The Journal of Japanese Studies



The Rhetoric of Annotation in Mori Ōgai’s Historical Fiction
and Shiden Biographies

In this study, I examine the crucial role of historical research in Ōgai’s historical fiction and biographies in the 1910s. I focus on Ōgai’s unique use of annotations and commentaries in works such as “Ōshio Heihachirō” (1914) and “Tsuge Shirōzaemon” (1915). While the annotation reveals visible traces of a new, disciplined mode of historical research introduced in the Meiji period, the flexibility of its format threatens to loosen the narrative structure. Ōgai’s use of annotation paved the way for his stylistic innovation of shiden, a potent form of historical biography that combines the literary, the historical, and the personal in a single narrative.

Volume 32, Number 2 (Summer 2006)
© 2006 Society for Japanese Studies


Marie Anchordoguy and Kevin M. Doak, Coeditors     Martha L. Walsh, Managing Editor
The Journal of Japanese Studies
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