In Search of Nature

The Japanese Writer Tayama Katai (1872-1930)

Tayama Katai (1872–1930) was a major writer in Japan's modern history. He was the leader of the (later) naturalist movement around 1906–1912, and author of its representative novel Futon (1907), which established a trend of autobiographical novels. His perception of 'nature' changed through the years from natural beauty to the 'natural individual' – on which Japanese later naturalism was based, following German models rather than French – and ultimately fate, time and religion. All his writings are naturo-centric in one sense or another.

In this ground-breaking study, In Search of Nature, Kenneth G. Henshall provides a 'cradle-to-grave' account of Katai and his prose fiction, and also corrects the mistaken belief that Japanese naturalism was a failure.

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Kenneth G. Henshall, FRHS, Ph.D. (1977) Sydney, is Professor of Japanese Studies at Canterbury University NZ. He has published widely on Japan-related topics ranging from script etymology to history to literature, and has translated Katai's memoirs and two of his novels.
All specialists and students of modern Japanese literature, and all interested in literary movements internationally. It should also appeal to historians specialising in Japan's Westernisation.