Handbook of Japanese Christian Writers
Amsterdam University Press
Although a century and a half of Christian proselytizing has only led to the conversion of about one percent of the Japanese population, the proportion of writers who have either been baptized or significantly influenced in their work by Christian teachings is much higher. The seventeen authors examined in this volume have all employed themes and imagery in their writings influenced by Christian teachings. Those writing between the 1880s and the start of World War II were largely drawn to the Protestant emphasis on individual freedom, though many of them eventually rejected sectarian affiliation. Since 1945, on the other hand, Catholicism has produced a number of religiously committed authors, led by figures such as Endo Shusaku, the most popular and influential Christian writer in Japan to date. The authors discussed in these essays have contributed in a variety of ways to the indigenization of the imported religion.
Mark Williams is Vice President at International Christian University in Tokyo. Until 2017, he was Professor of Japanese Studies and Chair of the School of Modern Languages at the University of Leeds, UK. He is the translator of two novels by Endo Shusaku. In 2017, he received a Commendation from the from the Foreign Minister of Japan.
Van C. Gessel is Professor Emeritus of Japanese at Brigham Young University. He has translated eight literary works by Endo Shusaku. He was literary consultant for Martin Scorsese during the production of the film adaptation of Endo’s Chinmoku (Silence). In 2018 he was inducted into the Order of the Rising Sun by the Japanese emperor.
Yamane Michihiro is Professor at Notre Dame Seishin Women’s University. He has published widely on Endo Shusaku, Yagi Jukichi, Akutagawa Ryunosuke, Miyazawa Kenji, and others. He was closely involved in the publication of the 15-volume Collected Works of Endo Shusaku and was in charge of editing the 11-volume Selected Works of Inoue Yoji.
Michael Brownstein received his PhD in Japanese literature from Columbia University in 1981 for his dissertation on Kitamura Tokoku. He is Associate Professor of Japanese in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Notre Dame where he teaches courses on Japanese literature and culture. He has published essays on modern Japanese literature as well as translations of several modern Japanese short stories. His two most recent publication are “The ‘Devil’ in the Heart: Enchi Fumiko’s Masks and the Uncanny” in The Journal of Japanese Studies (2014) and “Sedge-hat Madness: A Translation of Chikamatsu Monzaemon’s ‘Onatsu Seijuro Gojunenki Uta Nenbutsu’” in Monumenta Nipponica (2016). He is currently writing a monograph on the domestic plays of Chikamatsu Monzaemon (1653–1724), and his translation of Kanadehon Chushingura (The Treasury of Loyal Retainers, 1748) is under review at Hackett Publishing Company.
Kevin M. Doak holds the Nippon Foundation Endowed Chair in Japanese Studies at Georgetown University where he is Professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures and an Affiliate Faculty member in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies. He has published widely on Japan and Catholicism, including “Beyond Endo: The Hidden Renaissance of Japanese Catholic Novelists” at https://benedictinsti_x0002_tute.org/2019/07/beyond-endo/, as well as articles on Catholicism in Japan in Nova et Vetera, First Things, New Oxford Review and elsewhere. His major publications include Xavier’s Legacies: Catholicism in Modern Japanese Culture (University of British Columbia Press, 2011) and Tanaka Kotaro and World Law (Palgrave Macmillan 2019), a study of Japan’s leading Catholic jurist. He translated Sono Ayako’s Kiseki (Miracles; MerwinAsia, 2016; republished by Wiseblood Publications, 2021). His current research involves a study and translation of Japan’s most important Catholic theologian, Yoshimitsu Yoshihiko (1904–1945).
Philip Gabriel is Professor of Japanese literature in the Department of East Asian Studies, the University of Arizona. He is the author of Mad Wives and Island Dreams: Shimao Toshio and the Margins of Japanese Literature and Spirit Matters: The Transcendent in Modern Japanese Literature and he has translated many novels and short stories by the writer Haruki Murakami and other modern writers. He was recipient of the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature (2001) for his translation of Senji Kuroi’s Gunsei (Life in the Cul-de-Sac), and the 2006 PEN/Book-of_x0002_the-Month Club Translation Prize for his translation of Murakami’s Umibe no Kafuka (Kafka on the Shore)
Anthony Haynes received his PhD in Christian ethics and practical theology from the University of Edinburgh in 2018. He wrote his doctoral thesis on the connection between art and mysticism in the life and thought of the French Catholic philosopher Jacques Maritain. He has since worked as an adjunct professor and visiting lecturer in philosophy and religious studies for several universities, including Lakeland University (Japan Campus) and the Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas (Philippines). His academic research centers on the practical expression of religious belief and experience, particularly in fiction, visual art and ascetic ways of life.
