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Tanizaki’s Himitsu : the Starting Point of Japanese Modernism

Kazuko Nagamori

 

INTRODUCTION

Jun’ichiro Tanizaki谷崎潤一郎 was born in Kakigara-cho, Nihonbashi-ku, Tokyo in 1886 (Meiji 19). He made his debut as a writer in 1910 (Meiji 43), publishing several short stories, including Shisei (“The Tattoo”)「刺青」in the magazine Shin-Shicho「新思潮」. By the time of his death at the age of 79 in 1965 (Showa 40) he had produced a large body of work. He stated in an essay in 1945, “My work after I moved to Kansai at the end of the Taisho era was clearly distinct from what I had done previously. Frankly, there are many of my previous works that I no longer want to be associated with.”[1] It is clear that Tanizaki in later life did not wish to acknowledge many of the short stories that he wrote from his debut and throughout the Taisho era because they were very different in style to his later work. He himself recognized the unique character of his Taisho-era work,[2] which was reflective of that period. I will argue this earlier work can be seen as some of the first examples of Japanese modernist literature.

It is common for modernism in Japanese literature to be recognized as beginning with the Shin-kankaku-ha (New Sensationism) 新感覚派 that began at the end of Taisho. Yasunari Kawabata 川端康成 and Riichi Yokomitsu 横光利一 were members. Shin-kankaku-ha was a literary movement aimed to create literature that recognized the Great Kanto Earthquake (1923) as the end point of established literary arts, and was influenced by international avant-garde art such as Dadaism and Surrealism. Hiroshi Unno, however, claims that the Japanese avant-garde movement started before the Great Kanto Earthquake, and so the earthquake was not necessarily a turning point. He also points out that in the 1920s various media such as literature, art, drama, music, architecture, movies, as well as general Japanese customs, crossed boundaries and influenced each other so closely that it is not possible to sufficiently capture the great changes of the times by analyzing just one of them.[3] Further, Shunya Yoshimi asserts that the foundations of Japanese modernism can be traced back to the mid-1910s, when capitalism grew rapidly due to World War I.[4]

The first car arrived in Japan in 1899 (Meiji 32). This was followed by the first movie theater, Denki-kan 電気館, which opened in Asakusa in 1903 (Meiji 36). The first department store, Mitsukoshi-gofuku-ten 三越呉服店, was established in 1904 (Meiji 37), and some of the first cafes, Cafe Purantan (Printemps) カフェプランタンand Cafe Raion (Lion) カフェライオン, were opened in Ginza in 1911 (Meiji 44). If we see modernism in Japan as characterized by these developments, it is possible to claim that some literary movements depicted new urban sensibilities linked to these trends in popular culture in cities beginning in the late Meiji era. A society that was changing drastically created a new culture, and that culture changed the sensibilities and the way of thinking of people living in cities to something clearly distinct from what had come before.

This essay mainly discusses one of Tanizaki’s early works, Himitsu (“The Secret”)「秘密」, which was published in the November issue of the literary journal Chuo-Koron「中央公論」 in 1911. This short story presents such themes as life in the urban underworld, the feelings of ennui associated with urban living, identity confusion, body modification, tactile fascination, mystery, images of foreign countries, hypnosis, and magic. Common also to Western modernism, all of these themes would also feature in Tanizaki’s later works, as well as in those of Ryunosuke Akutagawa芥川龍之介, Haruo Sato佐藤春夫, and Ranpo Edogawa江戸川乱歩. Therefore, Himitsu can be seen as a pioneering work, as various literary themes that developed from the Taisho era to the early Showa era first appeared in this short story. This essay considers Himitsu through the themes of the body (skin), differing perceptions (gaze), and the secret life of the city (alleys), and argues for the positioning of Himitsu as the starting point of Japanese modernism.[5]

 

COSTUME AND SKIN SENSATION

Firstly, I will give an overview of cross-dressing in the social context of the time when Himitsu was written, before considering the specific significance of the cross-dressing of the main protagonist. He comes to think it would be interesting if he committed various crimes in female costume like the kabuki character Benten Kozo 弁天小僧. Benten Kozo is a main character in the famous Kabuki play Aoto Zoshi Hana no Nishiki-e『青砥稿花紅彩画』, which was written by Mokuami Kawatake 河竹黙阿弥 and premiered in the Edo Period in 1862. Benten Kozo turns himself into a beautiful young woman and hatches a plot to extort money from the owner of a cloth store. Junko Saeki claims that Benten Kozo is a character who deliberately plays around with aspects of gender identity.[6] Benten Kozo commits a playful crime through transvestitism, because he has the guarantee that he can return to a man’s identity whenever he needs to.

