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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien



Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien
Jochi Kioizaka Bldg. 2F
7-1 Kioicho, Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo 102-0094, Japan
Tel: 03 – 3222 5198, Fax: 03 – 3222 5420


Registration Info

Everybody is welcome to attend, but registration would be helpful:

Rethinking Haiku Analysis: Neocybernetic Approaches

February 16, 2011 / 6.30 P.M.

Nami Ohi, University of Tokyo

Constructivist systems theory has been applied to literary studies mainly in Germany since the 1970s. I understand these approaches as neocybernetics. While these studies were basically limited to the analysis of western novels, I argue that this perspective can be applied to Japanese modern haiku. In my presentation, I will employ fundamental informatics as a theoretical framework. Fundamental informatics enables the integrated analysis of both diachronic and synchronic questions regarding a) the emergence of modern haiku, and b) the mechanism through which meaning is generated when haiku are composed and interpreted. Regarding the first question, I argue that the emergence of haiku as modern literature (the so-called “haiku innovation”) can be regarded as the result of the co-evolution of
various systems and must be read against the backdrop of social upheaval at the end of the 19th century. The systems in question include the psychic system of the haiku poet, the haiku-society system, the haiku mass media system, and of course the haiku system itself. Needless to say, these systems also influence the mechanism of haiku composition and interpretation, complex processes which include unconscious and intuitive aspects. For example, a haiku poet who belongs to a haiku-society tends to write and interpret haiku in accordance with his/her haiku-society’s idea of haiku. Similarly, haiku poets are likely to be influenced by the mass media awarding prizes for haiku. These are the questions I will address in my presentation.

Nami OHI is a doctoral student at the Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies (GSII), the University of Tokyo Her research interest is in literary studies based on neocybernetics (second-order cybernetics or the constructivist systems theory).