The Significance of the Typical Samurai Image: A Study of Three Novellas by Fujisawa Shūhei and the Film 'Tasogare Seibei' by Yamada Yōji
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
The thesis examines the samurai image portrayed within the film 'Tasogare Seibei' by Yamada Yōji and three novellas by Fujisawa Shūhei, upon which the film is based. An historical outline of the evolution of the samurai and their ideals is provided as a background to the works studied, with emphasis placed on the Tokugawa period. It is demonstrated that through their depictions of samurai, the novellas and the film make a significant social commentary about modernisation and Japanese values concerning power, status and wealth in the postwar period. Two of Fujisawa's novellas relevant to this thesis, 'Hoito Sukehachi' and Tasogare Seibei', have been translated here from Japanese into English. As these works have hitherto not been translated, this will facilitate a degree of access for English readers to Fujisawa's literature, which, aside from a single existing selection of short stories, is to date available in Japanese only.