anon 1925, p. 113 [‘Saikin bundan no iroiro’]), it seems that Chiba Kameo felt that the New Sensationalist school would become a model for a new kind of literature. So, what was this new literature? In the third issue of Literary Age published in December 1924, Kataoka Teppei wrote an essay ‘Wakaki dokusha ni uttau’ (Talking to Young Readers), a rebuttal of Chiba Kameo. Kataoka insisted that the Literary Age authors did not exclusively focus on creating a new style of writing (1924, p.10 [vol. 1, no. 3]). They realized an urgent need to establish their own literary theory after being attacked by older critics and novelists. A collection of five powerful critiques of the ‘Kiseibundan’ (existing literary circles) appeared under the title of ‘Hihyōka no kiseibundan kan’ (Impressions on Existing Literary Circles by Critics, December 1924, vol. 1, no. 3). These critiques clearly castigated the traditional style of writing including Naturalism and emphasized the ‘newness’ of the New Sensationalists. As a result, the Literary Age coterie became increasingly aware of its label of ‘the New Sensationalist school’. Chiba defined ‘the New Sensationalist school’ as a new model for Japanese literature, focused on the art of writing, and inspired by Western literature, particularly Paul Morand. In this text, the ‘newness’ only refers to the coterie’s use of peculiar metaphors.

In the fourth issue of the journal, Kawabata Yasunari in his essay ‘Shinshin sakka no shinkeikō kaisetsu’ (Notes on a New Trend of New Novelists) struggled to define what ‘newness’ and ‘oldness’ meant. Kawabata noted that ‘Shinkankaku’ (new sensation) was an integral part of creating ‘the new literature’ (1925, p. 4 [vol. 2, no. 1]). However, this notion of ‘newness’ was still ambiguous. At the end of this essay, Kawabata introduced Dadaism as the leading Western modern movement (1925, pp. 8-10 [vol. 2, no. 1]). Kawabata’s conclusion ultimately restates what Chiba had already stated, that ‘the new literature’ means ‘a new writing style’ inspired by Western literature. Yokomitsu Riichi, named as the successor to Paul Morand in Japan, also wrote about the idea of Shinkankaku (New Sensation) in an essay, ‘Kankaku katsudō’ (Sensational Activities) in the fifth issue of the journal (February 1925). He remarked ‘I argue that Futurism, Cubism, Expressionism, Dadaism, Symbolism and Constructivism all belong to the New Sensationalist school’ (1925, p.7 [vol. 2, no. 2]). Here Yokomitsu seems to accept Chiba’s definition of the New Sensationalist school.

The New Sensationalist school and Paul Morand

The name of Paul Morand first appeared in the 6th issue of Literary Age (March 1925). He was introduced in this way: “We can see the first Futurist expression in Paul Morand’s Open All Night” (Akagi 1925, p.19 [vol.2, no.3]). The first time that works of Paul Morand were subject to analysis in Literary Age is in the 9th issue in June 1925. The magazine invited a critic outside the coterie; Nakamura Kan’ichi. He wrote an essay entitled ‘Shinkankaku-ha oyobi Morand ni tsuite’ (Shinkankaku-ha and Paul Morand). As the subtitle ‘Ikuta Chōkō ni atau’ (Against Ikuta Chōkō) indicates, this essay refuted Ikuta who denied the existence of a new kind of expression in the New Sensationalist writing and also Morand. Nakamura criticized Ikuta’s opinions and wrote “I can see 'the start of a new era' or new expressions and a lifestyle symbolizing a new era in Open All Night” (1925, p. 51 [vol. 2, no. 6]). But this essay does not totally concentrate on an analysis of Open All Night, rather defining the movement as marking a ‘Shinjidai’ (a new era). Ikuta discarded Morand’s vivid descriptions of modern culture and lifestyle by simply labeling Open All Night as a kind of decadent art (1925, p. 61). In contrast, Nakamura noted that the concept of ‘decadence’ has various aspects and some of them represent ‘a new era’ (1925, pp. 63-65 [vol. 2, no. 6]). I argue that the definition of ‘a new era’ or ‘new sensation’ is not an essential point in this argument. What is most important is that these young novelists regarded modern culture and lifestyle (such as the café, cosmopolitan city, machine and ‘modern girl’) in a positive way and saw it as the origin of their creative passion. Conversely, older literary people saw modern elements as merely decadent values. All of these arguments around the New Sensationalists seem to converge on how they translate the notion of ‘modernity’. The coterie members used the name of Morand to protect their movement.

