Northeast Asia

Organized Panel Session

3 - Berlin Nostalgia: Urban Imagery in the Illustrations of Murayama Tomoyoshi

Saturday, July 7
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Location: Silveroak II, Ground Floor

This paper examines the illustrations composed by the Japanese artist Murayama Tomoyoshi (1901–1977) for the serialization of Iketani Shinzaburō’s (1900–1933) novel Nostalgia (Bōkyō, 1925) in the Jiji shinpō. Set in 1920s Berlin and based on Iketani’s sojourn in the city from June 1922 to September 1923, the novel depicts the German capital as a stage for artistic and amorous encounters among expatriate Japanese. Murayama describes this urban milieu through a series of constructivist images, drawing on memories from his own stay in Berlin from February to December 1922. Yet after forty-eight installments of increasing abstraction, Murayama was forced by the newspaper to discontinue his work. The artist Tanaka Ryō (1884–1974) provided the illustrations for the novel’s remaining installments, adhering to a realistic style that was more comprehensible to readers. I argue that Murayama’s illustrations probe the limits of the newspaper novel (shinbun shōsetsu) as a medium, reflecting his simultaneous artistic engagement with oil painting, collage, set design, and architecture. I also consider the newspaper as an exhibition site for the interplay of text and image, a characteristic that was especially conducive to depictions of the modern metropolis.

Timothy Unverzagt. Goddard

The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

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3 - Berlin Nostalgia: Urban Imagery in the Illustrations of Murayama Tomoyoshi



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