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Kunikida Doppo (1871–1908) is a well-known romantic poet and novelist. Many comparative studies have noted Doppo’s reception of William Wordsworth’s poems and essays, researching evidence in his depictions of the relationship between humans and nature. However, a few pay attention to the background of environmental change faced by individuals living in modern era Japan.
This presentation rereads Doppo’s On the Bank of Sorachi River (published at 1902. 11. 1 and 12. 1) from the perspective of environmental history. By referring to Chronology of Environmental History: 1868–1926 (Shimokawa Koushi, 2003), this study outlines the environmental protection movement before the creation of On the Bank of Sorachi River. Based on this research, the study indicates the significance of depictions of nature in On the Bank of Sorachi River, revealing that the work is not simply a representation of the love of nature that originated in Japan but also an endeavor by Doppo to raise public awareness of environmental protection. Lastly, the study might also help explain Doppo’s creative inspiration in the works of Wordsworth.
As my first stage of research, this study presents the element of environmental justice that arises in the literature of the Meiji period.