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The Research of Nakashima (Book Review)

The work of the Japanese classical scholar Nakashima Hirotari, who came to prominence in Nagasaki in the latter half of the Edo period, was preserved in memory—thanks, in part, to the series of discourses written by Yatomi Hamao, a pre-war scholar of Japanese literature. In particular, Hamao’s work “Foreign Matter Appearing in the Songs of Hirotari” (Journal of Kokugakuin University v. 28 n. 10, October 1922) showed that Hirotari, together with Oranda Tsuji—a Japanese interpreter of Dutch language and Hirotari’s student—translated the poetry of the German poet Matthias Claudius in composing the long poem “Yayohinouta” and drew the academic world’s attention as a pioneer in translating Western poetry. The book The Nakashima Hirotari Collection (Ookayama Shoten, 1933), authored by Yokoyama Shigeru and edited by Yatomi Hamao, collected Hirotari’s central works. Yatomi also wrote a biography, Nakashima Hirotari (Koseikaku, 1944). The progress of research on Hirotari before the war was remarkable.

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