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Yuji Nawata (Chuo University)

Yuji Nawata

Yuji Nawata
Image Credit: IKKM Weimar

Senior Fellow in Research Area 4: "Literary Currencies" 

March 2022

German-Japanese Literary Relations in the Mid-20th Century

The research has two areas of focus:

1. "German-Japanese Literary Relations in the Mid-20th Century". Continuing with the research on this topic over the last few months, Yuji Nawata would like to show how German-Japanese communities were formed in literature not only through translations, but also through correspondences, writers' meetings, communism or the study visits of Japanese to Germany.

2. At the online conference (co-organized by Research Area 4 of the Cluster of Excellence "Temporal Communities") "Writing in Residence: Globale Literaturproduktion in deutschen Residenzprogrammen" ("Writing in Residence: Global Literary Production in German Residence Programmes" March 4-5, 2022), Yuji Nawata will give a presentation entitled "Wandern, wohnen, wiederkommen. Deutsche Schriftsteller:innen in Japan" ("Wandering, Residing, Returning. German Writers in Japan").

When German writers visit a foreign country and write, it is sometimes to finish something (e.g., completing a book), but sometimes also to start something. It can also be one of several visits. These visits are often attended by readers and researchers from the visited country. The lecture of Yuji Nawata will look at the stays of German writers in Japan from the point of view of the course of time and the perspective of the recipients.

In contrast to Peter Handke and Durs Grünbein, who wrote in Japan as wanderers like Basho, two examples will be addressed: Marcel Beyer, who lived and wrote in Okamoto/Kobe in 2001 as part of the residency programme run by the the Goethe-Institut Kansai and the LCB (in particular “Tigerschminke” as the oldest poem in his poetry collection "Graphit" (2014)); and Ann Cotten, who lived in the Villa Kamogawa in Kyoto in 2014 and worked on the book "Jikiketsugaki".

Yuji Nawata is a Professor of German literature and culture at Chuo University (Tokyo, Japan), Faculty of Letters. Born in 1964 in Tokyo, he studied German literature at the University of Tokyo and received his PhD in 1994 after completing his dissertation on Hölderlin (published in Tokyo, 1996). After some years of research (1995-98, 2004-05) on cultural and media studies at the Lehrstuhl (chair) of Professor Friedrich Kittler at Humboldt University, Berlin, he achieved a Habilitation in Kulturwissenschaft (culture science) for his work on comparative media studies (published in Munich, 2012). His research is supported by important institutions such as the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Internationales Kolleg für Kulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie (IKKM) of Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Center for Literary and Cultural Research (ZfL) in Berlin, Literarisches Colloquium Berlin (LCB), Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), and the city of Bad Homburg vor der Höhe. He is also the first jury president for the Merck “Kakehashi” Literature Prize, which was founded in 2013 by Goethe-Institut Japan and Merck.