Irina Holca came to Japan to further her education after graduating from the University of Bucharest with a major in Japanese Studies and a minor in British Studies. She obtained her MA and PhD degrees in modern Japanese literature, from Nara University of Education and Osaka University, respectively. She joined Kyoto University’s Institute for Research in the Humanities as a senior lecturer in 2014 and went on to become an associate professor in UTokyo’s PEAK program in 2019. She specializes in modern and contemporary Japanese literature and is also interested in translation and media studies. In 2018, she published the Japanese monograph Shimazaki Toson hirakareru tekusuto: media, tasha, jenda (The (re)opened text: Media, otherness, and gender in Shimazaki Toson’s works; Bensei Shuppan). In 2020, she co-edited the volume Forms of the Body in Contemporary Japanese Literature, Society, and Culture (Rowman and Littlefield).
Imai Mari is a literary critic who took both an BA and MA in Japanese Literature from Seishin Women’s University. Focusing mainly on pre-modern and modern Japanese literature, she is a member of the Japan PEN club, the Japan Society for Literature and Christianity and the Endo Shusaku Research Association. Since 2007, she has been involved in a series of exhibitions devoted to the life and works of Endo Shusaku, both at the “Kotobarando” section of the Machida City Literary Museum and at the Endo Shusaku Literary Museum in Nagasaki. Her published monograph is entitled Sore demo kami wa iru: Endo Shusaku to aku (And yet God exists: Endo Shusaku and evil; Keio University Press, 2015); and her co-authored works include Endo Shusaku kenkyu (Studies on Endo Shusaku; Jitsugyo no Nihonsha, 1979); Endo Shusaku: Chinmoku sakuhin ronshu (Collection of essays on Endo Shusaku’s Silence; Kuresu, 2002). Her recent essays include “Sore demo ningen wa shinjirareru ka? Endo Shusaku to Aushuvittsu” (Can humans believe in spite of everything? Endo Shusaku and Auschwitz, 2006); “Aku no okonawareta basho: Umi to dokuyaku no hikari to kage” (The place where evil was carried out: Light and dark in The Sea and the Poison, 2006); “Bara to fukkatsu: Endo Shusaku no gikyoku Bara no yakatao kangaeru” (Roses and the resurrection: Some thoughts on Endo Shusaku’s drama The Contributors ix house of roses, 2013); and, “Aku no tobira: Endo Shusaku to Sado” (The door to evil: Endo Shusaku and Sade, 2003). She has also written a series of commentaries on Endo‘s work.
Miyasaka Satoru is Professor Emeritus at Ferris University. He began his teaching career at Fukuoka Prefectural Women’s University before moving to Ferris University where he served as Assistant Professor, Professor, Dean of the Faculty of Letters and President. In 1998, he spent a year as a special research fellow at the School of Oriental and Afri_x0002_can Studies (SOAS) in London. In 2006, he founded the International Society for Aku_x0002_tagawa Studies, where he remains an advisor. His published works include Sakuhin-ron: Akutagawa Ryunosuke (The literary works of Akutagawa Ryunosuke; Sobunsha, 1990); Akutagawa Ryunosuke: hito to sakuhin (Akutagawa Ryunosuke: The man and his works; Kanrin Shobo, 1998); Akutagawa Ryunosuke to Kirishitan-mono: Ozei, kosa, ekkyo (Aku_x0002_tagawa Ryunosuke and his Kirishitan tales: Polyphony, intersections, border crossing; Kanrin Shobo, 2014). He also helped edit the 24-volume Akutagawa Ryunosuke zenshu (Collected works of Akutagawa Ryunosuke; Iwanami Shoten, 1998).
Leith Morton is Professor Emeritus, Tokyo Institute of Technology, and has lectured in Japanese at many universities in Australia and overseas, including the University of Syd_x0002_ney (1979–1992), the University of Newcastle [Australia] from 1992–2003, where he was appointed to the Chair of Japanese, and later, to the Head of the Department of Modern Languages. He has written many books on modern Japanese literature and culture, in_x0002_cluding: Divided Self: A Biography of Arishima Takeo (Allen & Unwin, 1988); Modern Japanese Culture: The Insider View (Oxford University Press, 2003); Modernism in Prac_x0002_tice: An Introduction to Postwar Japanese Poetry (University of Hawai’i Press, 2004); The Alien Within: Representations of the Exotic in Twentieth-Century Japanese Literature (Uni_x0002_versity of Hawai’i Press, 2009); and The Writing of Disaster: Literary Representations of War, Trauma and Earthquakes in Modern Japan (Peter Lang, 2020); he also co-edited the Routledge Handbook of Modern Japanese Literature (Routledge, 2016).
