Tanizaki Junichiro

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Tanizaki Junichiro


Born July 24, 1886, in Tokyo; died July 30, 1965, in Yugawara. Kanagawa Prefecture. Japanese writer; a prominent representative of the Tambi-ha (“aesthetes”) literary group.

Tanizaki’s aestheticism and perverse eroticism were manifested in the short story “The Tattoo” (1910), and the novellas The Feet of Fumiko (1919) and A Fool’s Love (1925; Russian translation, 1929). Tanizaki’s later works were influenced by the Japanese literary classics. His quest for beauty in former times and for sacrificial love was reflected in the novel Some Prefer Nettles (1928) and the novella Spring Lute (1933). Using the muted tones of the classical style, Tanizaki depicted the everyday life of a patriarchal Japanese family in the novel The Makioka Sisters (1943–48).


Tanizaki Jun Ichiro zenshu, vols. 1–28. Tokyo, 1969–70.
In Russian translation:
“Luna i komedianty.” In laponskaia novella. Moscow, 1961.
“Tatuirovka.” Inostrannaia literatura, 1975, no. 1.


Istoriia sovremennoi iaponskoi literatury. Moscow, 1961. (Translated from Japanese.)
Nakamura Mitsuo. Tanizaki Jun Ichiro. Tokyo, 1952.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
I abruptly discovered these presuppositions upon reading, for example, Kawabata Yasunari's Tukiguni (Snow Country) or the sadly inelegantly English-titled The Makioka Sisters (for the elegant original title of Sasameyuki or Thin-Falling Snow) by Tanizaki Junichiro. I found myself finishing so many literary works in this class puzzled and saying to myself, "What just happened here?" My expectations, that is my presuppositions, of rising action, falling action, denouement, irony, and so on seemed absent from these works, and it was as if I had suddenly been thrust back to my freshman year and was reading Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness or Ernest Hemingway's The Sun also Rises for the first time and coming away with the same confused response.
But while Tanizaki Junichiro, the early-twentieth-century Japanese novelist, read Joyce, the compliment was not returned.
In his chapter entitled "The Lure of the 'West,'" Miyoshi traces the activities of novelist Tanizaki Junichiro as he enters the war, writes through the allied bombings, and survives the carnage and wreckage of a nearly-demolished Japan.
This paper will undertake a reading of wrapping as both figure and narrative procedure in the fiction of Tanizaki Junichiro. In his early stories, Tanizaki describes a wrapping that is identified with what it wrapped; the later narratives occlude what they wrap and thereby resist monologic interpretation since the narrative wrapping signifies itself without revealing a signified that is separate and other than the narrative itself.
They are reminiscent of some of the writings of certain highly regarded modern Japanese authors, including Mishima Yukio and Tanizaki Junichiro. Although both Mishima and Tanizaki were mentioned for the Nobel Prize, and although either would arguably have deserved it, it was the gentler Kawabata Yasunari who first broke through to win the award for Japan.
Through the veil of the author's modesty, the attentive reader will note other achievements: the two-volume anthology of Japanese literature, which Keene prepared during his stay in Kyoto from 1953 to 1955, when he met such great writers as Tanizaki Junichiro and Mishima Yukio to secure their permissions directly, and became their lifelong friend; and the four-volume history of Japanese literature, his magnum opus, over which he labored for twenty-seven years while teaching at Columbia.