Tanizaki, Tokyo, and “The Gourmet Club”

Tanizaki Jun’ichirō 谷崎潤一郎 (1886–1965) is one of the most famous Japanese writers of the twentieth century. His major works include Naomi (Chijin no ai 痴人の愛, 1924), In Praise of Shadows (In’ei raisan 陰影礼賛, 1933), and The Makioka Sisters (Sasameyuki 細雪, 1943–1948). Western-language translations and studies of Tanizaki are so numerous that Adriana Boscaro and Maria Roberta Novielli compiled a bibliography of them, published in 2000.

It might also interest you to know that Masumura Yasuzō directed film adaptations of two of Tanizaki’s works, Manji (Manji 卍, 1964) and Love for an Idiot (Chijin no ai 痴人の愛, 1967).

To assist in our reading of Tokyo in “The Gourmet Club” (Bishoku kurabu 美食倶楽部, 1919), I have compiled this Google map:

Finally, on a related note, the renowned ceramic artist and notorious gourmet Kitaōji Rosanjin 北大路魯山人 (1883–1959) established  a private eating club in 1921. Beginning in 1925, the group held members-only dinners at the Hoshigaoka Saryō 星岡茶寮 in Nagatachō, Tokyo. Apparently, Rosanjin himself assisted in the preparation of the meals, and used his own ceramics to serve the food. Today, the site of the restaurant is occupied by the Capitol Hotel Tokyu. For a look at a few of Rosanjin’s ceramics, check out this gallery on the MoMA’s website.

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One response to “Tanizaki, Tokyo, and “The Gourmet Club”

  1. I didn’t realize who the author is until I see the Kanji—谷崎潤一郎—here, and his Sasameyuki was one of my favorites when I was in high school. I also enjoyed Kon Ichikawa’s movie version of Sasameyuki. The Gourmet Club seems like a very different piece and I am looking forward to tomorrow’s class!

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