Kojin Karatani – Sorekara – Soseki

Karatani has been quite well known among the progressive readers in Japan. He will be getting more attention now that his book has been reviewed by Zizek. Here Shaviro of Pinocchio Theory has started reading Karatani’s Transcritique.

Karatani became known as a Thinking Machine after he wrote on Soseki – The Origins of Japanese Literature. (via the shortest entry from wikipedia).

Sorekara (top)Natsume Soseki Soseki as the face on 1000 Japanese yen (bottom).

“Natsume is the family name. Natsume Soseki’s given name is Kinnosuke. He chose Soseki which means “to rinse one’s mouth with stones.” It is unusual in Japanese tradition to refer to someone by their given name. But Natsume Soseki is always referred to as simply Soseki.

Lucky to have seen the film Sorekara in NY where Dick Cavett attended the screening. (To see Cavett out of depression and seeing him at a Japan House function was totally unexpected.)

From Politics, Philosophy, and Myth in Natsume Soseki’s First Trilogy

The author wrote, “Karatani compares Soseki’s use of the present tense with Albert Camus’ use of the indicative. Also, Soseki relied heavily on a narrator in his works. This is true for all of Soseki’s novels, according to Karatani, except his last two – Michikusa (Grass by the Wayside) and Meian (Light and Darkness). Soseki compared this approach “in every way” to that of haiku poetry. And this made his style distinctive; in other words, not borrowed from the West (Karatani 1993, 179-182). All three of the stories in Soseki’s first trilogy may be considered as “philosophical sketches.”

The Japanese reader here describes Karatani’s writing as “Hardboiled” liking him to Raymond Chandler and the Long Goodbye. Karatani plays the game of GO so he found out.

A short introduction to Karatani’s Architecture as Metaphor.

Koji who did the flash work (see sidebar menu under flash) for my Eggplant site told me about NAM about four or five years ago. NAM had dissolved since then.

What is NAM?
(The conclusion of NAM is here)

I Am A Cat – a film adaptation of famous Soseki’s novel by Ichikawa.
Kon Ichikawa also made “Kokoro” with Mori Masayuki the actor from Rashomon in 1955.
Koji sent me an email to let me know about the actor who was in
Sorekara – Yusaku Matsuda who died at the age of 40 and now enjoys a cult following like James Dean or Bruce Lee in Japan.
Here is a link Midnight Eye – all about Matsuda with lots of photos. Matsuda appeared in “Black Rain” with Michael Douglas and “Family Game” with Itami and directed by the same director who made “Sorekara”.