It is obvious that the coterie became aware of Morand from their comments in the magazine (Kon 1924, p. 51 [vol. 1, no. 3]; Anon 1925, p. 65 [vol. 2, no. 3, ‘Dōjin yosegaki’]; Itō 1925, p. 100 [vol. 2, no. 6]; Sakai 1925, p. 116 [vol. 2, no. 8]; Anon 1925, p. 71 [vol. 2, no. 11, ‘Umekusa’]; Ueda 1925, p. 86 [vol. 2, no.1 1]; Nakagawa 1926, pp. 92-94 [vol. 3, no. 2]; Anon 1926, pp. 98-99 [vol. 3, no. 3, ‘Gōhyōkai daiikkai’]; Ishihama 1926, p. 107 [vol. 3, no. 3]; Sakiyama 1926, p. 111 [vol. 3, no. 3]). For example, Kataoka Teppei noted “As to eroticism, I am better than Paul Morand” (1925, p. 61 [vol. 2, no. 10]). There is also an article which simply praises Morand in the 14th issue (November 1925): “I honestly respect Paul Morand. We can definitely see his acute criticism of society in his works. […] Morand produces vivid melodies and colors by using limitless words. […]” (Hisano 1925, p. 44 [vol. 2, no. 11]). In May 1925, Yokomitsu Riichi also wrote his impressions of Morand’s novels and complained about critics who criticized his own style of writing by comparing it with Morand’s (1956, p. 223). The New Sensationalist writers continued to cite Morand’s name as if he was their flag bearer until the final issue (the last time Morand was mentioned is in at the final issue, Niii 1927, p. 68 [vol. 4, no. 5]) in order to legitimate their literary style.

Bungeijidai (Literary Age) in Decay

Literary Age gradually changed its outlook as a literary magazine. One of the symbols of popular culture in the interwar period, the ‘modern girl,’ appeared in the 19th issue (April 1926). Tomita Tsuneo noted that the Naturalist writers’ style of writing was too old fashioned to describe the ‘modern girl’ (1926, pp. 102-103 [vol. 3, no. 4]). In this way, Literary Age became focused on contemporary popular culture. An essay entitled ‘Bungei to jidai kankaku’ (Literature and Trends) in the 22nd issue (July 1926) primarily discussed changes in the ‘modern girl’ in Japanese society (Niii 1926, p. 78-85 [vol. 3, no. 7]). This kind of essay on modern culture, not on modern literature, started to appear in the journal from 1926 onwards. As Hoshō Masao wrote (1967, p. 14), at the end of Literary Age’s run, younger writers contributed stories rather than the initial members. After the 22nd issue (July 1926), Literary Age completely changed its style. It did not have any theory and started openly to imitate Western popular fiction such as gothic and detective novels, concentrating on modern culture (the ‘modern girl’, machines, cinema or cafés). Therefore, the journal's contributors came to prefer lighter novels and popular culture. As an editor noted of the 27th issue (December 1926), ‘only three coterie members contributed to this issue’ (1926, p.128 [vol. 3, no. 12, ‘Henshū kōki’]); the founding Literary Age writers had started to lose their passion for participating in this journal and the New Sensationalist school.

Kataoka Teppei contributed an essay entitled ‘Todomeno ruhureen’ (‘The Last Word’) to the 31st issue (April 1927) of Literary Age, which contained the following:

I have been attacking realist literature which is at the center of Japanese literary society for a few years. My action created a controversy and aroused severe criticism of the New Sensationalist school from all over the literary world. But time passed and realism is in decay. I argue that all new literature must include at least one of the literary elements that we have suggested. These modes of writing are popular among Japanese readers. I am very satisfied with this success (1927, p. 2 [vol. 4, no. 4]).

Kataoka clearly declared the triumph of the New Sensationalists over Naturalism. At the end of this essay, he also noted “This is my last word in this discussion. And I wish our opponents would agree to end this debate” (1927, p.6 [vol. 4, no. 4]). Kataoka definitely stated that he would never talk again on the topic of the New Sensationalist school. The New Sensationalist school had accomplished its role as pioneer in respect of the ‘new literature.’ Literary Age ceased publication with the next issue after this essay appeared. The Literary Age authors did not exactly define what the ‘new literature’ was until the magazine ceased publication. Nonetheless, the discussions around the ‘new literature’ directed the attention of novelists, critics and readers to the subject of the ‘modern’ elements in literature.

We can see how the Literary Age coterie struggled to develop their own unique brand of literature and gradually accepted the label of the New Sensationalist school. Next I will focus on how the coterie turned their theories into practice in their publications in this magazine, and compare their works to those of Paul Morand.

The New Sensationalist Writing and Paul Morand

On average roughly six stories appeared in every issue of Literary Age. Of these, except for a few successful works, the New Sensationalist stories were sometimes too experimental and therefore were not always praised by critics like Paul Morand. In this section, I will analyze the New Sensationalist writings (in 1924 and 1925, before the magazine changed its approach) in terms ofmetaphor and theme, and compare them to Morand’s work.

The first issue of the Literary Age (October 1924) includes five works of fiction. Atama narabi ni hara (Heads and Belly), written by Yokomitsu Riichi, is among the most famous. The story is set on a special express train. The destination of the train seems to be a big city and most passengers are described as just people who are tired. A boy with a towel on his head suddenly sings a song on the train and the passengers laugh at him. Hamakawa Katsuhiko remarked that Yokomitsu sarcastically describes the loss of humanity in Japanese society at that time; he argues that the special express train, which identifies itself as the inhuman society, is the protagonist in the story rather than the boy and the passengers (2001, p. 41). The personification of the train at the beginning of the story (“It was noon. A packed special express train was passing at full speed and a small station on the railroad was ignored like a stone.”) impresses on readers the idea that the train develops the plot.

