Pictures in Words – Kanji, Images in Literature – Sōshi

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From ancient times, the Japanese have been exploiting the image in as many ways as possible. They have used it in linguistics, literature, art - and the list is certainly much longer. Thus, the first part of my work tries to explain the importance of the kanji writing system and the “image” of a kanji, so that readers who do not understand the Japanese language can become familiar with it (origin, structure, mnemotechnics etc.). The second part of my work explains that later, in the 14th century, when “sōshi”or “zōshi” literature was born, n all of its books the relation between the text and the image was more than important. In the end, I conclude that the “image” is a defining element in understanding Japanese language and literature even in the 21st century.

Itasaka, G., 1993. Gogen no Nihon shi tanken, Dobun Shoin; Dai 1-han edition.

Nishiguchi, Koichi and Kono, T., 1994. Kanji in Context, Japan Times Publishing House, Tōkyō

Ars Aeterna

Literary Studies and Humanity

Journal Information

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.102


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