- Ueda Akinari
Ueda Akinari or Ueda Shūsei (上田 秋成,
July 25, 1734, Osaka- August 8, 1809, Kyoto) was a Japanese author, scholarand waka poet, and perhaps the most prominent literary figure in eighteenth century Japan. He was an early writer in the " yomihon" genre and his two masterpieces, "Tales of Moonlight and Rain" ("Ugetsu monogatari") and "Tales of Spring Rain" ("Harusame monogatari"), are central to the canon of Japanese literature.
Born to an
Osakaprostitute and an unknown father, Ueda was adopted in his fourth year by a wealthy merchant who reared him in comfort and provided him with a good education. As a child he became gravely ill with smallpox, and although he survived, he was left with deformed fingers on both hands. During his illness, his parents prayed to the god of the Kashima Inari Shrine, and Ueda felt that this deity had intervened and saved his life. Throughout his life he remained a strong believer in the supernatural, and this belief seems to inform important elements of his literature and scholarship such as his most famous work, a collection of ghost stories titled "Tales of Moonlight and Rain".
He inherited the Ueda family oil and paper business when his adopted father died. However, he was not a successful merchant, and he lost the business to a fire after running it unhappily for ten years. During this time, he published several humorous stories in the "
ukiyo-zōshi" style (literally translated as “tales of the floating world”, the name of a style of books of popular fiction published between the 1680s and 1770s).
Taking the fire as opportunity to leave the business world, Ueda began studying medicine under Tsuga Teishō, who in addition to teaching Ueda to be a doctor also taught him about colloquial Chinese fiction. In 1776 he began to practice medicine and also published "Tales of Moonlight and Rain". This work places Ueda Akinari alongside
Takizawa Bakinamong the most prominent writers of "yomihon" — a new genre that represented a dramatic change in reading practices from the popular fiction that came before it.
In addition to his fiction, Ueda was involved in the field of research known as "
kokugaku" (National Learning), the study of philology and classical Japanese literature. "Kokugaku" was often typified by a rejection of foreign influences on Japanese culture, notably Chinese language, Buddhism, and Confucianism. Ueda took a highly independent position within these circles, and his vigorous polemical dispute with the leading scholar of the movement, Motoori Norinaga, is recorded in the latter's dialogue Kagaika(呵刈葭 1787-1788). Some argue that Ueda also worked out this conflict in stories such as Tales of Moonlight and Rain by beginning his stories grounded on Chinese stories and moral and intellectual discourses and that he then foregrounded a Japanese sensibility by calling on supernatural elements and having his characters feel deep emotion (as opposed to Chinese reliance on the intellect). However it is also true that he had a strong rational, empirical temper, dismissed as nonsensical the myth-reviving fantasies of kokugakuscholars, and throughout showed an intense curiosity, distinctive for its lack of patriotic superiority, in foreign cultures, both within Japan (the Ainu and Okinawan cultures) and abroad ( China, and Western countries).
In the years after his wife’s death in 1798 he suffered from temporary blindness, and although eventually sight returned to his left eye from that point on he had to dictate much of his writing. It was at this time that he began working on his second "yomihon", and he finished the first two stories of what would be "Tales of the Spring Rain" ("Harusame monogatari") in around 1802. The complete version was not published until 1951, when missing sections of the manuscript were discovered. "Spring Rain" is quite different from "Tales of Moonlight" and Rain, and there is some discussion among scholars as to which is the superior work. Among other differences, "Spring Rain" does not invoke the supernatural, and the stories are of greatly varied length. The story titled “Hankai” is about a disreputable ruffian who suddenly converts to Buddhism and spends the rest of his life as a pious monk. The story anchors the collection by virtue of its length and the literary skill it exhibits.
In 1809, Ueda died at the age of 76 in
Ueda Akinari timeline
*1755 Published first "haikai" at the age of 21.
*1760 Married Ueyama Tama
*1761 Adopted father died.
*1766 Published "Worldly Monkeys with Ears for the Arts" ("Shodō kikimimi sekenzaru").
*1767 Published "Characters of Worldly Mistresses" ("Seken Tekake Katagi")
*1771 The family oil and paper business was destroyed in a fire.
*1776 Published "Ugetsu Monogatari". Began to practice medicine.
*1788 Retired from medicine and devoted himself full time to writing and scholarship.
*1797 Wife died. He suffered from temporary blindness.
