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Daniel Poch

Assistant Professor

Japanese Studies, School of Modern Languages and Cultures

Daniel specializes in early modern and modern Japanese literature. His first monograph, Licentious Fictions: Ninjō and the Nineteenth-Century Japanese Novel (Columbia University Press, 2020), examines the significance of “human emotion” (ninjō)—a historical term for amorous feeling and erotic desire—in defining the canon of the novel in nineteenth-century Japan. This study seeks to offer a new integrative perspective on the Japanese novel that challenges the disciplinary divide between Edo and Meiji studies and also highlights important continuities with Chinese literary discourse and fiction.

His second book project examines the intersection of Japanese literature and aesthetic discourse from the nineteenth through the twentieth centuries.

Daniel has received fellowships and research grants from the German National Merit Foundation, the German Academic Exchange Service, the Canon Foundation in Europe, the Japan Foundation, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), and the University Grants Council of Hong Kong (GRF-ECS grant).

Research Interests

• Early Modern and Modern Japanese Literature
• Emotion, Desire, Sexuality, and Gender
• The Novel
• Aesthetics and Aesthetic Theory

Selected Publications


  • Licentious Fictions: Ninjō and the Nineteenth-Century Japanese Novel (New York: Columbia University Press, 2020). 

Journal Articles (peer-reviewed)

  • “Reclaiming Ethics Through Love: “Literature” in Natsume Sōseki’s Novel Sorekara.” Japan Forum (2020).

  • “Translation, Human Emotion, and the Bildungsroman in Meiji Japan: Narrating Passion and Spiritual Love in the Novel Karyū shunwa.” Japanese Language and Literature 53.1 (2019): 63–93

  • “Measuring Feeling as Theory of Literature: Romanticism and the Performance of Genre in Natsume Sōseki’s Kusamakura and Critical Writings.” Monumenta Nipponica 73.1 (2018): 1–26.

Book Chapters

  • “El género shaseibun entre la novela y la poesía tradicional” [The Genre Shaseibun (Sketch Prose) Between the Novel and Traditional Poetry]. In Paula Hoyos Hattori and Ariel Stilerman. Eds. El Archipiélago: Ensayos para una historia cultural del Japón, 89–98. Buenos Aires: Lomo, 2018.

  • “Kanjō hyōgen toshite no ‘bun’ no kindai: Natsume Sōseki Kusamakura ni okeru shiika to shizen to ‘romanshugi’” [Literary Modernity and Emotional Expression: Poetry, Nature, and Romanticism in Natsume Sōseki’s Kusamakura]. In Kōno Kimiko and Wiebke Denecke. Eds. Nihon ni okeru “bun” to “bungaku,” 221–33. Tokyo: Bensei shuppan, 2013.

Academic Translations

  • Naitō Akira. “Waka, Tanka, and Community.” In Haruo Shirane et al. Eds. Waka Opening Up to the World: Language, Community, and Gender, 307–18. Tokyo: Bensei shuppan, 2012.

  • Suzuki Sadami. “Geschichte der japanischen Literatur – Der Fluss der Ausdrucksformen. Zu Beginn” [History of Japanese Literature—The Flow of Expressive Forms: To Begin]. hon’yaku – Heidelberger Werkstattberichte zum Übersetzen Japanisch-Deutsch 5 (2003): 34–51.Book review1)Review of Aesthetic Life: Beauty and Art in Modern Japan (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2019), by Miya Elise Mizuta Lippit. Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies (forthcoming).

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