The field of Japanese literary studies in the United States is barely half a century old, and the number of scholars whose work has had a lasting impact on the contours of the field is still very small. As a translator and critic, Edwin McClellan has indelibly marked the sensibilities of all scholars of Japanese literature; as a teacher, his contribution to the field has no equal.
In Studies in Modern Japanese Literature, 21 students honor their mentor with essays and translations focusing on literature from the late 19th through the late 20th centuries. The authors discussed range from Natsume Sōseki to Murakami Haruki, and subjects discussed include the flourishing of literary forms in response to the Ansei earthquake, the impact of Western styles on Japanese literature, and modern poetry. Together with the translations of short stories, fables, and a critical essay, these contributions provide an overview of modern Japanese literary history.
Edwin McClellan was known as a demanding teacher and scholar, but his approach is neither rigid nor doctrinaire. There is no better evidence of his generosity of spirit than the diversity represented by the essays and translations in this volume.