The train stops in the middle of nowhere because of mechanical troubles. The passengers are irritated and get off the train. The train staff then suggest that they board another train, which may well reach the destination sooner. Nonetheless the passengers do not move, wondering which is the better choice. Is it possible for the train to be fixed and arrive at the destination sooner? A fat, wealthy man chooses the other train; all of the passengers follow him, except for the boy.

Shibaraku suruto, mata hitori jikujiku to ugoki dashita. Daga, gunshū no atama wa izen to shite ugoka nakatta. Sonotoki, karera no naka ni zenshin no kankaku wo haritsume sasete imamade no yōsu wo nagamete ita hidai na hitori no shinshi ga mazatte ita. Kare no hara wa kyoman no tomi to issei no jishin to wo hōzōshite irukano gotoku subarashiku ōkiku mae ni tsukidete ite, ichijō no kin no kusari ga hara no shita kara saidan no dōban no yō ni hikatte ita.

Kare wa sono fukashigi na miryoku wo motta hara wo yuriugokashi nagara gunshū no mae e deta. Sōshite kare wa kippu wo takushi no ue e sashidashi nagara niyaniya bukimi na usuwarai wo morashite itta.

“Korya, kocchi no hō ga ninki ga aruwai.”

Suruto, imamade shizumatte ita gunshū no atama wa, niwaka ni takushi wo megakete senpū no yō ni yuragi dashita.Takushi ga katamuita. “Osuna! Osuna!” […] (Yokomitsu 1924, pp. 54-55 [vol. 1, no. 1])

(After a short time, the heads in the crowd still did not move. The fat man, staring at what was going on with his sensitive eyes, was one of them. His belly was very big and that might have represented his great wealth and also his life. And there was also a golden chain glittering under his belly that was like a religious ornament.

He came out from the crowd jiggling his belly which possessed a peculiar charm. He put the ticket on the table and grinned.

‘That train is more popular’

Next, the head of the crowd rushed to the table, which was about to fall. ‘Don’t push! Don’t push!’ […])

The boy remains on the train, which is repaired as soon as the other train departs. Indeed, it would get to the destination sooner, because it was a special express train.

There is little doubt that this is a cynical depiction of Capitalist society; the beginning of the tale shaped the story that follows after: Capitalist society lost its humanity and people under the old regime who were not rewarded by wealth arising out of the introduction of Capitalism are left behind like stones. The words in the title, Heads and Belly, apparently represent the heads of the crowd and the belly of the fat man. The heads in the crowd symbolize the people who do not think with their minds and are just subservient to money (the fat rich man) and time (the other train). It is particularly ironic that in the end the train with the boy gets to the destination sooner. I argue that Yokomitsu developed a new mode of expression in this story, different from Naturalism, to describe the modern lifestyle. This is in fact what he aimed to do with this new journal. The plot was not a target for a criticism, but the language was. Consequently, in Literary Age, Yokomitsu’s style alone drew the attention of readers and critics, as it was compared to Morand’s Open All Night.

On the other hand, a number of comments evaluating Morand’s literary style appeared after the publication of Open All Night, but some critics like Ikuta Chōkō remarked that Open All Night could not be a model for the new modern age (1925, p. 61). He criticized Open All Night in regard to the similarities of its style of writing with that of the New Sensationalist school work. He wrote the following in his essay, ‘Bundan no shinjidai ni atau’ (‘Comments on a New Era in Literary Society’), published in the Shinchō journal in 1925: “This novel [Open All Night] does not incorporate the decadence that represents modern Europe and it does not praise the new life and its society” (1925, p. 57). Apparently a critique of Morand, this essay is also a critique of the New Sensationalist school.

Open All Night includes six stories set in Europe amid the chaos after WWI and all of them are on the subject of relationships between a narrator (a French male described as ‘deracine’) and a woman. In every story, readers can see vivid images and a sequence of metaphors. For example we find in the beginning of ‘Catalonian Night’ the following:

À la hauteur de Genève, nous rencontrâmes un orage qui soudain s’effondra. Une foudre fervente se jetait sur les cimes, couvrant le fracas du train. On entendit gémir. Ma compagne se réveilla en sursaut, et fit inconsciemment le signe de la croix. Surprise, elle eut cet air d’oiseau au plumage fripé que prennent les femmes du Sud en voyage: les plus jeunes s’altèrent, se durcissent, les autres tournent au gris plombé, et s’affaissent sous l’ éclat de leurs bijoux. Le ciel se fendit comme une pièce de soie. Plus directe que le magnésium des reporters, la foudre venait de tomber sur le ballast. J’offris de baisser le rideau. (Morand 1992, p.79)

