The Iconoclastic Spirit of Literature and Art: The Case Study of the Street-Propaganda(gaitousenden) Performances in 1920s Japan.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 11:45
Location: Hörsaal 23 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Yuko OBI, Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies. The university of Tokyo, Japan
In the 1920s, avant-garde and modernist writers resisted against and reconstructed the centralizing “Literary world” (bundan) through the possibilities of new media, magazines and a printing type(Katsuji).

The golden age of this movement was the mid-1920s, the time when print media became widespread and a new concept of “the masses” emerged. In this period, the most influential journal in the bundan was “Bungei Shunju,” founded in 1923 by Bubdan leader, Kikuchi Kan.

In opposition to this, the iconoclastic writers built their own networks and they published and distributed magazines such as Kon Toukou's “Buntou” and Umehara Hokumei's “Bungei Shijo” at their own expenses. Their common method  was “iconoclasm”, the attack and destruction of beliefs, institutions and established values of “literary world”.

This presentation examines the iconoclastic spirits of the literary and art world in 1920s Japan through the case study of their Street-Propaganda performances. In particular, I show how the Street Propaganda movements relates to the message of ”to the streets” and discuss the social background of this message.