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Roy Starrs

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Title: Roy Starrs  
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Subject: Yukio Mishima, Osamu Dazai, Yasunari Kawabata, Kojiki, Pan-Asianism
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Roy Starrs

Roy Starrs (born 1946) is a British-Canadian scholar of Japanese literature and culture who teaches at the University of Otago in New Zealand. He has written critical studies of the major Japanese writers Yasunari Kawabata, Naoya Shiga, Osamu Dazai, and Yukio Mishima, and edited books on Asian nationalism (especially ethnic nationalism, religious nationalism, and cultural nationalism), globalization, and pan-Asianism. He has also published essays on Japan-related topics such as the Kojiki, Lafcadio Hearn and Japanese calligraphy.

Roy Starrs is also the Japan editor of the online The Literary Encyclopedia.

He was born in Birmingham, England on November 18, 1946 and became a Canadian citizen as an adult. He received his Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia in 1986 and previously taught at U.B.C., Union College (New York), and Aarhus University (Denmark).

Works by Roy Starrs

  • Deadly Dialectics: Sex, Violence, and Nihilism in the World of Yukio Mishima, University of Hawaii Press, 1994, ISBN 0-8248-1630-7 and ISBN 0-8248-1630-7.
  • ISBN 1-873410-74-3.
  • An Artless Art - The Zen Aesthetic of Shiga Naoya: A Critical Study with Selected Translations. RoutledgeCurzon (1998). ISBN 1-873410-64-6.
  • "Writing the National Narrative: Changing Attitudes Towards Nation-Building Among Japanese Writers, 1900-1930", in Japan’s Competing Modernities: Issues in Culture and Democracy, 1900-1930. S. Minichiello ed. Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press (1998), pp. 161–189 ISBN 0-8248-1931-4 (cloth) ISBN 0-8248-2080-0 (paper).
  • "Nation and Region in the Work of Dazai Osamu," in Roy Starrs
  • "The Road to Violent Action: Mishima Yukio," in Fascism: Critical Concepts in Political Science, volume 5 (Postwar Fascisms), edited by Roger Griffin with Matthew Feldman. London; New York: Routledge. (Part of the Routledge Major Work series.) (2004), pp. 249–266. ISBN 0-415-29015-5.
  • "The Kojiki as Japan's National Narrative," in Asian Futures, Asian Traditions, edited by Edwina Palmer. Folkestone, Kent: Global Oriental. ISBN 1-901903-16-8.
  • "Lafcadio Hearn as Japanese Nationalist," in Nichibunken Japan Review: Journal of the International Research Center for Japanese Studies, Number 18, 2006, pp. 181–213.
  • "Ink Traces of the Dancing Calligraphers: Zen-ei Sho in Japan Today," in Henry Johnson and Jerry C. Jaffe, eds. Performing Japan: Contemporary Expressions of Cultural Identity London, Global Oriental and Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press (2008). ISBN 1-905246-31-5.
  • "Politics and Religion in Japan," in Religion Compass 3/4 (2009), pp. 752–769. (
  • "A Devil of a Job: Mishima and the Masochistic Drive," in "Angelaki" (2009), Volume 14, Issue 3 December 2009, pp. 85–99. (
  • "Modernism and Japanese Culture," London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. (
  • ed., "Politics and Religion in Modern Japan: Red Sun, White Lotus," London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. (
  • "Zen, Japan, and the Art of Democracy," in the "New Statesman," July 4, 2011. (
  • ed., "Rethinking Japanese Modernism," Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2012. (

External links

  • Roy Starrs’ homepage.
  • essay by Roy Starrs on "Lafcadio Hearn as a Japanese Nationalist."
  • A review article by Roy Starrs on "Japanese Literature as a Modern Invention."
  • A review by Roy Starrs on Confluences: Postwar Japan and France, edited by Doug Slaymaker.
  •,,25363-1946910,00.html A review by the poet Anthony Thwaite in the Times Literary Supplement of Roy Starrs’ book on Kawabata, Soundings in Time.
  •§ioncode=21 A review by Stephen Dodd in the Times Higher Educational Supplement of Roy Starrs’ book on Kawabata, Soundings in Time.
  • An article by Jason Cowley on Yasunari Kawabata in the New Statesman based partly on an interview with Roy Starrs.
  • A review by Steven Heine on Roy Starrs' book on Shiga Naoya, An Artless Art: The Zen Aesthetic of Shiga Naoya.

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