The Fall of Language in the Age of English by Minae Mizumura


The Tosa Diary, written by a man, adopted the persona of a woman because while “writing a diary was something men did more often than women, … male diarists of his time invariably wrote in either Chinese or sinicized Japanese–never in hirigana.”

Akutagawa apparently read War and Peace in four days (in English)!

Okazi Koyo’s Gold Demon was proven in 2000 “to be an adaption of an American dime novel.”

From a nationwide survey in August 1948: of a random sample of 16,814, male and female from 15 to 64, only 2.1% were found functionally illiterate.

“Only in the Taisho era did the language used in newspapers shift from the traditional literary style to the new genbun itchi style.”

In Kusamakura, Soseki compares Percy Shelley with Tao Yuanming and Wang Wei: “Western poetry… however poetic it waxes, scurries over the ground, never forgetting to count its small change.” Eastern poetry is “emancipated from the worldly.”

1946 was the year kana reforms/kanji simplification went into effect.

“China’s Cultural Revolution saw invaluable cultural treasures wiped from the face of the Earth and book lovers strung up and humiliated. Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge massacred the entire literate population.”

Shiga Naoya called for Japan to abandon Japanese in favor of French.

some quotes and information I found provocative from The Fall of Language in the Age of English by Minae Mizumura

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s