(When we reached Morges [Geneva] a storm broke suddenly. Thunder burst over the peaks, drowning the noise of the train. There were groans. My companion woke with a start and made the sign of the cross without knowing it. Surprised, she looked as do other Southern women when they travel, like a bird with its feathers ruffled; the youngest change and harden, the others go a lead gray and subside behind the shine of their jewelry. The sky ripped like a piece of silk. Lightning had just struck the ballast, quicker than the magnesium of a reporter’s flashlight. I offered to lower the curtain. (Morand 1984, pp. 66-67 [Pound trans.,]))

This scene is a depiction of a train running through a storm and it is seemingly unrelated to the main plot. While Satō Haruo noted that these images are significant parts of the story (1924, p. 10), Ikuta Chōkō wrote that they render the tale unharmonious (1925, pp. 55-56). On the other hand, George Lemaitre praised Morand’s expression, emphasizing his artistic gifts (1938, p. 330). There is little doubt that Morand succeeded in garlanding scenes with strings of images and his expression drew his readers’ attention.

However, we can see his other talent as a social critic in ‘Borealis’. This story is set in Finland and describes a secret group of nudists. In the beginning of the story, Morand personified the clothes that the nudists took off as follow:

[...]― et je pénétrai dans le vestiaire des hommes. Des chemises pendaient, vidées de leurs corps; des bretelles se reposaient; des bottines présentaient leurs talons à rondelles de caoutchouc; les pieds nordiques n’avaient pas échappé à cette vague d’exportation américaine qui, sous forme de machines à calculer, de tue-mouches et de soie pour les dents, s’est abattue sur l’Europe orientale au lendemain de l’armistice. Un chausse-pied de nickel, au milieu de la pièce, luisait.(Morand 1992, p.158)

([…] ― and I penetrated to the men’s dressing room. Shirts hung there, emptied of bodies; suspenders reposed there; boots lifted their rubber heels, for the Norse foot had not escaped the wave of American exports which burst over Eastern Europe the day after the armistice, in guise of calculating machines, fly-killers, and dental floss. A nickel shoehorn shone from the middle of the floor. (Morand 1984, p. 137 [Pound trans.,]))

Morand first personified the shirt, implying that clothes do not belong to human beings, rather human beings belong to them. He then pointed to the spread of materialism in Finland from America. Michel Collomb noted that, in Open All Night, Morand attempted to reveal the reality of the new Europe including political revolution, sexual revolution, the Jewish issue and the emergence of a snobbish bourgeoisie who clung to tradition (Morand 1992, p. 897 [Comments by Collomb]). Here, Morand described a part of the reality of the modern lifestyle created under the influence of the United States of America, the citadel of Capitalism. In addition, we need to pay attention to the fact that the group was formed on the base of Aryan supremacy theories. The unstable atmosphere of postwar society is evoked in this story. Thus, Morand showed his talent as a social critic, in addition to his colourful expressions.

Kawabata noted that Nakagawa Yoichi succeeded in establishing the New Sensationalist style of writing (Takami 1976, p. 129 [a dialogue with Kawabata]), and also, Odagiri Hideo focused on Nakagawa as one of its representative novelists (1975, pp. 348-351). One of Nakagawa’s representative works in Literary Age is ‘Shishū serareta yasai’ (Embroidered Vegetables), which appeared in the second issue. Nakagawa compares fresh vegetables to the beauty of the character of a young wife in the story, thus creating a peculiar atmosphere. This is the scene where the young wife peels an apple:

Kanojo wa kago wo katadukeru to, narabeta yasai no naka kara aoi ringo wo mittsu dake hiroi ageta. Nanto iu jōhin de shinsen na kaori! Kudamono no tsumetai kanshoku wa sono uchi wo megutte iru kasukana myakuhaku wo sizukani kanojo no tenohira ni tsutaeru yō ni omowareta. […]

Tsumagimi wa hijō ni kiyō na tetsuki de surusuru to kawa wo muki hajimeru. Hosoi yubisaki wo furuwasete aoi mari wo mawashinagara, sono gururi ni shishū demo ireru yōna kimochi de……… (Nakagawa 1924, pp. 49-50 [vol. 1, no. 2])

(After she sorted out the basket, she picked up three green apples among the vegetables. What an elegant and fresh perfume! It seemed that she could sense their pulse that run through the coldness of the surface. […]

The wife was peeling the apple skillfully. She held it with her trembling fingers and seemed to try to embroider the round surface of the apple.)

She peels the apple sensitively, as if she were embroidering it. This scene describes a young wife’s love and kindness toward her husband and their life together. At the same time, the wife is described sensually through the comparison between vegetables and herself. She pickles an eggplant and admired its beauty.

