The Nose (Akutagawa) Background

The Nose (Akutagawa) Background

"The Nose" (Japanese title: "Hana" was first published in January 1916 in the Tokyo Imperial University student magazine Shinshicho. It was later published in various other magazines and anthologies and was translated into English by multiple translators. "The Nose" was Akutagawa's second short story and contributed vastly to his fame and critical acclaim--including praise by Soseki Natsume, a renowned author of the time.

"The Nose" is regarded as a satirical commentary on vanity and religion. The text references several Buddhist scriptures and a Chinese folk tale where the Chinese emperor is said to have long ears. However, the text is primarily based on Uji Shui Monogatari, a collection of Japanese folktales from the 13th century. The text also refers to real locations in Japan, such as the Choraku-ji Temple in Shizuoka and the Kyoto Imperial Palace. "The Nose" is set during the Heian era, which lasted from 789 to 1185

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