In 1873 (Meiji 6), the first statute prohibiting male and female masquerades was promulgated, the purpose of which was to correct the customs of the people so that the Japanese governing elite (in the newly opened Japan) did not feel ashamed in the eyes of Westerners.[7] Violators were detained by the police and a fine of 10 sen[8] was imposed. The Meiji Penal Code in 1882 (Meiji 15) did not prohibit cross-dressing, yet the police continued to consider it as criminal behavior.[9] Further, from the latter half of the Meiji era, articles about transvestites increased in newspapers, and presented most transvestites as criminals.[10] In fact, nearly ten articles about transvestites in a criminal context appeared in The Asahi Shimbun (morning edition in Tokyo) in the decade before Himitsu’s publication. For example, in the October 22, 1901 edition we read, “Bandit Transvestite is Arrested”, in the October 4, 1906 “Transvestite Burglar”, in the January 27, 1911 “Transvestite Robber”. In 1909, a photo of a man dressed as a woman who committed suicide by jumping from the twelve-storey Ryounkaku Tower 凌雲閣, Japan’s first skyscraper, in Asakusa was published.

Against this social context, the protagonist of Himitsu, dresses as a woman, goes out with a dagger and opiates in his sash and enjoys the romantic thrill of crime without actually committing one. He feels a greater thrill than just that of cross-dressing by also imagining himself as a criminal in the world of early twentieth-century Tokyo in which the government sought to eradicate cross-dressing.

The protagonist’s experimentation with his appearance begins with hiding half of his face, putting nail polish on his toenails, and wearing colored glasses. He also tries wearing a fake beard and a fake mole, and using makeup to paint a fake bruise on his face. One day, when he sees a woman's kimono at an old clothes shop, he feels a strong desire to wear it. Every time he sees or touches a beautiful silk kimono, he always wants to embrace it for no clear reason and feels extreme pleasure as if looking at the skin of a lover. He imagines how pleasant it would be to wrap his body in the kimono and cannot resist the thrill of doing so. Here, the kimono is reminiscent of human skin. Some of the language used, such as “freshly falling down” [だらりと生々しく下つて居る] or “moist, heavy and cold cloth” [あのしつとりした、重い冷たい布], talks about the kimono in a similar way to how one might talk about skin, and he feels sensations in the same way as if he is touching skin. It is my contention that the protagonist’s exploration of cross-dressing is more to do with a desire for these kinds of tactile sensations that kimono allows women to experience than a desire to change his sex or identity. It is because his cross-dressing is not induced by such feminine elements as a pedicure or an attached mole, but imaginary body sensation aroused by a kimono. He desires ardently to walk the streets in the appearance of a woman in the kimono.

Without a moment’s hesitation, the protagonist buys the kimono along with a necessary undergarment and a short overgarment. At night, in a quiet room that the protagonist rents in a temple, while enjoying the sensation on his skin when cool sweet-scented dew penetrates into his pores, he puts on women’s makeup. In the process he discovers the art of makeup, through which actors, geisha, and ordinary women use their bodies as canvases (for artistic expression). This is much more interesting to him than the art of literary artists and painters. After putting on makeup and wearing a kimono, a wig and a traditional-style woman's hood, he goes to downtown Asakusa. When he feels his kimono and sash tightening around his body, it feels to him that the blood in his body is female, and that his masculine mood and posture are gradually disappearing.[11]

Here Tanizaki is showing how clothing determines the way human beings feel. The sensation of the kimono on the skin transforms the protagonist’s body into that of a woman. The relationship between the body and clothes is not a simple relationship between what wraps or covers and what is wrapped or covered, but a living relationship where each changes the other.[12] The point of contact between the clothing and body is the skin, and the interaction between them is the sensation experienced by the skin.

