Literary Interventions: Yamamoto Sanehiko’s Contributions
to Sino-Japanese Literary Exchange in the Interwar Period

By Christopher T. Keaveney

Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, vol. 22, no. 2 (Fall 2010), pp. 196-230

Yamamoto Sanehiko (1885-1952), the president of the publishing house Kaizosha, contributed to the cultural and intellectual life of interwar Japan (1919-1937) in a number of crucial ways. Yamamoto’s publishing house produced the large circulation, general interest magazine Kaizo (Reconstruction) and was responsible for introducing the first series of inexpensive enpon (books costing one yen each) in 1926, which initiated a revolutionary change in the Sh?wa publishing world. Yamamoto was, moreover, an important interpreter of contemporary China to his Japanese readership and used his considerable influence in the Japanese publishing world to bring contemporary Chinese writers, including Lu Xun, to the attention of a wide Japanese readership and to bring Chinese and Japanese writers together for both formal and informal exchange. This article explores the motivations and effects of these key contributions of Yamamoto to Sino-Japanese literary relations in the interwar period.