Buy In Praise Of Shadows (Vintage Classics) New Ed by Junichiro Tanizaki ( ISBN: ) from Amazon’s Book Store. Everyday low prices and free . In Praise of Shadows has ratings and reviews. °°°·. In this delightful essay Junichiro Tanizaki looks at Japanese aesthetics, and selects praise for all . gracious permission of Mrs. Jun’ichiro Tanizaki. Cover photo: “Entrance to the praise of shadows and darkness; so it is when there comes to us the excitement.

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Fukuzawa had sought to sweep away the anachronistic practices of the medieval Confucian mindset and bathe Japan in the warm rays of European enlightenment, ensuring that the nation could resist the imperial incursions of predatory Western powers.

In Praise of Shadows by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki

By the s, Tanizaki claimed in his essay, with the single exception of America, no country in the world suffered from an excess of electric lights and priase than Japan: Einstein, on a visit to Kyoto, observed that artificial lights burned in Japan even during the day. Yet so many aspects of Japanese culture, Tanizaki argued, relied on the nuance of shade — hints and allusions and an appreciation of age and patina.

Whether discussing Japanese ceramics, noh or the sense of space in a traditional Japanese house created by the interplay of light and shadow, Tanizaki argued for a deep appreciation of darkness and the unknown. The traditional interpretation of the jumichiro of both Tanizaki and his great contemporary, Kafu Nagaiis that both had been profoundly Westernized writers in their youth, but came to argue instead in middle age for tamizaki unique appeal of a Japanese aesthetic that had been ignored.


Tanizaki deliberately set up his ideas on Japanese aesthetics in contrast to those of the West, which he characterized in terms of a relentless obsession with progress. From that point on, waves of new European thought that were fiercely critical of the starchy, high-minded moral certainties of the mid-Victorian period junichifo to be absorbed by Japanese intellectuals.

The golden age of Japanese literature was created not by the certainties of Western civilization but by the furious debates and clashes that occurred within that civilization.

Exhilaratingly, the new Japanese authors of the 20th century were simultaneously exposed to translations of the complete works of William Shakespeare and Nietzsche, the psychological analyses of William James, the detective stories of Edgar Allan Poe and Arthur Conan Doyle, the pioneering work of sexologists like Havelock Ellis and the thinking of Karl Marx and Henri Bergson. The enormous tumult of these intellectual stimuli inspired writers such as Tanizaki to reach back into the traditions of Japan.


He became fascinated by the dark spaces of the irrational unconscious and how that neglected part of the psyche found representation in traditional aspects of Japanese beauty and culture. Tanizaki was beckoning the reader back into the sensuous allure of the feminine shadows, showing how much of lf was to be found there. Junichiro TanizakiIn Praise of Shadows. Sorry, but your browser needs Javascript to use this site.

Rereadings: In Praise of Shadows by Junichiro Tanizaki | Books | The Guardian

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