Where were Japan's most famous literary sons and daughters born?
I recently came across a fascinating brainchild called 'The Lit-map Project' - created by Barbara Hui. The goal of this project is to allow literature students to read author's work with a new spatial awareness. To date, Hui has mapped a single book - 'The Rings of Saturn' by W.G.Sebald (mentioned in my previous post) and his trail across England's East Coast.
Rather than chart an individual novel I wanted to create a map of modern Japanese authors - specifically their places of birth. The aim is not to form some great geographical context for reading Japanese literature, but to make a fun reference tool for thinking about authors in terms of the prefectures, cities, towns and villages they came from.
I am not trying to highlight the obvious point that Edo /Tokyo is the creative heartland for modern Japanese novels, nor draw up a thesis on literary migration - I've simply begun this out of curiousity.
To date I have only added 38 authors, so the spread is pretty thin. It is worth noting that an author's place of birth can, and often is, totally removed from the areas where they have subsequently lived and worked.
The map pins are divided into three broad categories:
Blue - early-modern writers (1603-1868)
Red - modern writers (1868-1945)
Yellow - post-war writers (1945-)
VIEW THE MAP HERE