The theme of tactile sensation is not unique to Himitsu. Tanizaki's novels are full of explorations of physical sensations. A further example occurs in Shonen-no-Kioku (“Boy's Memory”)「少年の記憶」(1913). The protagonist in this story tries to lick smooth konnyaku, a gelatinous food made from the starch of the devil’s-tongue plant, and finds that among the things that humans like to eat, there are those items where the greatest pleasures are derived from taste or flavor and those where tactile pleasures (textures) are the most important. In another story, Zou-nen (Hatred)「憎念」(1914), the protagonist bullies another character because it is a pleasure to see his fat body wobbling like konnyaku shakes. In a further example, Yanagiyu-no-Jiken (Murder in Yanagi Public Bath”)「柳湯の事件」, 1918, a young painter accidentally kills a person in a public bath after he becomes overwhelmed in a paroxysm of excitement when touching his victim’s slimy body. This theme of sensations, including the texture of food and skin, is common to all of these stories. Citing Shisei as an example, Atsushi Tanikawa writes that Tanizaki is a writer fascinated by skin sensation.[13] Tanikawa claims that skin is an important metaphor that connects the act of tattooing with the act of writing novels, pointing out the parallel relationship between the act of tattooing to raise a picture on the skin and the act of making the story appear in black letters on a white sheet.[14]

What is important to all these works is the idea that changes in skin sensation change self-awareness, which in turn changes the way people perceive and interact with the world. In Shisei, the tattoo is drawn onto the skin of a woman, and the woman is changed, not only her physical body, but her identity.[15] She becomes a confident, predatory femme fatal. Similarly, in Himitsu, the protagonist discovers new bodily sensations by dressing up in a kimono and putting on makeup. At first, his interest in the kimono is merely from a desire to experience a new physical sensation. However, through this experience, his identity is fundamentally changed. A key theme of the novel is the relationship between gender-specific clothing and different physical sensations. Tactile sensation and perception are linked. In the next section, I consider the nature of this relationship.

 

GAZE (PERCEPTION)

In front of Tokiwa Theater 常盤座 in Asakusa, the protagonist of Himitsu, noticing his reflection in a big mirror at the entrance to a photo shop at the end of the street, discovers that he has been transformed into a splendid woman. By seeing himself in the mirror as a woman, he discovers a new version of himself and recognizes his existence as an external object. At this point, seeing himself as a woman, as well as being seen as a woman by others, his exploration of cross-dressing that started with the enjoyment of new skin sensations has progressed to his transformation into another identity. Under the costume and makeup, when he becomes a different person, hiding his true self, he experiences a dreamlike state between reality and his surface appearance. Furthermore, he finds joy as a woman in the admiring and envious gazes of others because of his elegant face and his ability to wear traditional clothing with elegance and style. When multiple eyes see this new version of the protagonist that has emerged, wearing kimono and makeup, his existence is observed from multiple viewpoints: first, he sees himself in a mirror as a woman at home; then, he sees himself in a mirror as a woman out in public; and finally, he is seen as a woman by others. Further, as his skill at cross-dressing improves, he begins to contemplate committing crimes.

   For the protagonist, cross-dressing is way to extend or diversify his existence without losing his basic identity. Comparing Tanizaki's exploration of self-splitting and the theme of doppelgängers with that of Akutagawa, Saburo Kawamoto says that for Akutagawa self-splitting meant that one was subdivided into one-half and one-fourth until one disappears, but for Tanizaki self-splitting meant expanding from one to two to four, so it is a deliberate self-division in pursuit of pleasure.[16] In short, for Akutagawa, this experience was a negative one, whereas for Tanizaki, it was positive. Such a positive understanding of self-splitting has already appeared in Himitsu. The cross-dressing that began with the exploration of tactile sensation turns into visual play when the protagonist discovers a new version of himself. And it was visual perceptions, or different gazes, that facilitated this transformation. This change, which the protagonist initially enjoys alone, ends when he meets Ms T in a movie theater called Sanyu-kan.

Dressed as a woman, the protagonist goes up to the most expensive seats on the second floor of Sanyu-kan and feels good about being seen by everyone. He feels pride that there are a lot of men looking with interest at his traditional clothing and women looking envious of how stylishly he is able to wear it. He thinks there is no other woman who is more sexy, beautiful, or attractive than himself. He feels a sense of superiority as a woman over other women. There are a variety of different gazes upon the protagonist. He is seen as a woman by the other women, by the men, and he sees himself simultaneously as a man and also as a separate woman. What began merely as an exploration of the physical sensation of women’s clothing has led to a liberating exploration of the different ways the protagonist can be perceived: by himself as a woman from a male point of view, and as a woman from a female point of view, by himself as a woman from the point of view of others, both men and women. However, when Ms T arrives, she takes all of this attention away from him.

