Abstract Narratologische Untersuchungen zu japanischen Texten

Narratology – the structural analysis of narrative texts – has developed since the 1960s into one of the central methodological approaches of literary studies. In Japanese studies it has, however, not yet become a standard research approach. This collection of papers, therefore, is to a certain extent experimental in nature, aiming at providing a first collection of Japanese texts of different genres and periods that have been analysed applying this particular method and hoping to stimulate further related work. The volume contains studies on various texts from the 8th century to the present. A new approach lies in applying narratological analyses not only to narrative texts but also to philosophical texts, in our case mainly dogmatic Buddhist texts of ancient Japan (Paulus Kaufmann) and the Middle Ages (Christian Steineck). Furthermore, this collection contains examinations of Heian diaries (Simone Müller), medieval biographies (Ninette Sachiko Poetzsch), Japanese folktales (Gergana Petkova), as well as post-war prose literature, such as atomic bomb literature (Daniela Tan) and the so called J-bungaku (Lisette Gebhardt). It also includes narrato- logical comparisons between short stories of the Taishô and the Heian period (Matthew Königsberg). The approaches are based on theories of Russian structuralists like Vladimir Propp, on the models of Gérard Genette and Wolf Schmid, as well as comparisons between narratology and reception theory (Harald Meyer).

Even though narratological approaches do not provide an universal research method rendering

further analytical approaches superfluous, the investigations into various sources by applying the

methods presented in this volume confirm their analytical utility. The partially tentative researches prove that narratological methods, even though developed by linguistics and based on text genres from European and American languages and literary traditions of the 19th and 20th century, are successfully applicable to pre-modern as well as modern Japanese texts of fictional, factual and doctrinaire nature, under the condition that they are adapted to the specific object of research. The application of Western derived narratological methods to Japanese texts, which are characterized by different language structures and genres, combined with the incorporation of extant Japanese theoretical models thus constitutes a vast potential for the further development of narratological theories as it leads to the exposure of weaknesses of current theories and opens possibilities for further differentiation.

Another issue which this volume attempts to deal with is the development of analogous methods of analysis for non-narrative texts, such as dogmatic, persuasive texts. Even though some narrato- logical categories are applicable to selected sections of such literary genres, they still request theoretical modifications. The prospect of identifying and describing text structures and

characteristics modo narratologico, thus supplying more reliable indications to the hitherto mainly hermeneutical approaches to these texts, makes the task of developing such a theory worthwile.