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NOMOTO Tosei Associate Professor

Linguistics and Literature / Japanology
Specialized Field
narrative literature
Research Subject
a study of exprression and structure about Narrative Collecions made on the medieval period
Japanese page
Office/Lab. : 419

Lab. Letters: Messages from the Laboratory

Collections of narratives that have been passed down to the present like a telephone game: Focus on the relationship between writer and reader

Jukkinsho (The Miscellany of Ten Maxims) and Uji Shui Monogatari (A Collection of Anecdotes from Uji), produced in the early 13th century, are collections of narratives. Unlike stories, these collections have unique characteristics: They consist of a relatively short, single piece of information that has been passed down from person to person as in a telephone game. How does a writer who was once a reader try to convey some information to the next reader? The attraction derived from interpreting narrative works while imagining the relationship between writers and readers can surely be found in research on collections of narratives. For example, Jukkinsho makes the reader feel a duality of lessons: the lesson of each anecdote, and the lesson of the collection as a whole. I’m working on interpreting the work while considering the multiple intentions of the writer.

  • Literary research is based on research examples, interpretation and research on footnotes contained in printed literature. These days, we have easy access to the pictures and images exhibited at libraries and information on the Internet thanks to improvements in search engines.
  • Mt. Misasa in Tottori Prefecture (photo taken by Professor Nomoto)
    For a change of pace, Professor Nomoto sometimes visits historic spots and places cited in Japanese wake poetry.

Research on collections of narratives full of familiar subjects, serving as training for multiple interpretations of information

When one speaks of classical literature and ancient writings, people tend to think of them as offerings at the household altar, remote from daily life. I sincerely hope that we can get these offerings off the altar and treat them as parts of ordinary daily conversation. In particular, narrative collections contain many subjects that any reader can feel familiar with, and they hold the potential for themes that researchers have not come up with yet in detailed parts of these collections. I believe research on collections of narratives itself serves as training to consider an item of information from multiple perspectives.

The greatest driving force behind your research at a university is to develop a feeling of curiosity. I’m willing to help you soundly cultivate the seeds of that curiosity within you.

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