Hana Scheltat was born in 1983 in Hamburg and studied Japanese studies (intellectual and cultural history as well as literature), Modern German Literature (poetry of the modern and post-modern ages, poetics of the Early Romantics) and Journalism at the University of Hamburg and Meiji Gakuin University, Tôkyô, between 2002 and 2010. She has worked as a freelance art and culture journalist in Hamburg. Her Magister thesis concerned the early romantic work of poet and novelist Shimazaki Tôson (1872-1943), across tradition and modernity. From 2011 to 2014 she was a doctoral student at the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School for Literary Studies, writing her dissertation The Rôman-ha between Japanese and Western poetics and literary aesthetics. A comparative study of Japanese and European Romantic poetic discourses and their impact on subsequent concepts of identity.
In her dissertation project, Hana Scheltat examines the poetic and aesthetic discourses of the Early Romantics of the Meiji-era (1868-1912), known as Rôman-ha. In the project, the early romantic poetics of Japan, which are characterized by a great ambivalence, are examined in relation to their similarities to and differences from the European literary periods read by the Japanese poets whose poetics are discussed.
The ambivalence of Japanese early romantic poetics is characterized on the one hand by a high degree of dependence on traditional, indigenous aesthetic ideals as well as strong adaption of modern Western concepts on the other. This doctoral thesis concentrates upon the poetry circle centred around Kitamura Tôkoku (1868-1894) and Shimazaki Tôson (1872-1943), who greatly influenced the discourses of lyric and prose for a whole decade by publishing texts on poetics and aesthetics in literary magazines such as Jogaku zasshi(1885-1904) and Bungakukai (1893-1898).
With the help of literary theory, this thesis will develop a comparatively-applicable system from the romantic concepts of “love”, “nature”, “identity” and “religion”. The system will then be applied diachronically in order to explore these central romantic concepts in relation to subsequent postmodern concepts of identity.