Dispatches from Japanglia: Anglo-Japanese Literary Imbrication, 1880-1920
Scholtz, Amelia Catherine
Patten, Robert L.
Doctor of Philosophy
This project considers the ways in which English authors and a diverse group of Japanese subjects co-produced literary representations of Japan in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. I argue that Anglo-Japanese encounters were defined by imbrication: by a number of overlapping phenomena that developed both coincidentally and as a result of contact between the two countries. Among coincidental developments, I include urbanisation and the development of a prosperous middle class in both Japan and England. Developments that appear to arise as a result of Anglo-Japanese contact include the prevalence of Social Darwinism in intellectual circles in both countries, as well as the growth of transnational bureaucratic networks. I refer to these phenomena collectively as "Japanglia," The literary implications of these overlaps--some highly ephemeral, others longer lasting--form the focus of this dissertation. In the four case studies presented here, I find that Japanglian phenomena compel us to adopt variously intertextual, inter-artistic, tropological, and somatically-focused approaches to our reading. My first chapter focuses on intertextuality in the work of Sir Christopher Dresser and Meiji bureaucrat Ishida Tametake. I find that the existence of Japanglian bureaucratic networks (formed in the overlap of English and Japanese bureaucracies) resulted in the publication of interpenetrative English and Japanese accounts of the same events. Japanglian texts may also be inter-artistic, using culturally blurred visual and decorative artforms as models for their own representations of Japan. This becomes apparent in my second case study, which considers the relationship between Gilbert and Sullivan's Mikado and Japanese ukiyo-e prints . Tropologically focused reading is also of use when reading these texts, for common tropes circulated between writers of English and Japanese origins. This common tropology features in the work of Rudyard Kipling and Okakura Kakuzo ̄. Finally, as my study of the Japan writings of Marie Stopes suggests, blurring between the categories of Englishness and Japaneseness may register in the phenomenology of somatic experience.