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The problem of “Gazing” in Modern moving space -Focused on Mori Ogai’s “Denshanomado”-

  • 日本硏究
  • 2017, (45), pp.7-27
  • DOI : 10.20404/jscau.2017.05.45.7
  • Publisher : The Center for Japanese Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Japanese Language and Literature
  • Received : December 30, 2016
  • Accepted : February 28, 2017
  • Published : May 20, 2017

Tae Kyun Yim 1

1성결대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

In this paper, I try to review the problem of the subjects and objects in the space of modern city, by examining the problem of gaze created in the tram of modern transportation, which is newly emerged in the city center of Tokyo after the Russo-Japanese War, focusing Mori Ogai's short story "Denshanomado" In the 'moving space', a newly born tram in the modern city, people became very close to a variety of different types of others with different origins, social status, and tendencies. The nature of 'closedness', which is in the space of the tram, that is, characteristic due to the limited space, occurs unnecessary physical contact in the super close proximity, which leads people to fall into temptation one after another. Ogai's "Denshanomado" has a similar character to the so-called "train novels" in a large context, but in fact, it is a work that shows an essentially different status. In Ogai’s "Denshanomado" the interest of "I" focused on only one woman, and the focus of description is concentrated in solicitude for the woman. In other words, it can be found that the focus is on the ethical and moral cleanliness of 'I'. In the work, 'I' hold an appearance of a 'gentleman' different from it of the men who are gazing with a 'sexual' gaze. One of the expressions to be emphasized several times is the phrase 'does not want to be rewarded'. Through the monologue of the woman, the author lets the reader identify the "noble spirit" that excludes the sexual desire and "pure intention" contained in the kindness of "I", and eventually "I" acquires the status as a "gentleman". In this novel, it is found that the male gaze, which is commonly found in the novels of the time, called 'desire' or 'deviation', takes an extremely modest form. The 'I' in the "Denshanomado" is forming a 'seeing / seen' relationship by expressing the psychology of a woman who attracts my attention in the form of 'monologue' of the woman, further more seeking mutual communication. In the 'kindness that does not want reward', the woman's self-awareness due to the specificity of the profession as a demimonde and the author's consciousness for a relief of the woman is implicit. I think that the social discourse of male supremacy lies behind the scenes.

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