Junichiro Tanizaki

Junichiro Tanizaki (jŏŏnē´chērō tänē´zäkē), 1886–1965, Japanese writer. A prolific writer whose popularity extended through the reigns of three emperors, Tanizaki is perhaps best known for Sasameyuki (1943–48, tr. The Makioka Sisters, 1957). A detailed account of an Osaka family that embraces a tradition-bound way of life, it was the first major Japanese work of the post–World War II period. Tanizaki's other novels include a modern version of The Tale of Genji; Some Prefer Nettles (1928, tr. 1955); Quicksand (1928–30, tr. 1994); The Key (1956, tr. 1961), and Diary of a Mad Old Man (1961, tr. 1965). A witness to the Tokyo earthquake of 1923, which destroyed half the city, he moved to the Kansai region (the greater Kyoto-Osaka area), where a more traditional lifestyle still prevailed. The new environment influenced his outlook, and many of his works carry an implied condemnation of excessive interest in Western things. Tanizaki often writes of women, taking as his themes obsessive love, the destructive forces of sexuality, and the dual nature of woman as goddess and demon. His other work includes the selected short stories of Seven Japanese Tales (tr. 1963) and The Gourmet Club (tr. 2001) and the novellas The Reed Cutter (1932, tr. 1994) and Captain Shigemoto's Mother (1949–50, tr. 1994).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Visions of Desire: Tanizaki's Fictional Worlds
Ken K. Ito.
Stanford University, 1991
Modern Japanese Stories: An Anthology
Ivan Morris; Edward Seidensticker; George Saitō; Geoffrey Sargent; Ivan Morris.
Charles E. Tuttle Publishing, 1962
Librarian’s tip: "Tattoo" by Tanizaki Junichiro begins on p. 90
Masterworks of Asian Literature in Comparative Perspective: A Guide for Teaching
Barbara Stoler Miller.
M.E. Sharpe, 1994
Librarian’s tip: "Seven Japanese Tales by Tanizaki Junichiro" begins on p. 428
Reading against Culture: Ideology and Narrative in the Japanese Novel
David Pollack.
Cornell University Press, 1992
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "The Deviant Self: Junichiro Tanizaki's Some Prefer Nettles"
Reality and Fiction in Modern Japanese Literature
Noriko Mizuta Lippit.
M. E. Sharpe, 1980
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "The Plot Controversy between Tanizaki and Akutagawa" and Chap. 5 "Tanizaki and Poe: The Grotesque and the Quest for Supernal Beauty"
Narrating the Self: Fictions of Japanese Modernity
Tomi Suzuki.
Stanford University, 1996
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 7 "Allegories of Modernity: Parodic Confession in Tanizaki Junichiro's 'Fool's Love'"
Daughters of the Moon: Wish, Will, and Social Constraint in Fiction by Modern Japanese Women
Victoria V. Vernon.
Institute of East Asian Studies, 1988
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Seven "Creating Koharu: The Image of Woman in the Works of Kawabata Yasunari and Tanizaki Junichiro"
The Fantastic in Modern Japanese Literature: The Subversion of Modernity
Susan J. Napier.
Routledge, 1996
Librarian’s tip: "Nothing Is Ever Lost: Tanizaki and the Search for the Original Beloved" begins on p. 37
Said, Orientalism, and Japan
Nishihara, Daisuke.
Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics, No. 25, Annual 2005
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