1st Edition

Japan and Japonisme in Late Nineteenth Century Literature

By Naomi Charlotte Fukuzawa Copyright 2025
    248 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book examines the transnational phenomenon of Japonisme in the exoticist and ‘auto-exoticist’ literature of the late nineteenth century.

    Focusing on the way the in which reciprocal processes of transcultural acquisition – by Japan and from Japan - were portrayed in the medium of literature, the book illustrates how literary Japonisme and the wider processes whereby Japan, with its alien exotic culture and unique refined aestheticism, was absorbing Western civilisation in its own way in the late nineteenth century at the same time as the phenomenon of Japonisme was occurring in Western fine arts, who were inspired by traditional Japanese artistic practices. Specifically, the book focuses on the literary works of Lafcadio Hearn and Pierre Loti, who travelled from France and America respectively to Japan, and Mori Ōgai and Natsume Sōseki, who in turn went respectively to Germany and England from Japan.

    Exploring the eclectic hybridity of Japan’s modernization during the late nineteenth century, this book will appeal to students and scholars of Japanese Studies, Postcolonial Studies and Comparative Literature.

    1. Pierre Loti’s Novel Madame Chrysanthème (1887) on Japan’s Vulnerability  2. Mori Ōgai’s First Modern Japanese Novella The Dancing Girl (1890): A German-Japanese Parable of Meiji Modernization  3. Natsume Sōseki’s Fictional Encounter with Britain’s Historical Ghosts in ‘The Tower of London’  4. Lafcadio Hearn’s Exoticizing Modernist Construction of Japan in Kokoro  5. Anglo-Irish Ghost Stories in Japan: Lafcadio Hearn’s Kwaidan


    Naomi Charlotte Fukuzawa completed her PhD at UCL in Comparative literature in the United Kingdom and figured as postdoctoral fellow at the university of Bologna, Italy, and currently works at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam in Germany.