[…] Aru toki wa tenmado no katachi ga utsuri, aru toki wa kabe ni soekakete oita tameni sono tsuyatsuyashita murasaki iro ni akai kage no utsuru, arui wa gyūnyū bin to momoiro to no teriai de hitokiwa genjutsu no kakaru nasu no bi ni kanojo wa kesshite aitewa inakatta. […] (Nakagawa 1924, p. 55 [vol. 1, no. 2])

([…] She never got bored of the beauty of an eggplant through seeing the shadow of the skylight on the surface, the red shadow on the sleek violet skin of the eggplant leaning against the wall or the dazzling eggplant which was surrounded by a bottle of milk and a pink wall. […])

Vegetables are described as both fresh and sensuous, finely and allegorically revealing the two different personalities of the wife. This story is successful at showing readers a ‘new’ perspective within ordinary life; vegetables can represent freshness and also sensual attraction. Miyasaka Satoru noted that “Embroidered Vegetables”was read as an experimental style of writing in the same way as Yokomitsu’s Heads and Belly; here, too, the style was a target of criticism, not the plot (1975, p. 62). Nevertheless it is valid to say that this story is successful because the experimental expression does not ruin the plot, and readers can still appreciate the young couple’s ordinary life in this story, as the first sentence indicates: ‘This is just a note about what happened in the kitchen of a poor couple’ (Nakagawa 1924, p. 48 [vol. 1, no. 2]).

As Odagiri Susumu noted (1965, pp. 103-129), Literary Age did not produce a large number of significant stories. Yokomitsu’s Heads and Belly and Embroidered Vegetables demonstrated Literary Age members’ talent for creating original metaphors. In addition, as Naka Kōhei noted (1925, p. 42 [vol. 2, no. 7]), these works were criticized along with Open All Night. WC, written by Inagaki Taruho, also can be recognized as establishing his own imaginary world. WC appeared in the fourth issue in 1925 (January). The title indicates that this story is about a water closet; the subtitle is ‘Thoughts on super-beauties’ (Inagaki 1925, p. 48 [vol. 2, no. 1]). Inagaki described the beauty that he can find in a toilet. Even though the Literary Age writers criticized critics’ exclusive focus on their literary style, they admitted that their style of writing was one of their notable features.

After the coterie was named the New Sensationalist school, Yokomitsu Riichi contributed a short story, Machi no soko (The Depths of the City), to the 11th issue (August 1925). Taguchi Ritsuo noted that Yokomitsu kept focusing on the figure of ‘city’ as a literary theme in his career (1984, pp.13-14); also, Ishida Hitoshi regarded The Depth of the City as an urban novel (1993). According to Taguchi, the city that was described in this story is based on the reality of Tokyo after the Kanto Earthquake (1984, p.14). This story is about a man who wandered about the city; Yokomitsu portrayed the scenery of the crowded city through the protagonist as follows:

Sono machikado ni wa kutsuya ga atta. Ie no naka wa kabe kara yuka made kurogutsu de tsumatte ita. Sono omoi tobira no yōna kurogutsu no kabe no naka dewa musume ga itsumo shiorete ita. Sono yoko wa tokeiya de, tokei ga moyō no yō ni shigette ita. Mata sono yoko no tamago ya dewa, musū no tamago no awa no naka de hageta rōya ga atama ni tenugui wo nosete suwatte ita. Sono yoko wa setomonoya da. Reitan na iin no yōna shirosa no naka de korewa mata wakawakashii shufu ga ikiiki to sara no hashira wo ketobashi sōda.

Sono yoko wa hanaya de aru. Hanaya no musume wa hana yorimo kegarete ita. Daga, sono hana no naka kara tokidoki bakageta kozō no kao ga uttori to arawareru. Sono yoko no yōfuku ya dewa kubi no nai ningen ga burari to sagari, shujin wa hinketsu no yubisaki de mimi wo hori nagara mukai no ritei no nioi wo kaide ita. Sono yoko ni wa yoroi no yōna hon’ya ga kuchi wo akete ita. Hon’ya no yoko ni wa gofukuya ga narande iru. Soko no kurai kaitei no yōna merinsu no yama no sumi dewa yaseta ninpu ga aozameta karei no yōni me wo hikarasete shizunde ita. (Yokomitsu 1925, p.19 [vol.2, no.8])

(There was a shoemaker’s on the corner. The place was packed with shoes from floor to ceiling. Between the black, closed walls of shoes the head of the shopgirl perpetually drooped down. Next door a watchmaker’s with its watches spread out in a dense pattern. Next door to that an egg shop, an old man squatting in a foam of innumerable eggs, a towel tied round his bald head. Next a crockery shop, in the midst of whose frigid hospital whiteness the lady of the place, still young and gay, seemed as if she were about to kick over the columns of plates.

Next a flower shop. The girl was grubbier than the flowers, among which appeared from time to time the rapt, idiot face of some small boy. Next a dressmaker’s with headless bodies dangling; and the owner poked a bloodless finger into his ear and sniffed the odour from the cafe. Next a bookshop, like a suit of armor, opened its mouth. There was a draper’s next to the bookshop. Like the dark bottom of the sea, its mountains of muslins, beside which a thin, pregnant woman was sinking, a flatfish with glittering eyes. (Keene 1980, p. 126 [Keene trans.,]))

Yokomitsu employed several metaphors: “The girl was grubbier than the flowers;” “Next door a watchmaker’s with its watches spread out in a dense pattern;” and “Next a crockery shop, in the midst of whose frigid hospital whiteness the lady of the place,” in order to describe only one scene. These attempts are not necessarily successful, yet we can be aware of Yokomitsu’s enthusiasm towards perfecting “the New Sensationalist school literature.” Aside from the expression, the vigorous and dismal atmosphere characteristic of the city is portrayed in this story, as Taguchi noted (1984). Both characteristics reveal the reality of the modern urban lifestyle. Moreover the protagonist, as a deraciné, reminds us of Morand’s typical hero. The writings of Yokomitsu and Morand alike were decorated with metaphors and images, but the description of the unstable society of the day, and anxiety concerning the new life of the postwar era, are hidden behind these tropes. I argue that they attempted to discover how to face the reality of postwar society and the modern lifestyle in their literary works.


