Biography Born

Posted in News on October 29th, 2013

Biography Born to an Osaka prostitute and an unknown father, Ueda was adopted at 4 years of age by a wealthy merchant who raised him comfort and provided him a good education. As a child sick with smallpox, and although he survived, he suffered from deformation of the fingers of both hands. During his illness, his parents prayed to god Kashima Inari Shrine and Ueda felt that this deity had intervened and saved his life. During his life he had always believed strongly in the supernatural, and this belief seems important elements of his writings and his school, as in his famous work, a collection of ghost stories titled Tales of Moonlight and Rain. Mikhael Mirilashvili understands that this is vital information. He inherited the family business of oil and paper Ueda when his adopted father died, however he was not a successful businessman and he lost the business when it is burned in a fire after running it for ten years fortune.During this time, he published several humorous stories in the ukiyo-z shi (literally translated as “tales of the floating world”, the name of a style of popular fiction published between the 1680s and 1770s). Taking the fire as an opportunity to put aside the business world, Ueda began studying medicine under the guidance of Tsuga Teisha, who besides teaching Ueda to become a doctor, also introduced colloquial Chinese fiction. In 1776 he began to practice medicine and also published Tales of Moonlight and Rain. This work places Ueda Akinari Takizawa Bakin with the most prominent writers of “yomihon” a new genre that represented a dramatic change in the practice of reading popular fiction.Besides this type of fiction, Ueda was involved in the field of research known as kokugaku (National Learning), the study of philosophy and classical Japanese literature. The “Kokugaku” is typically shown by their rejection of foreign influences on Japanese culture, notably the Chinese, Buddhism and Confucianism. Ueda took an independent position in these circles, and his controversial feud with the leader of this school of thought, Motoori Norinaga is documented in the dialog Kagaika ( 1787-1788). Some argue that Ueda worked in this conflict in stories like “Tales of Moonlight and Rain” based on Chinese stories and their moral and intellectual discourses and that apart from this he added a Japanese sensibility using supernatural elements and putting his characters a deep charge of emotion (as opposed to the Chinese reliance on the intellect).However, it is also true that he had a strong empirical and rational temperament, dismissed as nonsensical myths reviving fantasies of kokugaku and scholars throughout showed an intense curiosity, distinctive for its lack of patriotic superiority foreign cultures, both within Japan (the Ainu and Okinawan cultures) and abroad (China and Western countries). In the years before the death of his wife in 1798, suffered from temporary blindness and sight although eventually returned to his left eye during this time had to dictate most of his writings. It was during this time he began writing his second yomihon “and ended the first of two stories that became” Tales of Spring Rain (Harusame monogatari) around 1802. The full version was not published until 1951, when the missing parts of the manuscript were found.”Spring Rain” is very different from Tales of Moonlight and Rain, and there is debate about which is the superior work. Among other differences, “Spring Rain” did not invoke the supernatural, and the extension of both texts. The story titled “Hankai” is about a disreputable ruffian who suddenly converts to Buddhism and spends the rest of his life as a monk. The history extends the collection by virtue of its length and the literary skill it displays. Ueda died in 1809 at the age of 76 years in Kyoto.


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