HomeFEU English and Literature Journalvol. 5 no. 1 (2011)

Tales Grotesque and Curious: Ryunosuke Akutagawa’s ‘Japanese-ness’ exposed

Grace C. Reoperez

Discipline: Literature



Ryunosuke Akutagawa is unquestionably one of the greatest Asian writers. To this day, he continues to inspire and mystify contemporary readers of literature. However, the geniuses of Akutagawa are often perceived as “eccentricities,” even by his fellow Japanese writers. This paper delves into his writings, a set of short stories in particular, and describes them in the light of the Japanese aesthetic ideals. It confirms what we suspect all along--that Akutagawa is a conventional Japanese writer endowed with exceptional abilities and acute sensibilities.