Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Asian Languages & Civilizations

First Advisor

Janice Brown

Second Advisor

Faye Kleeman

Third Advisor

Satoko Shimazaki

Abstract

Sakaguchi Ango (1906-1955) was a Japanese author who prided himself on being a literary misfit. This is why many categorize his writing along with Dazai Osamu and Oda Sakunōsuke, as a part of the buraiha1 literary group. As a misfit, his writings presented original ideas for his generation, one of which is the idea of nikutai bungaku. Nikutai bungaku is a literary approach that features carnal bodily desires. This class of literature was formed after World War II, when a few authors such as Tamura Taijirō wrote stories and essays about men finding salvation and freedom from their situations through sexual relations with women. Ango responded to the idea of Japanese people finding freedom and believed that through the body humans would find freedom. Ango took the concept of nikutai bungaku and applied it to other areas besides sexual encounters with women. I use two of his famous essays, ― Nihon bunka shikan and ― Darakuron‖ to explain how Ango made use of the techniques of nikutai bungaku. Ango desired for Japanese people to be free in spirit and life. His remedy was for each person to live according to his/her bodily desires, and through that lifestyle Ango imagined a healthier country. In Part II, I have translated three writings by Ango that show his idea of the ― flesh is not completely limited to a man and a woman‘s carnal relationships. By reading some of his works, one can see the oddity and originality of his concepts.

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