   In contrast to his traditional clothing, Ms T wears a light blue cloak and has white teeth and big black eyes. Her facial expression changes freely and regularly. Everyone's eyes are drawn to her beauty, and the protagonist feels ugly and shallow in comparison. Hirokazu Toeda points out that the protagonist is dressed in an old-fashioned kimono, reminiscent of a male Kabuki actor playing a female role, and so loses out to the modern beauty of Ms T, who is reminiscent of a modern movie actress.[17] At that time, the tradition of a male actors playing women on the stage continued in new dramas, and there was a big debate over whether actresses were needed. Tanizaki was enthusiastic about movies from when they first appeared in Japan. He himself was involved in the production of four films around 1920. He said in an essay that Japanese movie actors should be separated from theatrical actors[18] and so had clear ideas about how movies should be styled, and seems to apply this to the appearance of Ms T. The colorful, well-defined, three-dimensional and dynamic appearance that Ms T embodies was seen as more beautiful than the old Kabuki style of white, flat makeup and dull colored kimono that is embodied in the protagonist’s outfit. This new aesthetic was being nurtured among urban people at the time. People’s notions of beauty were changing because of the introduction of the modern western way of life and thought, particularly through movies.

   A movie theater was a place where people had the experience of watching movies and so could experience this aesthetic. With the opening of the Denki-kan in 1903, movies became more widespread and accessible as a form of entertainment. The number of movie theaters increased year by year. Movies presented images from angles and distances that were different from people’s everyday visual experience. These alternative perspectives could pull people away from the real world and lead to illusions. One could not be sure if what one was looking at was a dream or reality. Tanizaki was deeply interested in the illusions made possible by the movie format. Ms T sits next to the protagonist without him knowing. When the lights come on, he suddenly finds her there.[19] This is reminiscent of the changing scenes of a movie.

   It wasn't just the screen that people saw at the cinema. Aside from being a place to watch movies , the cinema was a place where people could see and be seen by others. In modern French novels, private spaces such as windows and balconies, events such as dance parties and night parties, and public spaces such as theaters and opera were used as devices to present women as seen and desired.[20] In Japan, where Western social life was introduced beginning with the opening of the Rokumei-kan 鹿鳴館dancehall, such a device cannot simply be compared to French novels, but in movie theaters in Himitsu a similar phenomenon is occurring. The line of sight (gaze) is directed not only from men to women, but also from women to women and from women to men. The movie theater was a place where people could see others and be seen by others; in other words, it was a place where people could experience being both a subject and an object.

In this place, the protagonist admits his complete defeat, examining himself as a woman in relation to Ms T. Once again, he is also perceiving her from both the perspective of a man dressed up as a woman and as a man. He loses to Ms T in a further sense: in addition to being defeated as a woman, in that Ms T takes away the gaze of others from him, she also immediately recognizes him as her (male) former lover. This defeat forces him to become the subject who sees others. He returns to being a man. In other words, he is back where he started.

Comparing the protagonist’s encounter with Ms T to hide-and-seek, Yoichi Komori says a city is a game space in which hide-and-seek between people is indefinitely connected.[21] This means that the protagonist’s playful experiment with cross-dressing turns into a new game in competition with Ms T, who immediately sees through his disguise. She recognizes him as a person with similar qualities. They are both perceptive people, and enjoy experimenting with disguising themselves. Since they are of the same nature, they can understand the implicit rules of the new game they are playing with each other. This is why the protagonist accepts being blindfolded when Ms T takes him to her home. This journey also introduces a new element to the game: cities. The town where Ms T lives is familiar to the protagonist since childhood. Nonetheless, changing the path, entering the back street or going there at night changes his perception of what was once familiar, and create mysteries and secrets. At that time, the city, like a cross-dressing woman, hides its original form and invites him to the game of hiding and finding reality.

 

DISCOVERY OF ALLEYS

At the beginning of the story, the protagonist hides in the back streets of Asakusa because he thinks that this is a place in Tokyo that is unseen and mysteriously lonely. He finds the atmosphere in the back of the temples and shrines he used to visit, and the back streets he had never been so appealing. He remembers that as a child he was fascinated by the mysterious secret atmosphere of hide-and-seek and treasure hunting he took part in in a dark storage room at night. By looking from different viewpoints and visiting at different times, one can see mysteries and secrets that were not visible at first glance. Each day is different and seems to hide secrets.

