The Journal of Japanese Studies
This essay considers the intricate connection between detective fiction and the novel in the latter half of the 1880s through an examination of Tsubouchi Shōyōís literary project. A central figure in the articulation of the notion of the modern novel, Shōyō was also one of the first Japanese authors to experiment with detective fiction, translating Anna Katharine Greenís XYZ as Nisegane tsukai in 1887. By reading his theoretical and fictional works in conjunction with this translation, I argue that the detective fiction genre played a critical role in legitimating the inherent contradiction in Shōyōís theory of the modern novel between its promotion of the moral author and the unethical potential of his mission.
Volume 36, Number
1 (Winter 2010)