Departmental Bulletin Paper 矢野龍渓と『経国美談』について
Yano Ryuukei's Keikoku Bidan

周, 艷君

Keikoku Bidan (Young Politicians of Thebes) is a political novel made up of two volumes. The first volume was published in March 1883, and the second in February 1884. The novel deals with themes from ancient Greek history. The first part portrays the three heroes Epaminondas, Pelopidas and Mello, who restored democratic politics in Thebes. The second volume portrays the heroes who repelled the Spartan invasion and led Thebes to become the leading city of Greece. Keikoku Bidan is neither a translation of another work, nor is it a completely original work of fiction, rather it is Yano Ryuukei's (1851-1931) creative reworking of events from ancient Greek history. Yano Ryuukei worked into his narrative the ideals of constitutional reform, himself being a member of a constitutional reform party at that time. It is possible to discuss Keikoku Bidan from many different angles, such as politics, literature, character development and translation. Even though Yano Ryuukei's three most famous novels were written over a span of 20 years, there are various connections that show social and personal changes. In order to discuss the relationship and connections between Keikoku Bidan and Yano Ryuukei's two other important novels, Ukishiro Monogatari (The Tale of the Floating Fortress, 1890) and Shin-Shakai (The New Society, 1902), this paper explores the context of the period.

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