mjj (flemmings) wrote,

There's a certain sense of dislocation in seeing the Japanese names I learned before I could read Japanese written in kanji. There's a bunch in the afterword to Akizuki's novel, a list of Taishou-born and -active literary figures, that made me blink rapidly. When sounds become symbols one's whole sense of the man changes.

Akutagawa Ryūnosuke, for instance- 芥川 龍之介- has a dragon in his name, and Tanizaki Jun'ichirō- 谷崎潤一郎- has Goujun's jun. Mori Ogai in his original kanji- 森 鷗外- looks more surprising than in his simplified form, do not ask me why. I mean, both mean 'outside the seagull', but somehow the traditional seagull is just a bit more imposing. And it had eluded me that Kawabata Yasunari- 川端 康成- had the Tokugawa's yasu in his name as well. Maybe I thought it was 安 or something. ^^::

Akizuki implies that she knew very little about Taishou when she started researching her book, but she has a slew of names that are new to me. For my own reference:
武者小路実篤- Mushanokoji Saneatsu- who demonstrates why Japanese name kanji make gaijin weep.
萩原 朔太郎 Hagiwara Sakutaro- who seems worth looking up;
北原 白秋- Kitahara Hakushu- ditto.

And not new to me, but someone I actually didn't know anything about: Miyazawa Kenji.
Tags: japanese, reading_07, verse

  • (no subject)

    Henh. If I were born today I'd have the same name- Madeleine- as the cousin who was born two? three? years before I was. That we're both named for…

  • (no subject)

    I heard some of Loreena Mc Kennitt's work when I was in Japan and bought her whole backlist after I came home. Now all her earliest stuff says…

  • (no subject)

    Things I never knew: that the valves inside a shower get gunked up with lime and so on and need replacing every decade or so. This is why my shower…

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded