Jon Holt

Date of Award

Spring 6-2-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Japanese


World Languages and Literatures

Physical Description

1 online resource (iii, 79 pages)


Mimei Ogawa (1882-1961), Japanese short stories -- 20th century -- History and criticism, Children's stories, Japanese -- 20th century -- History and criticism, Socialist literature




During the early twentieth century, Japan was modernizing in all areas of science and art, including children’s literature. Ogawa Mimei (1882-1961) was a prolific writer who advanced various literary forms such as short stories, poems, essays, children’s stories, and children’s songs. As a writer, he was most active during the late Meiji (1868-1912) to Taishō (1912-1926) periods when he was a socialist. During that time, he penned many socialist short stories and children’s stories that were filtered through his humanistic, anarchistic, and romanticist ideals. In this thesis, I analyze Mimei’s socialist short stories and children’s stories written in the 1910s and 1920s. I identify both the characteristics of his writing style and the themes so we can probe Mimei’s ideological and aesthetic ideas, which have been discounted by contemporary critics. His socialist short stories challenged the dogmatic literary approach of Japanese proletarian literature during its golden age of the late 1920s and early 1930s. His socialist children’s stories also deviated from the standard of Japanese children’s literature in the 1950s and 1960s. In this thesis, I break away from the narrow views that confined Mimei to certain literary standards. This thesis is a reevaluation of Mimei’s literature on his own terms from a holistic perspective.

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