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Contesting the Myths of Samurai BaseballCultural Representations of Japan's National Pastime$
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Christopher T. Keaveney

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9789888455829

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888455829.001.0001

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Portrait of the Artist as Yakyū Seinen: Masaoka Shiki and the Poetry of Baseball

Portrait of the Artist as Yakyū Seinen: Masaoka Shiki and the Poetry of Baseball

(p.37) 2 Portrait of the Artist as Yakyū Seinen: Masaoka Shiki and the Poetry of Baseball
Contesting the Myths of Samurai Baseball

Christopher T. Keaveney

Hong Kong University Press

Chapter 2 explores the contributions of Masaoka Shiki to the spread of Japanese baseball and examines his fiction and poetry as the first examples of baseball-themed cultural achievements while also describing his contributions to the creation of a lexicon of Japanese baseball terms. Masaoka Shiki is rightly remembered as the figure that largely defined the modern haiku form and as an important poet in his own right, but prior to his brief but astonishingly productive literary career, Shiki was a rather typical yakyū seinen (baseball youth). Shiki helped to introduce baseball to a wide audience in articles and treatises about the game and in an unfinished, posthumously discovered baseball novel. He also produced baseball-themed poetry in both the tanka and haiku forms, thereby establishing a tradition of baseball poetry that is also outlined in the chapter.

Keywords:   Masaoka Shiki, yakyū seinen (baseball youth), tanka, zuihitsu, Natsume Soseki

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