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A Study on Masuji Ibuse's 『Break Time』

  • 日本硏究
  • 2013, (35), pp.183-199
  • Publisher : The Center for Japanese Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Japanese Language and Literature
  • Published : August 20, 2013

이금선 1

1중앙대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Masuji Ibuse’s 『Break Time』 was an early work among the original 「Waseda series」 known for its youthful vibrancy. The stage of 「Break Time」 is set at the Literature Department of Waseda Univeristy, Ibuse’s alma mater. Presented are healthy and youthful students in their 20s of 「the 7th literature class」 enjoying a 「40minutes」 break resembling the era of lbuse's time there. A large portion of the scenes of students spending their break time depicts cultural sharing time. Students’ portrayed writing English poetry and Tanka exemplify the author’s depiction of his college life filled with passion for literature. The fact that they chose the duration to be only 「40 minutes」 explains how our youth is indeed short. Furthermore, it symbolizes that our 「break time」 passes before our eyes and hints how it does not have to be serious or heavy-hearted like during a lecture. Overall, if our class time can be compared to the realistic time of our daily life, the breaktime correlates to youth. Consequently, the youthful image of the young students whose thoughts and actions are unimpeded is marked individuality with great passion. Through the eyes of students, they highlight the sense of justice and defiance of authority and violence in the youthful heart. It is signified that the ultimate desire of youth should be 「life’s exploration for happiness」 regardless of one’s appearance. It further draws the dignity and pride of youths who refuse to allow materialism to invade their character. In his short story the author not only hints that it is a period of narcissism but also depicts the futility of life as youth passes us by. While Ibuse portrays the unique characteristic of the youthful heart in its fullness, he suggests the youth to live more courageously. The author makes an additional remark that it only becomes one’s 「happy memories」. Although the author had to leave school due to difficulty in respecting his professor’s authority, by the time he writes the 「break time」, he contemplates the significance of his youth after he has overcome his own trials.

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