Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Kultur-, Sozial- und Bildungswissenschaftliche Fakultät - Institut für Asien- und Afrikawissenschaften

Ōgai, the Debater

Digitaler Vortrag von Prof. Miyabi Gotō (University of Kentucky) - 2. Februar 2023


Ein bedeutendes Debatten-Forum: Die von Mori herausgegebene Zeitschrift Shigarami zōshi ("Reusen-Hefte")

Ōgai has been widely read in and beyond Japan. The frequent appearance of "The Dancing Girl" (1890) both in Japanese high school textbooks and in U.S. college course syllabi of modern Japanese literature testifies to the strong recognition that the writer has received as a fiction writer. And yet the prevalence of such a view tends to obscure different ways to approach Ōgai. The writer in fact produced a broader range of writings besides fiction during his career. This talk highlights an under-examined aspect of Ōgai by tracking three literary debates—the "Literature and Nature" debate (1889), the "Dancing Girl" debate (1890), and the submerged ideal debate (1891–1892)—in which Ōgai actively participated. Throughout those debates, Ōgai makes strange, almost irrational rhetorical moves. Out of those strange moments emerges an opportunity for us to observe the writer's unique, highly creative manner of conducting himself as a debater.

Es handelt sich um einen Beitrag zur Veranstaltungsreihe "Mori Ogai und die Vielfalt des Wissens", der digital via Zoom stattfindet.


Miyabi Gotō's research focuses on modern Japanese literature during and since the Meiji period (1868–1912). She is particularly interested in the emerging process of criticism as an intellectual practice in late nineteenth-century Japan. She is currently working on her book project, Critical Failures: Theory and Practice of Literary Criticism in Late Nineteenth-Century Japan. Goto received her doctoral degree in East Asian Studies at Princeton University. Before joining the University of Kentucky, she taught at the University of Virginia.