Adaptations of Western Literature in Meiji Japan by J. Miller

By J. Miller

This publication examines 3 examples of past due nineteenth-century jap diversifications of Western literature: a biography of U.S. furnish recasting him as a eastern warrior, a Victorian novel reset as oral functionality, and an American melodrama redone as a serialized novel selling the reform of jap theater. Written from a comparative standpoint, it argues that version (hon'an) used to be a legitimate kind of modern eastern translation that fostered inventive appropriation throughout many genres and between a various team of writers and artists. furthermore, it invitations readers to reassess variation within the context of translation idea.

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Gurando-shi den Yamato bunshô (A Japanese Life of Grant)2 I have now been six or seven weeks in Japan. The progress that has been made in this country in a few years is more like a romance than a reality. —Ulysses S. Grant, letter from Tokyo, 10 August 18793 I n late June of 1879, just as the rainy season was drawing to a close, Ulysses S. Grant steamed into Nagasaki Harbor aboard the Richmond. 4 Grant did not come to Japan unheralded, however. Months before his arrival the Japanese press noted the plans and preparations being made in anticipation of his visit.

But Young’s readers fully recognized and accepted the contemporary conventions for press coverage. -Japan relationship. 35 This succinct account contrasts sharply with Young’s lengthy, detailed narrative; it is a traveler’s sketch pad, filled with brief impressions jotted down during moments of leisure on the trip, and a survey of some of Grant’s reactions provides a striking, personal glimpse that stands in strong contrast to the public transmutations of his voyage. Grant notes in his diary things that are new to him, exotic, or curious, particularly those that fell within his own range of experience.

30 As in the illustration, Yokohama becomes a paradigm of the West in Asia. However, in Young’s text the ordered streets and glorious rays of sunshine are replaced by another metaphor, that of the frontier town, as he likens Yokohama to Western railroad camps. Young’s conflation of newly 38 S Adaptations of Western Literature in Meiji Japan opened Japan with the recently pioneered American West is particularly perceptive; both were generally viewed by Americans as resources to be exploited, and Grant had been involved in both campaigns (first in the Mexican-American War, then as president in his reception of Iwakura).

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