Irish-Scottish Relations and the Politics of Culture
The essays in this collection are distinct yet connected, and are designed to come together like the intricate cross-bars and precise patterning of the plaid to capture the complexity of the Celtic connections they address. They move from pre-history to postmodernism, from Gothic to Gaelic and from Macbeth to Marxism, incorporating gender and genre, and providing a detailed survey of responses to the Irish-Scottish paradigm.
MASAYA SHIMOKUSU ‘True poetic comrades’: Mineko Matsumura and the Reception of Fiona Macleod in J
apan Introduction The Oxford Book of Scottish Short Stories (1995, reissued 2001 and 2008), edited by Douglas Dunn, can be taken as something of a touchstone for what is currently understood to constitute the canon of short Scottish fiction in Britain. It includes no stories by William Sharp and/or Fiona Macleod. This situation contrasts with a recent surge in the popularity of this writer in Japan, both among general readers and scholars connected with the Japan Caledonia Society, the central association for the study of Scottish cultures in Japan (Matusi, 2001; Arimoto, 2008). The striking popularity of Fiona Macleod in modern Japan can be traced back to the appearance of Kanashiki jyō-ō (The sad queen), a collection of Macleod’s short stories first published in 1925. In recent years it has been reset and issued twice by dif ferent publishers – in 1989 and in 2005. Kanashiki jyō-ō was translated and edited by Mineko Matsumura, a pseudonym of the tanka poet, Hiroko Katayama (1887–1957). This essay will explore the context and nature of Matsumura’s translation, and examine the way in which it has become something of a classic in modern Japan. In doing so, it will trace some interesting literary connections between Ireland, Scotland and Japan. 116 MASAYA SHIMOKUSU Hiroko Katayama and Tanka It is worth starting with some account of Katayama herself, and her work as a poet. Her maiden name was Yoshida. She had a Christian education (but was not baptised) and was introduced to various works...
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