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  Wikipedia: Japanese literature

Wikipedia: Japanese literature
Japanese literature
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Japanese literature spans a period of almost 20 centuries of writing. Early work was heavily influenced by Chinese Literature, but Japan's subsequent political isolation led to some unique literary forms. When Japan was opened suddenly in the 19th century, the shock again influenced Japanese Literature, which developed some interesting modern characteristics.

Generalized characteristics of Japanese Literature involve a sense of detachment, remoteness, and in many cases where the hero or sentral figure fails in their efforts.


Japanese Literature is generally divided into three main periods: Ancient, Medieval, and Modern.

Ancient Japanese literature (generally pre 12th Century) includes Kojiki, The Pillow Book, The Tale of Genji, where content centers around the life, love, and pasttimes of nobels in the Emperor`s court.

Medieval Japanese Literature (12th Century - 19th Century) is marked by its strong influence of Zen Buddhism, where characters are priests, travellers, or ascetic poets.

Modern Japanese Literature (Late 19th Century - Present) parallels the openning of Japan and subsequent exposure to the West. A unique literary form, the shishousetsu, or self-centered short story, came into its own beginning in the Modern period. These short stories often have the writer himself as the main character, and are somewhat confessional in the retelling of a significant life experience. Modern literature combined the existentiallist influences from previous Zen writings, and placed them in modern settings, where rapid progress in the world served to heighten the alienation felt by the author.


Court Poetry, Novel, Epic, Travellogue, Haiku, Shishousetsu, Modern Novel

Significant Authors

These are resources for an article on Japanese literature.

Famous authors of significant stature in chronological order below. For an exhaustive list, see List of Japanese authors:

The article should cover See:

External links


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 
Modified by Geona