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Whose America? Our America! --- Ayukawa Nobuo and the (Lost) Origin of Postwar Japanese Poetry

Wednesday, November 10, 2021 at 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Virtual Event

Whose America? Our America! --- Ayukawa Nobuo and the (Lost) Origin of Postwar Japanese Poetry is the focus of this Rough Work session with our guest speaker Yoshiaki Mihara (Hitotsubashi U. / Tokyo, Japan) 

It is generally acknowledged that post-WWII Japanese poetry commenced with the formation of a coterie of young poets who called themselves Arechi-ha (“The Waste Land School”). It is also generally acknowledged that the coterie, as its self-naming well suggests, was heavily influenced by T. S. Eliot and his contemporary Modernist poets writing in post-WWI Europe. In this “Rough Work” session, Mihara would like to question the myth of this elective affinity by reading Ayukawa Nobuo (1920-1986), leading poet-critic of the coterie, especially his 1947 long poem “America” with the poet’s own “Notes” attached to it (in an ostensibly Eliotic fashion), together with his highly influential critical prose at that time, so as to examine what was at stake in the original moment of Sengo-shi (“Postwar Poetry”), which overshadows Japanese poetry, if not Japanese literature and criticism in general, even to this day. 

Rough Work: Research in progress with an informal discussion for feedback and further exploration.

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Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, Comparative Literature, Society for the Humanities, East Asia Program, Asian & Asian American Center, Linguistics, Uris Library, Asian American Studies Program, School of Criticism and Theory


capscal, Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, asianstudiescal, complit, cashum



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Brett deBarry


Yoshiaki Mihara

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Hitotsubashi U. / Tokyo, Japan

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