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The Art of Censorship in Postwar Japan$
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Kirsten Cather

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780824835873

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824835873.001.0001

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Pornographic Adaptations of the Classics

Pornographic Adaptations of the Classics

The Safflower (1948–1950) and The Record of the Night Battles at Dannoura (1970–1976)

(p.156) Chapter 5 Pornographic Adaptations of the Classics
The Art of Censorship in Postwar Japan

Kirsten Cather

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter focuses on two censored Japanese classic texts: The Safflower and The Record of the Night Battles at Dannoura. The Safflower is a late eighteenth-century collection of senryu, a genre of comic verse that was essentially a more vulgar and witty offshoot of Bashō’s haikai. As an exclusive collection of indecent senryu, or “last choice” verses (suebanku), the work is composed of the bawdiest of the bawdy. Meanwhile, Dannoura focuses on the “night battles” between the captured Heike women and the Genji warriors after the final major sea battle in 1185 in which the Heike are brutally defeated and commit suicide en masse when that defeat becomes apparent. It is rife with clichés that might appear in pornography today.

Keywords:   The Safflower, Dannoura, senryu, Matsuo Bashō, Heike, haikai, Genji warriors

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