Ito, Sei 1905–1970
Ito, Sei 1905–1970
PERSONAL: Born 1905, in Yakizawa, Hokkaido, Japan; died 1970, in Tokyo, Japan. Education: Attended business college.
(With others) Yurishiizu: Jemusu Joisu, two volumes, Daiichi Shobo (Tokyo, Japan), 1931–34.
Noriko no ikikata, 1940.
Doji no zo, 1943.
Senso no bungaku (literary history and criticism), 1944.
Bungaku to ningen, 1945.
Kichijo Tennyo, 1947.
Machi to mura, 1948.
Tokuno Goro no seikatsu to ikeu, 1948.
Bungaku no michi, 1949.
Nihon no bungaku (literary history and criticism), 1950.
Narumi Senkichi (novel), 1950.
Sei Ito bungaku, Hosokawa Shoten (Tokyo, Japan), 1951.
Shosetsu no hoho (literary history and criticism), 1951, reprinted, Chikuma Shobo (Tokyo, Japan), 1989.
Chatarei Fujin no kolbito ni kansuru kohan noto, six volumes, 1951–52.
Saiban, two volumes, Shobunsha (Tokyo, Japan), 1952.
Sekai no bungaku, 1952.
Nenkan Nihon bungaku, Chikuma Shobo (Tokyo, Japan), 1953.
(Coauthor) Nihon bundan shi (literary history and criticism), twenty-four volumes, 1953–78.
Ito Sei sakuhin shu, five volumes, 1953.
Hi no tori, 1953.
Iwanami koza: Bugaku (literary history and criticism), eight volumes, 1953–54.
Ito Sei Shi no seikatsu to iken, 1954.
Waga bungaku seikatsu, four volumes, 1954–58.
Bungaku nyumon, (literary history and criticism), 1954.
Hana hiraku, 1954.
Umi no mieru machi, 1954.
Tokuno Monogatari, Shinchosha (Tokyo, Japan), 1954.
Iwanami koza: Bungakku no sozo to kansho (literary criticism), five volumes, 1954–55.
Shosetsu no ninshiki (literary history and criticism), 1955.
Josei ni kansuru junisho, 1955.
(With others) Gendai Nihon gikyoku senshu, Volumes 1-8, 10-12, Hakusuisha (Tokyo, Japan), 1955–56.
Bungaku o do kakuk ka, 1956.
Bungaku to geijutsu no shinrigaku, 1956.
Wakai shijin no shozo, 1956.
Bungei tokuhon, 1956.
Ito Sei zenshu, fourteen volumes, 1955–56.
Kindai Nihon no bungakushi (literary history and criticism), 1958.
Natsume Soseki kenkyu, 1958.
Ito Sei shu, 1958.
Hanran, two volumes, 1960.
Yoroppa no tabi to Amerika no seikatsu (travel), 1961.
Momota Soji shishu, 1961.
Kansho to kenkyu, gendai Nihon bungaku koza (literary history and cititicism), twelve volumes, 1962–63.
Kyudosha to ninshikisha, 1962.
Joisu kenkyu, 1965.
Kindai Nippon no bungo, three volumes, 1967–68.
Tokyo: Nigensha, Showa, five volumes, 1968.
Ito Sei lehu, 1968.
Shincho Nihon bungaku shojiten, 1968.
Nihon bungaku zenshu, 1968.
Kansho fujin, 1969.
Shin tegami jiten, 1969.
Nihon kindai bungaku taikei, 1969.
Hen Yo, 1969.
Joisu (study of James Joyce), Kenkyusha (Tokyo, Japan), 1969.
Toshidoshi no hana, 1970.
Kotoku Shusui, 1970.
Ai to sei ni tsuite, 1970.
Chie no ki no mi, 1970.
Shotsetsu no hoho, 1970.
Tanizaki, Jun'ichiro no bungaku, 1970.
Yukiakari no michi, 1971.
Meiji makki no bundan, 1973.
(With others) Abe Tomoji, Ito Sei, Nakayama Yoshihide shu, 1975.
Nihon gendai bungaku shi (literary history and criticism), 1979.
Ningen no genten: waga jinseikan (philosophy), Daiwa Shuppan (Tokyo, Japan), 1980.
Seishun kaiki, 1981.
Taiheiyo Senso nikki (diaries), Shinchosha (Tokyo, Japan), 1983.
Ito Sei-shi koibumi orai (correspondence), Kodansha (Tokyo, Japan), 1987.
SIDELIGHTS: The writings of Ito Sei are notable for providing a link between Japanese and European literature. Before World War I, Ito was one of several cutting-edge Japanese writers of his generation, and he became well known for his translation into Japanese of Irish writer James Joyce's Ulysses, as well as for his critical examinations of modern literary techniques. After World War II, he wrote several experimental works, such as his novel Narumi Senkichi, which tells the story of an ordinary man through various loosely connected episodes, meditations, and scenes, set in bleak postwar Japan.
Ito was influenced by his studies of Joyce, as Michael W. Ainge noted in Comparative Literature Studies. Ito "immediately felt a special kindredness with Joyce," Ainge wrote. This feeling of kinship was fostered by similarities in the two writers' lives. Both left their home towns at about the age of twenty, looking for a literary niche in a place known for its cosmopolitanism. Ito was fascinated by Joyce's use of an interior monologue, or stream-of-consciousness, and he determined to use this technique in his own writing. At the time, this was a technique unheard of in Japan, and Ito seized it eagerly. Although, as Ainge commented, he never realized his dream of fostering a school of Joycean writers in Japan, he did make Joyce's masterpiece accessible to Japanese readers.
Ito was also known for his works of literary criticism, such as Shosetsu no hoho and Nihon bundan shi. The latter work is a multivolume series, and Ito published eight volumes before his death in 1970; since then, various friends and collaborators have worked to complete six more volumes in the series.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Hidaka, Shoji, Ito Sei ron (criticism), Yuseido (Tokyo, Japan), 1985.
Hiroyoshi, Sone, Denki Ito Sei (biography), 1977.
Comparative Literature Studies, 1993, Michael Ainge, "Examination of the Joycean Influence on Ito Sei," p. 325.