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



04/12/2012 17:54

Nice use of Google Maps. If you're interested, I began something a little similar some time ago. My Google Map pinpoints locations referred to in works I have read by Japanese authors. I've only really just started, and perhaps one day people might want to add to it.

Anyway, the map should be public here:

08/16/2012 00:16

Thanks for this post. This is very great post and great explanation in the post. Thanks for the helpful information on this post I really want this information because you give different explanation in this post.

07/24/2013 23:51

Japanese literature has always got an eminent place in the world! I think there are still many excellent genres in Japan that didn’t reach international level since no one translated it! If someone shows an initiation I am sure we can expect more!

08/15/2013 01:37

The archipelago is made up of the Aleutian Islands, Kodiak Archipelago and Pribilof Islands. These islands feature volcanoes, steep cliffs, rough seas, pristine nature preserves and abundant marine life, and have few human inhabitants. Thanks.

09/19/2013 23:31

'The Rings of Saturn' by W.G.Sebald (mentioned in my previous post) and his trail across England's East Coast.


Leave a Reply