Collaborative Research

Creation and Distribution of the Archive of Contemporary Japanese Writers

Project Leader: Masaaki Takeda (Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)
Co-Investigator: Masahiko Abe (Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology), Kenichi Abe (Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology), Takahiro Nakajima (Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia), Katsunao Murakami (Graduate School of Arts and Sciences), Akito Sakasai (Graduate School of Arts and Sciences), Shinzo Nakazato (HMC)

This project creates an archive of contemporary writers’ literary autobiographies told by themselves, with the objective of expanding the understanding of contemporary Japanese literature to a large audience both within Japan and overseas. We started to compile this archive in 2015 and have so far recorded and distributed interviews with a range of leading contemporary writers, including Genichiro Takahashi, Yoshikichi Furui, Jakucho Setouchi, Yasutaka Tsutsui, Yoko Ogawa, and Hiromi Kawakami. The HMC has been funding this project since 2018 and we plan to continue enhancing and developing the content further. The Iidabashi Literary Club (a group of authors, researchers, translators, and editors, with author Keiichiro Hirano as the central figure) and several departments at the University of Tokyo, including the HMC, will collaborate in building and publicizing the archive and undertake wide-ranging exchanges that transcend the boundaries between the university and the outside world, and between writers and readers. We will undertake ongoing interviews with writers once every three months and disseminate the results via video and written publications, and will also implement related projects.