On the way to Ms T's house, blindfolded, the protagonist experiences turning right and left down paths and alleys as if he is roaming through a labyrinth. This labyrinth is made up of the roads leading to the hidden places deep inside the city described at the beginning of the story as quiet corners that are rarely traveled unless it is a special case or by a special person. Ms T's house is located in the back of an alley that they arrive at by rickshaw and so is also a hidden place in the depths of the labyrinth. These hidden places constitute a different world inside the city, a place outside of time and space.

     The protagonist hides in the Shingon 真言sect temple, which is closely associated with secrets, magic and curses, and becomes absorbed in reading foreign books such as The Sign of Four by Conan Doyle, Murder, Considered as One of the Fine Arts by De Quincy, One Thousand and One Nights, and mysterious French sexology books. Through these books, he once again looks at the dusty corners and the complex back streets of Asakusa and finds a new attraction in them. Daisuke Nishihara points out that Tanizaki learned about European Orientalism from Kafu Nagai永井荷風 (1879-1959), and applied this knowledge to his works in India, China, and Japan.[22] Nagai lived in America and France from 1903 (Meiji 36) to 1908 (Meiji 41), and published his experience there as Amerika Monogatari (American Stories)「あめりか物語」 in 1908 and Furansu Monogatari (French Stories)「ふらんす物語」 in 1909. Nagai also loved the scene and atmosphere of the old Tokyo downtown. Through these, Tanizaki discovered a new role for the alleys that extend behind the downtown area, as he saw them as hiding secrets and different perspectives.

Nagai roamed the streets of downtown Tokyo, mourning the dying atmosphere of Edo, which was being destroyed by the urban remodeling and innovations from the late Meiji period to the beginning of the Taisho period as the city was modernized. These included introducing infrastructure such as water and sewage systems, electricity, and streetcars. Nagai walked around the disappearing alleys with nostalgia and feelings of emptiness. However, while Tanizaki was similarly drawn to alleys, his understanding of them is completely different from Nagai’s. Rather than feeling sorrow for what has been lost, the main character, in Himitsu, enjoys the alleys as a mechanism for creating mysteries and secrets. He enjoys the alleys like haunted houses and mazes, as devices that lead to different worlds. In other words, he sees the alleys not merely as streets but as having a new use: forming a labyrinth that hides secrets in its depths.

This theme of the multi-layered depths of the alleys is also related to the modernization of Tokyo. The protagonist says that, when he was a child, he thought of Hachiman Shrine, which he often visited, as a panoramic picture with just a front and no back. Panorama attractions became extremely popular after the introduction of the first one in Ueno in 1890 (Meiji 23), the same year Ryounkaku Tower was built. After Ueno, another panorama was also constructed in Asakusa. The Asakusa panorama, however, closed in 1909 (Meiji 42) due to the popularity of movies, and it no longer existed when Himitsu was published. The late Meiji period was a time when people's way of looking at and understanding things changed greatly. People were exposed to the panoramic viewpoint that only viewed scenes from the front and from a central fixed point. Then, from the middle of the Meiji era, architects who studied Western architecture, such as Kingo Tatsuno, built more and more two or three-story buildings made of bricks and stone. Tokyo was gradually becoming three-dimensional. From a high place overlooking the city it could be noticed that there were areas in shadow that was hidden from view. As the city became three-dimensional, the conventional flat cityscape could be seen as a great expanse with hidden depths.

   It was not only urbanization that changed the perspectives from which people viewed things, but also new optical equipment from the West, such as that used in the production of movies. Movies showed people various new and different perspectives from which to view things, such as looking at people and sceneries existing only on screen that were not actually there, and looking at objects from multiple directions by using different camera angles. As a result, people began to realize that what they saw from the front and what they saw from the back were different; and, further, that there were complicated mechanisms and processes hidden behind what they saw. The protagonist’s new understanding of the alleys as a labyrinth shows that the way of seeing the urban structure was changing from a flat scene without depth into a three-dimensional and multi-layered cityscape. These changes in the way of viewing things echo the change in the aesthetic of Ms T, in contrast to the protagonist’s traditional flat white makeup.

   Looking into the depths and peeling off the multiple layers that hide a secret, the protagonist finds an empty space. In the end, what he discovers is poor cityscapes lit by the autumn sunshine, and Ms T, revealed to be a widow named Yoshino, who is a different person from the one he met in the theatre and on their secret dates. The journey through the city from the protagonist’s home in Matsuba-cho to Ms T’s house in Ningyo-cho corresponds to his transformation through cross-dressing to his explorations of his identity. Finally, the secrets and mysteries fall away, revealing an empty reality in the depths of the city.