This study dealt with the representative Modernist magazine, Literary Age. Through carefully analyzing all copies of the coterie journal, we have seen that the label of the New Sensationalist school provided an ideological base for the coterie group. They launched their magazine, opposed existing literary society and Naturalism, and sought for a way to describe the new society of the interwar period. Japan showed its military power to the world through the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) and WWI. These victories also brought economic prosperity to Japan. Young Japanese were surrounded by mass production, a new educational system, and a new lifestyle, influenced by Western culture. Most members of this group spent the beginning of their twenties after WWI. It can be easily imagined that these young authors anticipated a bright future in a Westernized lifestyle. The ruined landscape after the Great Kantō Earthquake also inspired them to start creating new literary trends different from older novelists. Literary Age disappeared in 1927, after only three years. Actually, Modernist coterie magazines generally did not continue publication for long, being succeeded by mass-magazines, as William Tyler has noted (2008, p. 52). After Literary Age, writers associated with the journal became involved with the proletarian movement and Fascism before the advent of WWII. Yokomitsu Riichi and Nakagawa Yoichi later became interested in Fascism and it is also important to remember that Paul Morand himself worked for the pro-German Vichy administration during WWII.

Chiba Kameo compared the New Sensationalist school to Morand, criticizing as if they belonged to the same school. The common element between them is that they interpreted modern culture and lifestyle, and described it in their literature. I argue that the role of translating ‘modernity’ into literary texts tied Morand and the New Sensationalist school to the same trend in Japanese literary society. Through this process, Yokomitsu and Morand portrayed the unstable side of the modern lifestyle and the concomitant anxiety about what shape the new postwar society would take. It is difficult to conclude that the New Sensationalist school authors imitated Morand’s style of writing; however, they obviously used the name of Morand to establish their own literature. The Literary Age authors accepted the label of the New Sensationalist school and they cited Paul Morand’s name as if their flag bearer legitimated their movement. On the other hand, as far as I am aware, Morand did not pay much attention to them, or, to be exact, to Japan. Nevertheless, without noticing it, Morand supported the young Japanese in their efforts to establish their own style of Modernist writing.


*All citations from the Literary Age journal are taken from Bungeijidai [Literary Age] 1924-1927 edition: Reprint (Tokyo: Nihon kindai bungakukan, 1967).

Akagi, Kensuke. ‘Shinshōchō-shugi no kichō ni tsuite’ [The Essay on New Symbolism], Bungeijidai [Literary Age], vol.2, no.3, 1925, 15-22

Chiba, Kameo. ‘Shinkankaku-ha no tanjō’ [The Birth of the New Sensationalist] in Itō Sei and the others (Ed.). Shinkankaku-ha bungaku shû [The selected works of the New Sensationalist school], Tokyo: Kōdansha, 1980

‘Dōjin yosegaki’ [The Comments from the Coterie], Bungeijidai [Literary Age], vol.2, no.3, 1925, 64-68

Fukuoka, Masuo. ‘Sōkan no zengo’, [Memories of the Beginning of Bungeijidai] in Commentaries of Bungeijidai [Literary Age], 1924-1927 edition: Reprint (Tokyo: Nihon kindai bungakukan, 1967), 6-8

‘Gōhyōkai daiikkai’ [Round-Table talk, 1.], Bungeijidai [Literary Age], vol.3, no.3, 1926, 81-100

Guitard-Auviste, Ginette. Paul Morand, 1888-1976 : légende et vérités [Paul Morand, 1888-1976: Legend and Truth], Paris: Hachette littérature générale, 1981

Hamakawa, Katsuhiko. Ronkō: Yokomitsu Riichi, [Studies on Yokomitsu Riichi], Osaka: Izumi shoin, 2001

‘Henshū kōki’ [Editor’s note], Bungeijidai [Literary Age], vol.1, no.1, 1924, 108

‘Henshū kōki’ [Editor’s note], Bungeijidai [Literary Age], vol.3, no.12, 1926, 128

‘Hihyōka no kiseibundan kan’ [Impressions on Existing Literary Circles by Critics], Bungeijidai [Literary Age], vol.1, no.3, 1924, 11-27

Hisano, Toyohiko. ‘Saionjin no keirei ni taishite’ [Essay on Western Literature], Bungeijidai [Literary Age], vol.2, no.11, 1925, 44

Horiguchi, Daigaku. Horiguchi Daigaku zenshū, [The Complete Works of Horiguchi Daigaku], supplemental volume 1, Tokyo: Ozawa shoten, 1984