*1802 Oldest extant versions of “The Bloodstained Robe” and “The Celestial Maidens”, the first two stories of "Harusame monogatari" ("Tales of the Spring Rain").
*1808 Published "Tandai shōshin roku" ("Notes Bold Yet Pithy").
Tales of Moonlight and Rain" (雨月物語 "Ugetsu monogatari") (1776)
*"Tales of the Spring Rain" (春雨物語 "Harusame monogatari") (1809)
*Hamada, Kengi. “About the Author.” In "Tales of Moonlight and Rain". New York: Columbia University Press.
*Keene, Donald. 1976. "World within Walls: Japanese Literature of the Pre-Modern Era, 1600-1867". Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.
*Reider, Noriko T. 2002. "Tales of the Supernatural in Early Modern Japan: Kaidan, Akinari, Ugetsu Monogatari". Edwin Mellen Press.
*Shirane, Haruo, ed. “Early Yomihon: History, Romance, and the Supernatural.” In "Early Modern Japanese Literature". New York: Columbia University
*Takata Mamoru. “Ugetsu Monogatari: A Critical Interpretation.” In "Tales of Moonlight and Rain". New York: Columbia University Press, 1972.
*Ueda Akinari. 1974. Ugetsu Monogatari: Tales of Moonlight and Rain Trans. by Leon M. Zolbrod. George Allen and Unwin Ltd.
*Ueda Akinari. 1975. "Tales of the Spring Rain." Trans. by Barry Jackman. The Japan Foundation.
*Washburn, Dennis. “Ghostwriters and Literary Haunts: Subordinating Art to Ethics in Ugetsu Monogatari.” "Monumenta Nipponica" 45.1 (1996)
*Zolbrod, Leon M., trans. and ed. Introduction. "Ugetsu Monogatari: Tales of Moonlight and Rain". London: George Allen & Unwin, 1974.
Ugetsu, Kenji Mizoguchi
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Ueda akinari — Portrait de Akinari, par Koga Bunrei Ueda Akinari (上田秋成 en japonais) ou Ueda Shūsei (25 juillet 1734 à Ōsaka 6 août 1809 à Kyōto) est peut être la plus grande figure littéraire du … Wikipédia en Français
Ueda Akinari — V. Akinari … Encyclopédie Universelle
Ueda Akinari — Retrato de Ueda Akinari por Koga Bunrei. Ueda Akinari o Ueda Shūsei (上田 秋成, Ueda Akinari o Ueda Shūsei … Wikipedia Español
Ueda Akinari — Portrait de Akinari, par Koga Bunrei. Ueda Akinari (上田秋成, Ueda Akinari … Wikipédia en Français
Ueda Akinari — ▪ Japanese writer pseudonym of Ueda Senjiro born July 25, 1734, Ōsaka, Japan died Aug. 8, 1809, Kyōto preeminent writer and poet of late 18th century Japan, best known for his tales of the supernatural. Ueda was adopted into the… … Universalium
AKINARI U. — AKINARI U. Conteur délicat et savant philologue, moraliste misanthrope et pessimiste, critique mordant, mais lucide jusque dans ses haines, homme de lettres dont la passion de l’écrit fut l’unique raison de vivre, Ueda Akinari est, sans conteste … Encyclopédie Universelle
Ueda (surname) — Ueda is a Japanese surname. Depending on the particular family, it is written either 上田 or (less commonly) 植田. People with this surname include:* Ueda Akinari, writer * Ueda Bin, writer and translator * Ueda Fumito, game designer * Ueda Kenkichi … Wikipedia
Ueda — Ueda, Akinari, japanischer Schriftsteller, Philologe und Mediziner, * Ōsaka 1734, ✝ Kyōto 27. 6. 1809. Seine Werke zeigen bedeutende Kenntnisse der chinesischen und japanischen Literatur. Sein Erzählwerk spiegelt konfuzianisches und… … Universal-Lexikon
Akinari — (Ueda) (1734 1809) écrivain japonais, auteur de récits fantastiques: Contes de pluie et de lune (1776) … Encyclopédie Universelle
Tales of Moonlight and Rain — nihongo| Tales of Moonlight and Rain |雨月物語|Ugetsu Monogatari is a collection of nine independent stories, written by Ueda Akinari, first published in 1776, adapted from Chinese ghost stories. It is considered to be among the most important works… … Wikipedia