japonisme: Yone Noguchi in Yeats's Japan

08 May 2007

Yone Noguchi in Yeats's Japan

Ezra Pound has long been credited with introducing William Butler Yeats to the Noh in 1913, but it was actually the Japanese poet Yone Noguchi (1875-1947) who first proposed Yeats should study the Noh, as early as 1907, when he published an article, “Mr Yeats and the No” in the Japan Times.

My discovery of this article, along with a group of hokku poems Yeats plagiarized from Noguchi, should significantly change our understanding of the intertextual dynamics of Yeats's Japanese interests. Although Yeats neglected to publicly acknowledge Noguchi, his cultural borrowings were not a one-sided “appropriation” or “discovery” as scholars have suggested, but part of a complex interchange in which both Noguchi and Yeats exploited cross-cultural commonalities toward analogous projects of cultural nationalism.

Noh and hokku provided Yeats with useful poetic and dramatic models rooted in an exotic tradition, while Noguchi credited Yeats's poems with ‘the sudden awakening of Celtic temperament in my Japanese mind’ and learned from the Irish poet how traditional forms could be revived, reinvented, and made relevant to modern audiences.

Dr. Edward Marx, Associate Professor of Euro-American Culture, Faculty of Law and Letters, Ehime University, JAPAN 1

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Blogger Princess Haiku said...

I have to read this poet, for sure. He is going on my reading list.

11 May, 2007 01:05  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

please let me know what you find.

12 May, 2007 12:44  
Blogger ikkakusennin said...

Try this link.

05 June, 2007 01:01  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

that looks wonderful--thank you!!

05 June, 2007 20:38  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

i love it when there are additional opinions to add to understanding. thank you again, ikkakusennin

05 June, 2007 20:42  

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