Zyklische Geschichtsauffassung und Zeitkritik: Das essayistische Vermächtnis des japanischen Bestsellerautors Shiba Ryōtarō (1923-1996)

  • Harald Meyer (Autor/in)

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With some 200 million copies of his various publications sold to date Shiba Ryōtarō must indeed be one of Japan’s best-selling authors. His oeuvre includes not only a vast number of historical novels, but also numerous essays on Japanese history, lectures and recorded discussions with other writers and scholars. This paper focuses on Shiba’s legacy, especially his late essays on a number of aspects of Japanese modern history and various cycles of historical development. His critical views about Japan’s severe financial crisis during the bursting of the socalled “bubble economy” are also included. At the end of his life, Shiba tended to be rather pessimistic about the future of his country. Looking back from today by quoting several comments by some of Shiba’s most concerned readers also helps us get a better understanding of the present status of public opinion in Japan.