Hoshō, Masao. Yokomitsu Riichi, Tokyo: Meiji shoin, 1999

———. ‘ Bungeijidai no sakuhin wo megutte’ [Essay on Literary Age Works], Koten to kindai bungaku, [Classic and Modern Literature], vol.1, no.1, 1967, 13-18

Ikuta, Chōkō. ‘Bundan no shinjidai ni atau’ [Comments on a New Era in Literary Society], Shinchō, vol.42, no.4, 1925, 49-61

Inagaki, Taruho. ‘WC’, Bungeijidai [Literary Age], vol.2, no.1, 1925, 48-65

Ishida, Hitoshi. ‘Yokomitsu Riichi no keishiki-ron’ [Yokomitsu Riichi’s Style], Jinbungakuhō, no.243, 1993, 57-79

Ishihama, Kinsaku. ‘Kiron no shinri’ [Bizarre Ideas], Bungeijidai [Literary Age], vol.3, no.3, 1926, 101-110

Itō, Einosuke. ‘Ikuta Chōkō-shi ni mukuiyu’ [Disagreeing with Ikuta Chōkō], Bungeijidai [Literary Age], vol.2, no.6, 1925, 99-102

Jūichiya, Gisaburō. ‘Sakka no sekai’ [The Author’s World], Bungeijidai [Literary Age], vol.1, no.1, 1924, 2-6

Kataoka, Teppei. ‘Tōan hitotsu’ [One Answer], Bungeijidai [Literary Age], vol.1, no.1, 1924, 17-19

———. ‘Wakaki dokusha ni uttau’ [Talking to Young Readers], Bungeijidai [Literary Age], vol.1, no.3, 1924, 2-10

———. ‘Sōsaku goshippu’ [Gossip], Bungeijidai [Literary Age], vol.2, no.10, 1925, 61

———. ‘Todomeno ruhureen’ [The Last Word], Bungeijidai [Literary Age], vol.4, no.4, 1927, 2-6

Kawabata Yasunari, ‘Sōkan no ji’ [Remarks on the Inauguratal Issue], Bungeijidai [Literary Age], vol.1, no.1, 1924, 7-10

———. ‘Shinshin sakka no shinkeikō kaisetsu’ [Notes on a New Trend of New Novelists], Bungeijidai [Literary Age], vol.2, no.1, 1925, 2-10

———. ‘ Bungeijidai sōkan tōji’ [Essay on the Beginning of Bungeijidai], Kindaibungaku, vol.5, no.7, 1950, 2-4

Keene, Dennis. Yokomitsu Riichi, Modernist, New York: Columbia University Press, 1980

Keene, Donald. Dawn to the West, volume.1, New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1984

Komiyama, Akitoshi. ‘Shinkankaku-ha ron, Muishizen-pa jidai wo koete’ [The Study on the New Sensationalist school: During the Age without Will] in Honma, Hisao. (Ed.). Bungei hyōronshū [The selected works of literary critics], Tokyo: Chikuma shobō, 1973

Kon, Tōkō. ‘Ashita no hana’ [Flowers for Tomorrow], Bungeijidai [Literary Age], vol.1, no.1, 1924, 10-12

———. ‘Jūsannendai no bungei zakkan’ [The Essay on Literature in Taishō 13], Bungeijidai [Literary Age], vol.1, no.3, 1924, 51-52

Lemaitre, George. Four French Novelists, Port Washington, N.Y.: Kennikat Press, 1938

Levenson, H. Michael. (Ed.). The Cambridge Companion to Modernism, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999

Miyasaka, Satoru. ‘ Kōru butōjō ron: Nakagawa Yoichi bungaku eno apurōchi’ [A Study of Icy Ballroom: Nakagawa Yoichi’s fiction], Kashiigata, no.21, 1975, 60-69

Morand, Paul. Yoru hiraku [Open All Night], Horiguchi, Daigaku trans., Tokyo: Gendai furansu bungei sōsho, 1924

———. Fancy Goods; Open All Night, Ezra, Pound trans., New York: New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1984

———. Nouvelles complètes [The Complete Works], volume.1, Paris: Gallimard, 1992

Naka, Kōhei. ‘Ikuta Chōkō-shi no mōron wo bakusu’ [Disagreeing with Ikuta Chōkō], Bungeijidai [Literary Age], vol.2, no.7, 1925, 42-43

Nakagawa, Yoichi. ‘Takaki sonzai eno kyūkaku’ [The Sense of Smelling to Search for More Valuable Spritis], Bungeijidai [Literary Age], vol.1, no.2, 1924, 10-11

———. ‘Shishū serareta yasai’ [Embroidered Vegetables], Bungeijidai [Literary Age], vol.1, no.2, 1924, 48-58

———. ‘Sekai chizu no aru heya de’ [A Room with World Map], Bungeijidai [Literary Age], 1924-1927 edition: Reprint (Tokyo: Nihon kindai bungakukan, 1967), vol.3, no.2, 1926, 91-96,

