Why is Japanese literature so much more robust (for lack of a better word) than say, Korean, or even Chinese? Certainly if only considering ancient texts Chinese and Japanese works are on par with one another. But after entering the modern era Japanese writing (and art in general you could argue) seems to be just far more advanced stylistically in addition to having a wider breadth of topics that it covers.
Contemporary works in China are completely stifled for political reasons of course but even Korean works seem to only focus on a handful of subjects and follow a very western style while Japanese works still pull from more imaginative realms and still follow a more Japanese literary tradition in style.
Why such a large disparity /lit/? I ask you because I'm no expert on Asian literature myself and was curious. The picture is the only one on my phone.
I think your Japanese view is heavily influenced by the handful of exceptionally good authors such as Mishima and Soseki. If you take those away there isn't much notable writers and works left.
Japan remained a world power from the 20th century onwards, whereas Korea and China didn't.
Korea was intervened by Western and Marxist powers and China has destroyed much of its particular personality and cultural identity through Marxism.
i can't speak for the Chinese, but Korean literature isn't very widely translated and the lack of quality translators from Korean language to western language has been a concern in the Korean literary community for a long time.
Japanese modernized alongside the western world and sought to escape their East Asian cultural heritage. Korea and China, on the other hand, went through a more difficult modernization process which they are only now reaping the benefits from. Modern Japanese literature has gotten more of a head start, so to speak, and was greatly impacted by the second world war much like the rest of the world. Give it a few decades and you'll see some good Chinese and Korean novels I'd reckon.
Soooo why in the fuck would you use a picture of a Saturn? It's America's failed attempt to make a Japanese car.
AND WHY IS THE ONLY PICTURE ON YOUR PHONE A PICTURE OF A FUCKIN SATURN ION?
Korea was a dystopian yangban hellhole until the 20th century and then a minor backwater terrorized by Japan until it was finally Westernized. Not a lot of room for great literature there, but there are some interesting things if only provincially.
Chinese culture was insanely ossified and reverential of its corpus of classics, which is large but didn't experience the same psychological/subjective impulses that revolutionized Western literature.
Japan unusually seized upon Westernization and Western ideas with gusto, so that by the 20th century and even a generation or so earlier, there were tons of Japanese people familiar with Western intellectual currents, Western philosophy, Western literature, etc.
China was much slower to modernize, and did so in splinters that collapsed on themselves and ultimately were crushed by communism. There were attempts to democratize the Chinese language and institute a kind of Chinese modernism by the early nationalists, in the early 20th, and these were very similar (if tardy) to the Japanese Westernizers. Self-conscious, more-or-less aware of Western culture, etc. They understood the need for an accessible literary language to create a new Chinese culture, a vital and breathing Chinese people, that could replace the old husk of the imperial system. But the dream of the republic died with the warlords and ultimately with communism.
People don't often seem to understand how systematic and barbaric the Cultural Revolution was. It purged China of its mind and spirit, converted the country into pure body. It reverted the whole place into a practically childlike state of mechanistic thinking. Meanwhile Japan was recovering from the shock of the war, and had never really lost its Western spirit - there were Western-style communists, socialists, etc., even traditionalism was formulated in deeply Western terms as you see in Mishima. They fundamentally just had more time to create a Western style culture industry and churn out major authors.
What's the budget? What are you looking to get? Honestly, it's not all that awful, just.. an car. That's all it is. It's the Happy Gilmore of cars.
It's on the TV and you've seen it a billion times, it's not even half as decent as you remember it being in the 90's, but you don't change the channel because it's fuckin' Happy goddamn Gilmore.
Reaching a bit with that one, I guess.
>Certainly if only considering ancient texts Chinese and Japanese works are on par with one another
u wot m8? Chinese literature predates Japanese literature by over a thousand years. That's pretty much like saying 'ancient Greek and ancient French literature are on a par with each other'.
Those are all good choices. The Genesis is a seriously underrated car. Very attractive and the 3.8 turbo is surprisingly quick, too.
the talent pool cannot be but shallower since the population is smaller than that of Japan's, but a lot of the circumstances of the country, such as the trauma of colonization and the korean war as well as the displacements caused by rapid industrialization make for a fairly fertile ground for literature. try this out for some interesting postwar korean fiction. one of the most well known post war novels in korea but most westerners haven't heard of it. i can't speak to the quality of the translation.
