- 村落社会研究 (ISSN:13408240)
- vol.10, no.2, pp.31-42, 2004 (Released:2013-09-18)
Shigeru Inuta (1891-1957), a well-known writer of peasant literature, constructed Nohonshiso (Japanese Agrarianism), exhibiting his theories of its literature. However, his Nohonshiso has been disregarded for a long time. Therefore, we certainly must remember that his thought is highly suggestive. In this paper, I would like to clarify several important aspects of his Nohonshiso.
Inuta started to write peasant literature from 1918. If one examines his articles, one can see he considered this literature as a self-expression of farmers. He asserted that this literature had been written from their viewpoint. He also considered this literature as an effective means to reorganize rural communities.
In addition, he criticized the peasant literature written by writers of proletarian literature, because they regarded such literature as a strong tool to overthrow the government and the Tenno (Japanese Emperor) system. Inuta, that is to say, criticized that the literature they formulated did not thoroughly expressed the sense and feeling of farmers, and that it lacked the reality of agriculture and rural life.
In 1938, an association of peasant literary writers and theorists, Nomin-bungaku-konwakai, was organized by the government authorities. Most of them took part in this national association of for peasant literature. Unfortunately, it played the role of a governmental agency and, in World War II, it supported Japanese Fascism.
Inuta, however, did not take part in this association, because he thought that its literature should express the sense and feeling of peasants, and the reality of agriculture and rural life. He definitely did not think that it should be adjusted to national policy.