In the early decades of the twentieth century, Tokyo grew rapidly and underwent radical change as it transformed into a “modern” city. In this paper, I would like to explore the characteristic qualities of Japanese Modernism and post-disaster mentality by focusing on the representations of the Ryounkaku (Palace Rising over the Clouds), Tokyo's first skyscraper, which was destroyed in the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake, in literary works. Built in the heart of Tokyo’s entertainment district (the Ueno/Asakusa area), the Ryounkaku became an important landmark of the “Civilization and Enlightenment,” and also fostered imaginations towards the mystery genre among writers. After the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923, the eastern downtown area of Tokyo, one of the most damaged areas, was rebuilt, and Asakusa came back to life as a “modern quarter.” However, a close examination of fiction written by Edogawa Rampo, Kawabata Yasunari and Kaneko Mitsuharu leads us to another point of view. In their descriptions of the (fallen) Ryounkaku, the narrator’s gaze at the building serves as a mediator between the past and the future. These expressions reveal some aspects of the post-disaster mentality.
KEY WORDS: Japanese Modernism, post-disaster mentality, Ryounkaku (Palace Rising over the Clouds),
Tanizaki Jun’ichirô, Edogawa Rampo, Kawabata Yasunari
二十世紀初期,發展迅速的東京轉型成「現代」都市 的同時,也經歷劇烈的變動。本文中,我將探討日本現代 化和災後心智(post-disaster mentality)的特徵,藉著聚焦在 1923 年關東大地震(Great Kanto Earthquake)中毀壞的東京 首座摩天大樓凌雲閣(淺草十二階)(the Ryounkaku (Palace Rising over the Clouds)於文學作品中的再現。建於東京的 娛樂區中心(上野/淺草地帶),凌雲閣變成「文明開化」 (Civilization and Enlightenment)的重要地標,也薰陶出作 家對神秘文學的想像。在 1923 年的關東大地震後,位於東 京東方的鬧區被重建,為最嚴重的受災區之一,而淺草也 復生為一「現代區」(modern quarter)。然而,仔細檢視江 戶川亂步、川端康成和金子光晴的小說及詩歌,將帶領我 們發現另一觀點。在他們描述(倒塌的)凌雲閣時,敘述者 對建築物的凝視起了介於過去和未來間的傳遞者作用。這 些措辭透露出災後心智的某些層面。