Nakamura, Kan’ichi. ‘Shinkankaku-ha oyobi Morand no Yoru hiraku ni tsuite’ [The New Sensationalist school and Morand’s Open All Night], Bungeijidai [Literary Age], vol.2, no.6, 1925, 50-65

Nihon kindai bungaku kan. (Ed.). Nihon kindai bungaku daijiten [The Encyclopedia of Japan Modern Literature], volume.4, Kōdansha, 1977

Niii, Itaru. ‘Bungei to jidai kankaku’ [Literature and Trend], Bungeijidai [Literary Age], vol.3, no.7, 1926, 78-85

———. ‘Sōsaku hitori ippyō’ [Comments], Bungeijidai [Literary Age], vol.4, no.5, 1927, 68

Odagiri, Hideo. Gendai bungakushi [History of Modern Literature], volume.2, Tokyo: Shūeisha, 1975

Odagiri, Susumu. Shōwa bungaku no seiritsu [The Invention of Shōwa Literature], Tokyo: Keisō shobō, 1965

‘Saikin bundan no iroiro’ [Several Topics of Recent Literary Society], Bunshō kurabu [Literary Circle], vol.10, no.9, 1925, 112-113

Sakai, Masao. ‘Bundan hadōchō’ [Literary Society], Bungeijidai [Literary Age], vol.2, no.8, 1925, 116

Sakiyama, Masaki. ‘Docchi mo docchi’ [We are Even], Bungeijidai [Literary Age], vol.3, no.3, 1926, 111-112

Sarkany, Stéphane. Paul Morand et le cosmopolitisme littéraire: suivi de trois entretiens inédits avec l'écrivain [Paul Morand and the Literary Cosmopolitism with Three Unpublished Interviews], Paris: Klincksieck, 1968

Sasaki, Kiichi. ‘Shinkankaku-ha oyobi sore igo’ [Shinkankaku-ha and Coming Literature] in Iwanami kōza nihonbungaku-shi [The Iwanami Lecture, Japanese Literary History], vol.15, Tokyo: Iwanami shoten, 1959

Sasaki, Mitsuzō. ‘Saishoku kenbi shugi’ [‘Having both Brains and Beauty], Bungeijidai [Literary Age], vol.1, no.2, 1924, 13-14

Satō, Haruo. ‘ Yoru hiraku wo susumu’ [Encouraging People to Read Open All Night] Jiji shinpō: 1 October 1924 edition: Reprint (Tokyo: Ryūkeishosha, 1986) 10-11

Shiach, Morag. (Ed.). The Cambridge Companion to the Modernist Novel, Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007

Shibata, Katsue. ‘Kaigai bungei tōzai nanboku shū’ [Foreign Literature: North, South, East and West], Bunshō kurabu [Literary Circle], vol.9, no.8, 1924, 56, 79

Taguchi, Ritsuo. ‘Yokomitsu Riichi Machi no soko ron: Shinkankaku-ha bungaku no naijitsu to imi’ [A Study of The Depth of the City: The Truth and Role of the New Sesationalist school], Kindaibungaku shiron, no.22, 1984, 13-25

Takami, Jun. Taidan gendai bundanshi [The Dialogue on Modern Literary Society], Tokyo: Chikuma shobō, 1976

Tomita, Tsuneo. ‘Modan gāru zenpa’ [Modern Girl], Bungeijidai [Literary Age], vol.3, no.4, 1926, 102-103

Tyler, William J. Modanizumu: Modernist Fiction from Japan, 1913-1938, Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2008

Ueda, Toshio. ‘Shinkankaku-ha no ninshiki sonohoka’ [The Essay on the New Sensationalist school], Bungeijidai [Literary Age], vol.2, no.11, 1925, 85-89

‘Umekusa’, Bungeijidai [Literary Age], vol.2, no.11, 1925, 71

Yamazaki, Kuniki. Yokomitsu Riichi ron: kigasha no bungaku, [The Study of Yokomitsu Riichi: Literature by Starving Novelist], Tokyo: Izumi shoin, 1983

Yokomitsu, Riichi. ‘ Bungeijidai to gokai’, [Literary Age and Misunderstanding], Bungeijidai [Literary Age], vol.1, no.1, 1924, 15-17

———. ‘Atama narabi ni hara’ [Heads and Belly], Bungeijidai [Literary Age], vol.1, no.1, 1924, 50-56

———. ‘Kankaku katsudō’ [Sensational Activities], Bungeijidai [Literary Age], vol.2, no.2, 1925, 2-9

———. ‘Machi no soko’, [The Depths of the Town], Bungeijidai [Literary Age], vol.2, no.8, 1925, 19-23

———. Yokomitsu Riichi zenshū [The Complete Works of Yokomitsu Riichi], volume.11, Tokyo: Kawade shobō, 1956


[1] For readers’ convenience, detailed information on each issue of Literary Age is listed.

[2] Unless otherwise stated, all translations are by the author.

About the Author

Azusa Omura is a Ph.D. student of Graduate School of Decision Science and Technology, Tokyo Institute of Technology and majors in Comparative Literature.

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