Tsubouchi Shoyo

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Tsubouchi Shoyo


(pen name of Tsubouchi Yuzo). Born May 22, 1859, in the village of Ota, Gifu Prefecture; died Feb. 28, 1935. Japanese writer and literary scholar.

Tsubouchi Shoyo graduated from the department of letters of the University of Tokyo in 1883. He was one of the founders of modern Japanese literature. His treatise The Essence of the Novel (1885) became the theoretical manifesto of the new literature, and his novel The Character of Present-day Students (1886) was its first creative work. Tsubouchi rejected fabricated plots and didacticism and advocated the realistic depiction of life. However, while he described everyday life and mores in his novel, he was not able to capture the essence of his characters. He introduced conversational language into literature, and took part in the progressive literary and theatrical group Bungei Kyokai (1909). He was one of the reformers of modern Japanese theater (shingeki) and author of its first original play, The Pilgrim (1916; staged 1926). Tsubouchi Shoyo translated the complete works of Shakespeare into Japanese (1928).


Istoriia sovremennoi iaponskoi literatury. Moscow, 1961.
Grigor’eva, T., and V. Logunova. Iaponskaia literatura. Moscow, 1964.
Nakamura Mitsuo. Modern Japanese Fiction. Tokyo, 1966.
References in periodicals archive ?
After the fall of the Tokugawa, this kind of moral formalism came under sharp attack by Eurocentric cultural reformers such as Shoyo Tsubouchi (1859-1935).
Brian Powell examines the innovative 1911 Shoyo Tsubouchi Hamlet and its performance context at the Imperial Theatre; and the career of Koreya Senda (which extended from the mid-1920s to 1994), who was arrested `more than once on the stage' (p.
It begins with Akihiko Senda's survey of the last thirty years of Shakespeare productions in Japan, and pays tribute to a number of Japanese directors and adapters of Shakespeare: the pioneering Shakespeare scholar/director Shoyo Tsubouchi, whose 1911 Hamlet is described by Brian Powell; the Marxist Koreya Senda; and the free adaptations and productions of Hideki Noda, Tadashi Suzuki, and Tetsuo Anzai (who describes, in fascinating detail, the problems of translating and directing King Lear in Japanese).
This strong interest in depicting a future society and the appreciation of political dogma in texts aroused some Japanese individuals, including Shoyo Tsubouchi (1884), Tetcho Suehiro (1884), Chomin Nakae (1888) and Koda Rohan (1900-1), to write their own utopian writings, in which we can perceive a certain particularity of the Meiji period (Takayanagi 246).