BK. Ezra Pound

176. Miscellaneous. In Kodama (82), 1987.


Noted here are only those materials directly related to Pound’s interests in Japanese subjects or use of Japanese materials. See 82a-c for notes about other letters included in the volume.

a. John Walsh. Preface. A brief overview of twentieth-century Japonisme and Pound’s place in it. Includes reference to Fenollosa, Edward Morse (Ap), and Okakura (see D16), and to Pound’s relation with Itô (Ap), Kume (Ap), and Kitasono (Ap, D29).

b. Kodama, Sanehide. Introduction. Traces and draws knowledgeable conclusions from Pound’s Japanese interests: ‘When we trace Pound’s view of Japan, we come to realize that even though he continued to further his knowledge of Japan throughout his life, his earlier image of Japan as a far-off, dreamlike country persisted; a treasure land for the aesthete, a country entangled with pleasant memories of youth. We cannot neglect the basic fact that Pound grew up in the era of Japonisme, and the image of Japan registered in his mind in his early youth as a land of lotus and butterfly was not to be erased . . . throughout his life.’

c. Mary Fenollosa to Pound, 25 November [1913]. A letter accompanying sections of Fenollosa’s notebooks, which describes Fenollosa’s nô teacher, Umewaka Minoru, and includes detailed description of the musical accompaniment for nô.

d. Kume to Pound, 21 January 1921. Includes an invitation for Pound to accompany Kume and Itô to Japan.

e. Kume to Pound, 11 April 1921. Clearly a response to a letter, apparently lost, in which Pound had inquired about Zen Buddhism.

f. Kume to Pound, 24 March 1923. Kume’s last extant letter to Pound indicates that Pound had expressed interest in a teaching position in Japan; Kume intends to speak to ‘some people of Gakushuin or [Tokyo Imperial?] University for to find . . . [a] situation’ for Pound. The letter, to ‘My dear Ezra’, is signed ‘with Love / Yours Ever / Tami’.

g. Kitasono to Pound, 23 July 1938. Kitasono refers to letters from Pound of 5 May and 2 July 1938, both apparently lost, in which Pound had inquired about a teaching position in Japan (see also 82b2, 82e1, 84, and 176f): ‘In Formosa the climate is not good and I cannot encourage you to become a professor there. I think Tokio Imperial University or Kyoto Imperial University is most suitable to you.’ Kitasono’s response to inquiries Pound had made about Japanese poetry includes reference to the Manyôshû, the Kokinshû, and the Shin kokinshû, and he notes that under separate cover he has sent Pound ‘some pamphlets’ and A Guide to Japanese Studies, the latter of which would refer to the Kokusai bunka shinkôkai edition A Guide to Japanese Studies: Orientation in the Studies of Japanese History, Buddhism, Shintoism, Art, Classic Literature, Modern Literature (Tokyo, 1937).

h. Kitasono to Pound, 23 August 1938. Pound has asked for ‘a book on Japanese history translated from the original’, but Kitasono has not been able to find one, and recommends instead, and offers to send, Sansom’s Short Cultural History (see D22).

i. Kitasono to Pound, 15 March 1940. In response to an earlier request from Pound (see 82b2), Kitasono reports that the Japan Times is willing officially to designate Pound ‘Italian correspondent’. See 49-51 and 53-55, all reprinted in Kodama’s volume, for some of the results of this appointment.

See also BC41.



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