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Boat (舟) Represented in Mori Ogai’s Works - Centered on 「Mousou, 妄想」 -

KIM OK JI 1

1부경대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

After studying in Germany in the Meigi period, Mori Ogai (森鷗外, hereinafter “Ogai”) achieved a remarkable feat as a doctor and literary man. Serving in the highest position as an army surgeon and highly acknowledged as a literary man, he is evaluated as an ‘eternal complainer’. This is derived from the complaints represented in one of his works, “「Mousou, 妄想」” describing the main character who had to face a desperate contradiction between the state of his country and what he had learned in Germany such as advanced medicine, technology and thought. In Delusion, the blue bird, a symbol for the advanced culture, was accompanied on a boat (“boat” is written as “Boat (舟)” to analyze Ogai’s works). “Boat (舟)” is a tool for transporting the blue bird of a hope. This is shown in 「Kouseiniki, 航西日記」where he said he felt like a Boat sailing downwind when he went away to study. In 「Toitusniki, 獨逸日記」the Boat was described as the medium of memories and the tool of a hope. However, the blue bird, a symbol of a hope, was dead on the Boat in Delusion before he arrived at his country, so Boat is no longer the means of hope. The Boat in Delusion shows Ogai’s frustration at modernization and the shift of awareness of Ogai’s Boat. Thus, Boat in Delusion is the starting point where the main character began complaining, causing Ogai to hereafter be acknowledged as the ‘eternal complainer’ Also, the meaning of Boat was extended as an object embracing different actual problems. In 「Soteiniki, 徂征日記」written while encountering demotion, Ogai described the process of the modernization of the Japanese society suffering the contaminated sea in the landscape viewed from Boat. That is, Ogai represented frustration at his lost dreams and his life experiencing the frustration. The Boat of frustration in Ogruaniki is the same as Boat in Delusion where Ogai depicted his critical mind. This representation is shown in the Boat of 「Hyakumonogatari, 百物語」in which Ogai revealed the problems with him in his mid-aged life. Boat expressed in Hyaku Monogatar is where Ogai realized complicated feelings as a mid-aged man and critical mind as a literary man. That is, Boat is a medium showing the awareness of his life and the stream of times. Ogai revealed the state of modernization he was suffering and the aspect of his complaints about it. The complaints began to be seen in Delusion where his gift prepared for homecoming ended up as a futile hope. This shows the shift of Ogai’s consciousness from hope to frustration and the starting point as the ‘eternal complainer’ is illustrated in the Boat of his works.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.