Associate Professor NIHEI Masato

Affiliations :

Frozen in wonder
at the power of
literary expression

My journey as a researcher started when I came across The Complete Works of Kawabata Yasunari in the library during my university years. Experimental prose collected there, such as the short story "Blue Sea, Black Sea" or the novel The Lake, astonished and overwhelmed me. What should I make of these weird novels? And why is this author usually associated with ‘Japanese-ness’ and ‘tradition’? My exploration started with these simple questions; now I study various aspects of Japanese avant-garde and experimental literature in the 20th century. At the same time, I investigate how images of ‘Japan’, ‘tradition,’ or the ‘regional’ are constructed in literature.
To stand in wonder at some literary expression, to meticulously examine its workings, to carefully analyse various contexts that surround it. Such an approach does not only enhance our understanding of the work—it relativizes and undermines our everyday thinking and sensibilities and draws our attention to cultural, social, and historical problems that shape literature. Here lie the greatest rewards and hardships of literary studies, and I intend to pursue both tirelessly.

  • Research, History
  • Books, papers, etc.
  • Courses
    Japanese Literature (Seminar); Japanese Literature (Introductory Reading); Study of Formation of Japanese Literature (Advanced Lecture)
    Personal History
    Born July 1978, Ibaraki Prefecture.
    BA, Faculty of Arts and Letters, Tohoku University
    PhD, Graduate School of Arts and Letters, Tohoku University

    Research Assistant, Faculty of Arts and Letters, Tohoku University
    Full-time Lecturer, Faculty of Education, Hirosaki University
    Apr. 2019 Appointed to current position
    Ph.D. (Literature)
    Modern and Contemporary Japanese Literary Studies
    Research Subject
    Modernist literature of the 1920s-1930s
    Avant-garde literature and culture during the period of high economic growth
    modern and contemporary literature of Japan; comparative literature; modernism; tradition building
    Association for Modern Japanese Literary Studies; Japan Comparative Literature Association; Japan Literature Association; Japanese Society for Literary Studies (Nihon Bungei Kenkyūkai); Association for the Study of Shōwa Literature (Shōwa Bungakukai); Yokomitsu Riichi Society (Yokomitsu Riichi Bungakukai); The Kawabata Yasunari Society; Research Society for Local Aomori Writers (Aomori-ken Kōdo Sakka Kenkyūkai)
  • Books
    Academic Papers
    ・仁平政人「戦時下のモダニズムと〈郷土〉―雑誌『意匠』・沢渡恒における「東北」―」(高橋秀太郎・森岡卓司編『一九四〇年代の「東北」表象 文学・文化運動・地方雑誌』東北大学出版会、2018年)
    ・Nihei Masato「Spiritualism and modernism in the work of Kawabata Yasunari」(Joshua Solomon訳、『Japan Forum』vol30、2018年)
    ・仁平政人「「旅行」する言葉、「山歩き」する身体 ―川端康成『雪国』論序説―」(『日本文学』第66巻第6号、2017年)
    2012 Okazaki Yoshie Honorable Award for Academic Research (Okazaki Yoshie Gakujutsu Kenkyū Shōreishō)