Nagahama Takuma is Professor of Japanese literature at Kyoto University of Foreign Studies. His 1993 MA dissertation focused on the works of Shiina Rinzo. In 2000, he contributed a chapter to Sakuhin-ron: Endo Shusaku (Sobunsha) entitled “‘Kiiroi hito’: gyakusetsuteki na ‘oncho no sekai’ no teiji” (“Yellow man”: Depiction of the paradoxical “world of grace”) and, in 2016 he received his PhD from Kwansei Gakuen University with a thesis entitled “Endo Shusaku kenkyu: rekishi shosetsu o shiza toshite” (A study of Endo Shusaku: From the perspective of his historical novels). Thereafter, with three additional chapters focus_x0002_ing on Konishi Yukinaga, he published his first monograph, Endo Shusaku-ron: rekishi shosetsu o shiza toshite in 2018 (Izumi Shoin). Building on his 2011 article “Nihon sengo bungaku to kirisutokyo: seisho no juyo to tenkai o chushin ni” (Japanese postwar litera_x0002_ture and Christianity: With a particular focus on the reception and dissemination of the Bible), in 2022 he published his Sengo bungaku to seisho (Postwar literature and the Bible, Kanyo Shuppan), a study spanning works from Kawabata Yasunari to Endo Shusaku. In all this his focus remains on the connection between Japanese literature and Christianity
Ryota Sakurai is a PhD student at International Christian University (ICU). Before starting his PhD, he was a Japanese cultural program coordinator at Colorado College (2017–2019). His research focuses on themes of writing about faith, particularly in the cultural context of postwar Japan. His publications include “Ogawa Kunio no seisho keiretsu sakuhin nimiru ‘aidentiti no kiki’ to saisei” (The identity crisis and recovery in Ogawa Kunio’s novels of biblical themes), Studies in Literature and Christianity (April 2021); “Uchinaru tasha no bungaku: sengo Nihon ni okeru ‘kaku koto’ to ‘shinjiru koto’ no kosa no saikento ni mukete” (A literature of internal others: Toward a reconsideration of the intersection of “writing” and “faith” in postwar Japan), The Annals of the Japanese Association for the Study of Puritanism (March 2022); and “Remembering and (Re)storing War Memories: The Postwar Fiction of Shimao Toshio”, Japan Review (forthcoming 2022).
Sekino Miho was an Assistant at the Institute for East Asian Studies at Nishogakusha University and is currently teaching at Toho Junior and Senior High School. She has published numerous essays on the writings of Takahashi Takako and others, including “Takahashi Takako: Botsuraku fukei oboegaki: Yamanouchi Shinko ni tsuite” (Thoughts on Takahashi Takako’s A Ruined Landscape: on Yamanouchi Shinko); “Yami kara no kobo: Takahashi Takako Sora no hate made-ron” (Light out of the darkness: A Study of Takahashi Takako’s To the end of the sky) and “Kofuku e no kibo to tsumi no denpa: Takahashi Takako Natsu no fuchi-ron (Hope for happiness and the propagation of sin: A Study of Takahashi Taka_x0002_ko’s The abyss of summer).
Massimiliano Tomasi (PhD Nagoya University). Professor of Japanese and Director of the Center for East Asian Studies, Western Washington University. His publications include Rhetoric in Modern Japan: Western Influences on the Development of Written and Orator_x0002_ical Style (University of Hawai’i Press, 2004), The Literary Theory of Shimamura Hogetsu and the Development of Feminist Discourse in Modern Japan (Mellen, 2008); The Dilemma of Faith in Modern Japanese Literature: Metaphors of Christianity (Routledge, 2018); and the edited volume Religion and Spirituality in Japanese Literature (Association for Japa_x0002_nese Literary Studies, 2016). Prof. Tomasi is currently working on a book manuscript that explores the intersections between Christianity and Japanese literature from the 1930s to the immediate postwar period.
Yamane Ibuki is a PhD candidate in the Graduate School of Arts and Science, the University of Tokyo and a Research Fellow of the Japan Society for Promotion of Science. He is a contributor to the Endo Shusaku jiten (Endo Shusaku dictionary) and author of the following articles: “Endo Shusaku Chinmoku ni okeru kon’in shinpi shiso: ‘Kirisuto no kao’ ni okeru ‘okikae shuho’ o megutte” (The mystical marriage in Endo Shusaku’s Silence: The technique of “transposition” in the “Face of Jesus”); “Endo Shusaku Chinmoku ni okeru jakusha no sukui: muishiki ni okeru dohansha e no ‘kawaki’ o megutte” (Salvation of the weak in Endo Shusaku’s Chinmoku: The unconscious ‘thirst’ for a constant companion) and “Endo Shusaku Shikai no hotori ni okeru shoseijin no tsuko: Iigaru-shi no shogen to jusansho no kozo ni chakumoku shite” (The “Communion of Saints” in Endo Shusaku’s Shikai no hotori [By the Dead Sea]: Focusing on the testimony of Ygal and the structure of chapter XIII).