When these hidden places are revealed, the protagonist, who shares similar characteristics with Ms T, cannot help feeling empty when he faces her. He looks at the emptiness of the woman named Yoshino. She looks at his emptiness, and, at the same time, he looks at his own emptiness. Ms T's house is in a corner of Ningyo-cho, where the protagonist was also born and raised. Encountering the true identity of this woman living near his birthplace leaves him facing a raw version of himself who has sobered up from a fantasy. At this point, his playful exploration of cross-dressing, the mysterious woman, and the other mysteries of the city come to an end. He goes back to the beginning. He is then compelled to search for something else to distract him from reality that does not rely on secrets and mysteries. He moves to another area of the city to begin this search.

 

CONCLUSION

Before modernism was recognized as a well-defined artistic development beginning after the Great Kanto earthquake, Tanizaki sensed it in its early stages with a sharp sensibility, and sought to express the emergence and appearance of these new cultural trends and changes in people's consciousness in his stories. Growing up in the remnants of Edo and having a good command of English, he was sensitive to overseas trends. He developed a new way of looking at things and incorporated them into the familiar space of Tokyo.

   The protagonist of Himitsu undertakes his exploration of cross-dressing against the background of the tradition of Kabuki and transvestite criminals. It starts from a euphoric fascination with new skin sensations, which then goes on to influence his behavior. Finally, he is able to enjoy existing as a woman while maintaining his male identity. A new way to perceive tactile sensation reveals his body as something that is felt, can be explored, discovered, and looked at as an object. This is made possible by his cross-dressing. Further, this possibility to see things differently overlaps with his experience of a city that looks different from everyday life. The protagonist comes up short in comparison to the beauty of Ms T. He then is taken blindfolded to Ms T’s house in a downtown alley that was familiar to him to enjoy another secret with Ms T. However, he is not able to resist the temptation to look. Ms T’s and the city’s secrets disappear just when he looks at them. Himitsu is a story where gazes intersect and confront each other. While the gaze facilitates secrets, such as an alternative understanding of identity and a dream-like woman, it also uncovers secrets. Ms T's gaze sees through the protagonist’s cross-dressing, and his gaze reveals her true self and the true nature of the city. During this transitional period in Japanese society, Himitsu explores the connections between body, gaze, and urban landscape in the collective consciousness of the population who were experiencing urbanization, especially in Asakusa, where tradition met the latest cultural developments.

In Himitsu, Tanizaki further develops the elements of skin and sight which appeared in Shisei, and adds the theme of the city, a theme seldom broached in earlier Japanese literature. The city is depicted as a maze that attracts the protagonist or a playground where the game develops, rather than as having historical and cultural traditions. In an era where old Japanese traditions and new Western cultures are mixed, with the visual transition of values about what is beautiful and what is preferable, Tanizaki consolidates aspects of Japanese modernism, its charm and elusiveness in a novel way combining skin, body and the city. It can be compared to a dreamy image projected on the screen and the emptiness of the screen after it disappears. These are the reasons why I regard Himitsu as the starting point of Japanese modernism.[23]

 


[1] Japanese to English translation by author, same as below.

Tanizaki, Jun’ichiro. “Sasameyuki kaiko.” In vol. 20 of Tanizaki Jun’ichiro zenshu, Chuokoron-shinsha, 2015, pp.588 (谷崎潤一郎『谷崎潤一郎全集 第二十巻』(中央公論新社、2015年 以後全集と略す) 588)

[2] Some of the main works are Konjiki no shi(Golden Death)「金色の死」in 1914, Majutsu shi(The Magician)「魔術師」in 1917, Jinmen so(The Tumor with a Human Face)「人面疽」in 1918, Hakuchu kigo(Daytime Demon Stories)「白昼鬼語」in 1918, Tojo(Half-way)「途上」in 1920.