Yeah, the OP appears to be a classic /lit/ question.
>Why is (completed uninformed assumption presented without evidence) the case?
And most of the replies are apparently equally uninformed guesses about why the unchallenged assumption is the case.
>I say this as a fluent Chinese speaker
Eh, that's hardly a compelling reason to trust your judgment. There are plenty of fluent English speakers in the world who'll tell you Joyce is shit and Halo novelisations are where it's really at.
well it certainly appears to me that japanese writers are more well-known in the west than chinese authors - which could be an indicator of "robustness" (or perhaps just the fact that Japan-American relations have been much closer over the last 60 years)
This is what I mean by the limited scope of Korean interests in literature. The focus still, sixty years later, rests on the Korean war. Whereas with other post-war countries author's focused on the human condition after war Koreans still seem stuck in the war itself. At least this is how it seems from an outside perspective. I will look into the book you shared though.
Oh yes, there are sensible ways of phrasing the question. But OP comments on things like how
works are, which is a judgment that surely requires a pretty advanced understanding of Chinese, Korean and Japanese literature (in the original languages of course) to make.
Even if we just talk about popularity, though, the claim seems questionable. I can't think of a Japanese book I see as often as Wild Swans (written in English, I think, but by a Chinese author about China) although its literary merits are another matter of course.
Aye. Believe me, I like Japanese literature. But the kind that gets the most press is the kind that reinforces the western view of Japan as an interesting, weird, but ultimately harmless country. Conversely, the Chinese literature that gets the most press is literature depicting China as a pure maiden raped by communist bandits (>>7605676 Wild Swans being a classic example) - but that's the exact kind that doesn't get written much here because, censors aside, Chinese people just don't find it a very interesting topic. Literary quality dictates these things less than the political sensibilities of westerners.
Britbongland. Maybe you move in more refined circles than me. Wikipedia tells me Wild Swans sold 10 million copies to No Longer Human's 12, but I'd assume a large majority of the latter were in Japan rather than in the west.
>Certainly if only considering ancient texts Chinese and Japanese works are on par with one another.
Lol. Classical Chinese poetry is the greatest corpus of literature humans have ever written.
Can't give you an eloquent reason (though I have some thoughts on the subject), but I'd like to point out that it's like this with everything.
Japan has hundreds of Michelin-starred restaurants. Korea has none, China might have a few. Japan has decades of classic films and an entire genre of animation. Korea and China have a couple obscure directors (did you know Oldboy was based on a manga?). Japan has made major contributions to Rock, Jazz, and other 20th century forms of music, while China gets a pat on the back for 1500 year old two-string instrumentals and Korea has fucking K-Pop.
I'm not a weeabo. I don't watch anime or even particularly like any Japanese authors. And there are certainly holes to be poked in my previous paragraph. But the fact is that Japan has simply had a larger impact on global culture in virtually all forms of art compared to Korea and China.
I do, however, think that the tide is shifting now. Japan's seemingly permanent recession compared against China and Korea's increasing economic strength and political freedom, as well as niche Western interest in the latter two countries, should bring them further into discussion in coming years. They probably won't be real contenders until after we're all dead though.
the fake answer is that japan has a long history as part of the global capitalist core, with the attendant engagement with western cultural output and thought, while the other two countries which you mention are emerging economies that had had periphery status for a long time.
the real answer is that the japanese are inherently more civilized than the other asian nations and would have had taken their rightful place as masters of the orient had the pesky americans not gotten into the way.
eh, it's not that so much as they're chinese
you speak english and either have it as your native language or are drawn to english-speaking environments because there is critical mass there
chinese also has critical mass, but very few non-natives seek it out
they have an alternate center of gravity
(that being said, the gfw is a serious bitch)
This is very true. Japan as the first westernized Asian nation is simply one that has had more cultural weight to throw around for the last hundred years or so. But the country is stagnating now. It's a theory I've seen thrown around as to the cultural and social cause of the recession etc. - that Japan, having accomplished its goal of "catching up" in the 1980s, now has no rationale for its own existence, and therefore no rationale for trying any harder. Maybe that's voodoo, but I think there's some truth in it.
Even China under Xi Jinping is a lot less repressive and closed off than you might expect . There is a huge language barrier, of course, and the CCP's censorship doesn't exactly help.