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Casey Hampsey ’13 Arishima Takeo: The White Birch Society and its Influence in the Taisho Period, Japan

By Peter Tschirhart on March 12, 2012

Casey was interested in determining what influence the works of Arishima Takeo had on the Japanese-language scholarship, literature, and culture of Hokkaido, Japan, paying special attention to the essays Arishima wrote for the periodical Shirakaba during his late university years. She also explored the ways his work was representative of the shifts in Japanese literary thought during the Taisho period (1912-1926). Most of her research was completed at the Hokkaido Museum of Literature as well as the small town of Niseko.

Sapporo, Japan

Sapporo, Japan

“My experience in Hokkaido was certainly the first of its kind for me,” Casey wrote. “I had never spent as long as two weeks in a non-Anglophone country before, and adapting quickly to speaking and hearing Japanese around me was exciting and challenging… Among other miscellaneous cultural experiences (going out for miso ramen, bathing in a hot spring, navigating the Japanese rail system), what I will take away from this experience is the profound connection with the past I found in Hokkaido, and how it reminded me of the way my own small rural community keeps its past alive through our own historical society and local festivals. I am so grateful to have had this opportunity, and I hope to one day return to Hokkaido.”

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