Irmela Hijiya-Kirschnereit brings a sophisticated and graceful method of analysis to this English translation of her book on the shishōsetsu, one of the most important yet misunderstood genres in Japanese literature. Thorough and insightful, this study of the Japanese version of the I-novel provides a means of researching and interpreting the tradition of the genre, linking it to forms of autobiographical fiction as well as to cultural assumptions of the classical period of Japanese history. Hijiya-Kirschnereit provides a model of systematic inquiry into literary traditions that will stimulate American and English Japanologists, providing a much-needed bridge between German Japanologists and the rest of the field.
In detail and thoroughness of research, this book is the last European word on the Japanese I-novel… If you want to explore every angle on the subject, and to be introduced to the full range of Japanese studies of it, here is your authoritative guide.
Irmela Hijiya-Kirschnereit is Professor of Japanese Literature at Freie Universität Berlin.