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Purloined LettersCultural Borrowing and Japanese Crime Literature, 1868-1937$
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Mark Silver

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780824831882

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824831882.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HAWAII SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hawaii.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hawaii University Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HSO for personal use (for details see http://www.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 18 December 2017

Coda

Coda

Cultural Borrowing Reconsidered

Chapter:
(p.174) Coda
Source:
Purloined Letters
Author(s):

Mark Silver

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824831882.003.0006

This concluding chapter reviews the Japanese authors' responses to the problem of writing in a borrowed genre, with particular emphasis on Kuroiwa Ruikō's translations, Okamoto Kidō's detective stories, and Edogawa Ranpo's cultural hybridity. These writers had one thing in common: their perception of a wide gap in cultural achievement between Japan and the West. The chapter argues that the conventional notions of imitation and cultural imperialism are incomplete at best and cannot be applied equally to all the instances of cultural borrowing explored in this book. It suggests that Japanese writers' views of their place in the genre of detective fiction were shaped by Japan's frustrated ambition to gain equal footing with Western powers by replicating their legal system and their pattern of imperial conquest; this frustration is evident in the writings of Ranpo and his generation.

Keywords:   detective fiction, Kuroiwa Ruikō, translation, Okamoto Kidō, Edogawa Ranpo, Japan, West, imitation, cultural imperialism, cultural borrowing

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