Studium Generale On: Language, Literature and Arts

Prof. Kiyomi Yamashita Sokolova in ULM, talking about Japanese woman writer Fumiko Hayashi.

Fumiko felt that ‘Ilong’ which flowed through the river was like human life. Same as ‘Ilong’ flowing on the river, human beings also flow on the life they cannot control. We human beings is in this flow. Nobody knows where we may go.

Fumiko described about a lot of things about Indonesia in 1940’s. Especially she was interested in ‘Ilong’ or “eceng gondok”, which means floating grasses in Banjarmasin language. She often drew it in her works suggestively.

Fumiko Hayashi was born in 1903, and died in 1951, at the age of 47. She was one of the best seller writers in those days. We can see 3 features of Fumiko Hayashi’s literature, 
1. She drew ordinary people not rich person or celebrity but poor or common people, 
2. She expressed materials with her five senses. She believes her own sense, like smell, sound, see, taste, so her expression is very vivid and easy to understand. 
3. She got inspiration and literary materials from her journey, she likes to go abroad under any circumstances, for example, under the war.

In 1940’s, she went to Indonesia and other Southeast Asian countries with army in WW2. She visited a lot of districts, for example Jawa, Borneo, Sumatra, Bali, and so on. Then she met various people and experienced various things. They really inspired her, therefore Fumiko created several works drawn about Indonesia. 
Especially she drew about scene of Banjarmasin, for example the Martapura, some markets and people on the river and beautiful nature in Borneo. She wrote several poets, novels and essays about Borneo. ‘Ilong’, floating weed, which she saw in the Martapura river at Banjarmasin in Borneo is drawn in several works. She saw a lot of Ilong in the Martapura river, so she said Ilong Ilong, In ‘Borneo diamond’, we can see a lot of drawing about Ilong ilong. This is a very important motif. She drew Ilong to express her thoughts. (writer: Drs. M. Ary Achdyani, M.AP)



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