Presentation on theme: "Ichiyo Higuchi (1872-1896). She lived during the Meiji Period Meiji means "enlightened rule.” The Meiji period ( 明治時代,Meiji jidai?), or Meiji era, denotes."— Presentation transcript:
She lived during the Meiji Period Meiji means "enlightened rule.” The Meiji period ( 明治時代,Meiji jidai?), or Meiji era, denotes the 45-year reign of the Meiji Emperor, running, in the Gregorian calendar, from 23 October 1868 to 30 July 1912. During this time, Japan started it modernization and rose to world power status.
Admiral Togo on the bridge of the Mikasa, before the Battle of Tsushima in 1905 Japanese destroyers launch a night attack. Emperor Meiji in his fifties
Her Life She was born in Meiji era Tokyo of samurai lineage. In the space of her short life, she moved a total of 12 times. Upon reaching the age of 14, she entered the Haginoya, a poetry school. At the age of 15, she suffered the loss of her brother, and her father's business failed. Shortly afterward, he died and at the young age of 17 she became the head of the Higuchi household.
After seeing the success of a classmate who wrote a novel, Higuchi decided to become a writer to support her family. At the age of 20, Higuchi wrote her first novel and also adopted the pen name of Ichiyō. Around this time, Higuchi turned down a marriage proposal (which likely would have signaled the end of her writing career) and moved to a house near the Yoshiwara pleasure quarters. In 1894 her first major work, Ōtsugomori ( 大つご もり ) was published, and in the following year, Takekurabe ( たけくらべ, translated into English as "Growing Up" and as "Child's Play"),
Nigorie ( にごりえ, translated into English as "Troubled Waters"), and Jūsanya ( 十三夜 ) were published to critical and popular success. Higuchi's literary career was cut short in 1896, when she contracted, and soon died of, tuberculosis. In spite of her very short career and limited output, Higuchi is remembered for the quality of her works and is considered to be the first professional female writer in modern Japanese literature.
5000 Yen Note Higuchi's likeness adorns the Japanese 5000 yen note as of the Fall of 2004, becoming the third female to appear on a Japanese banknote, after Empress Jingū in 1881, and Murasaki Shikibu in 2000. Next to Jingū, she is the second woman to be featured prominently on a Japanese banknote.
In the Shade of Spring Leaves “Child’s Play” is included with other short stories. The link on the cover will take you to the Amazon page.
Takekurable Translated by Edward Seidensticker as Growing Up and by Robert Danly as Child's Play,“ This is the most famous novella written by Higuchi Ichiyo. The principal characters are children living on the edge of the Yoshiwara, a district of Tokyo licensed for prostitution: –Nobuyuki: the son of a Buddhist priest, –Shota: the son of a pawnshop owner, (mainstreet) –Chokichi: the fire chief's son (backstreet) –Midori: the sister of a prostitute. As they grow up, they find themselves assuming their family professions and losing the freedom they enjoyed as children.
SAIKAKU Just a reminder that these themes had already been explored to some level by It may have been the periphery of a modern metropolis, and a tawdry one, but in his tales of prostitutes and moneylenders Saikaku had already anointed it a fit subject for literature. In Child's Play, Ichiyo follows his lead
Now she found characters with blood flowing through their veins, whose struggles she understood as her own. And now life pre sented true variety, for the environs of the red- light district were a complex realm, a microcosm of contradictory parts. The walled-off pleasure quarter loomed like a stage set, exuding extravagance and ostentation, wit and artifice..
Its values colored this rough neighborhood, where people strove to match the fast- talking ways of the courtesans and their stylish suitors, and even the youngest members of the back streets wanted to be cool. It was a part of town, in other words, where luxury, sophistication, and joie de vivre (cheerful enjoyment of life) coexisted with sham, nalveti, and the starkest hand-to- mouth struggle to keep going
Important Questions Where is innocence in the world of children and in the world of adults? Why set the story near the red-light district. Where is the theme of the outsider cut off from his or her surroundings? What is significant of the changes in Midori’s character?
Sites Cited “Ichiyō Higuchi” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. 23 April 2009. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higuchi_Ichiy%C5%8D http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higuchi_Ichiy%C5%8D “In the Shade of Spring Leaves.” Amazon.com 23 April 2009. http://www.amazon.com/Shade-Spring-Leaves- Higuchi- Stories/dp/0393309134/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&q id=1240506485&sr=1-1#readerhttp://www.amazon.com/Shade-Spring-Leaves- Higuchi- Stories/dp/0393309134/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&q id=1240506485&sr=1-1#reader
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