[3] Unno, Hiroshi. Modan toshi Tokyo: Nihon no 1920 nendai. Chuokoronsha, 1983, pp.10-11 (海野弘『モダン都市東京日本の一九二〇年代』(中央公論社、1983) 1011)

[4] Yoshimi, Shunya. Toshi no doramaturugi: Tokyo, sakari-ba no shakai-shi. Kobundo, 1987, pp.242 (吉見俊哉『都市のドラマトゥルギー 東京・盛り場の社会史』(弘文堂、1987) 242)

[5] All Japanese citations of Himitsu in this paper are based on Tanizaki, Jun’ichiro. “Himitsu.” In vol. 1 of Tanizaki Jun’ichiro zenshu, Chuokoron-shinsha, 2015 (谷崎潤一郎『谷崎潤一郎全集 第一巻』)

[6] Saeki, Junko. “Joso to danso” no bunkashi. Kodansha, 2009, pp.22 (佐伯順子『「女装と男装」の文化史』(講談社、2009年)22)

[7] Mitsuhashi, Junko. Joso to nihonjin. Kodansha, 2008, pp.129-130 (三橋順子『女装と日本人』(講談社、2008年)129130)

[8] 10 sen was about half the daily wage of a day laborer.

[9] Ibid., pp.142

[10] Ibid., pp.144-145

[11]「私の体の血管には、自然と女のやうな血が流れ始め、男らしい気分や姿勢はだんだんとなくなつて行くやうであった。」”As female blood began to flow in my veins gradually my masculine feelings and attitude seemed to start evaporating.”

[12] Washida, Kiyokazu. “Ishiki no hifu: Fasshon to shintai.” In Modo to Shintai: Fasshon-bunka   no rekishi to genzai, edited by Narumi, Hiroshi. Kadokawa-gakugei-shuppan, 2003, pp.37- 38 (鷲田清一「意識の皮膚 ファッションと身体」(成実弘至編『モードと身体 ファッション文化の歴史と現在』所収、角川学芸出版、2003) 3738)

[13] Tanikawa, Atsushi. Bungaku no hifu: Homo esutetikusu. Hakusuisha, 1997, pp.25 (谷川渥『文学の皮膚 ホモ・エステティクス』(白水社、1997) 25)

[14] Ibid., pp.3

[15] Skin is also a major theme in Shisei. In addition, body and gaze interact, not only when the tattooist looks at the woman's legs, but also when she takes on the nature of Dakki, a cruel Chinese princess, in a picture in the tatooist’s studio.

[16] Kawamoto, Saburo. Taisho genei. Iwanami-shoten, 2008, pp.147 (川本三郎『大正幻影』(2008年、岩波書店)147)

[17] Toeda, Hirokazu. “Modan toshi no eigakan.” In vol. 19 of Korekushon, Modan toshi bunka: Eigakan, edited by, Toeda, Hirokazu. Yumani-shobo, 2006, pp.913 (十重田裕一「モダン都市の映画館」(藤本寿彦編『コレクション・モダン都市文化19 映画館』所収、ゆまに書房、2006) 913)

[18] Tanizaki, Jun’ichiro. “Nihon no katsudo shashin.” In vol. 9 of Tanizaki Jun’ichiro zenshu, Chuokoron-shinsha, 2017, pp.401 (全集、第九巻、401)

[19] 始めは誰も居なかつた筈の貴賓席の私の側の椅子が、いつの間に塞がつたのか能くは知らないが、二三度目に再び電燈がともされた時、私の左隣りに二人の男女が腰をかけて居るのに気が附いた。”At first, no one should have been in the seat next to my reserved one, but, before I knew it, as the lights flashed on and off two or three times, to my left, I noticed a man and a woman sit down.”

[20] Ogura, Kousei. Shintai no bunkashi, Chuokoron-shinsha, 2006, pp.33 (小倉孝誠『身体の文化史』(中央公論新社、2006年)33)

[21] Komori, Yoichi. “Toshi no nakano shintai, shintai no nakano toshi.” In vol. 18 of Nihon bungaku kenkyu shiryo shinshu: Tanizaki Jun’ichiro, monogatari no hoho, edited by, Chiba, Shunji. Yuseido- shuppan, 1990, pp.47 (小森陽一「都市の中の身体/身体の中の都市」(千葉俊二編『日本文学研究資料新集18 谷崎潤一郎・物語の方法』所収、1990年、有精堂出版)47)

[22] Nishihara, Daisuke. Tanizaki Jun’ichiro to Orientarizumu. Chuokoron-shinsha, 2003, pp.80-91 (西原大輔『谷崎潤一郎とオリエンタリズム』(中央公論新社、2003年)8091)

[23] I thank Danny Robinson and Ryan Stasey Johnson for their help in editing this article.