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ERIC Number: ED512787
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 282
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1092-8952-7
A Heteroglossic Theory of Proto-Genbun Itchi in Edo and Early Meiji Writings
Hansen, Kelly J.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Genbun itchi is conventionally described as an early Meiji-period movement which sought to rid written Japanese of archaic forms, and instead develop a written style closer to the spoken vernacular of the time. The overwhelming bulk of critical work on genbun itchi has centered around the introduction of Western literature during this period as the key impetus for the movement. In my dissertation, I extend the parameters of genbun itchi back to the early seventeenth century, when the first challenges to the status of the written language, particularly the privileged forms of archaic Chinese and Sino-Japanese writings, came into general public discourse. The growth of urban populations, combined with the emergence of a print industry and increasing literacy rates during the Edo period, highlighted the inability of these archaic narrative styles to fully reflect contemporary society, both in the intellectual community and in writings aimed at the general populace. Proto-genbun itchi is a neologism I have coined to describe the growing awareness of the gap between the spoken and written languages which first emerged in the seventeenth century, and the significance of this awareness as a harbinger for later Meiji-period proposals advocating genbun itchi reform. While not discounting the impact of the West, this expanded historical time frame allows for a more comprehensive analysis encompassing the multiplicity of linguistic and literary discourses which played a role in the genbun itchi movement. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A