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The Writing of Disaster Literary Representations of War, Trauma and Earthquakes in Modern Japan

Leith Morton

This book analyzes the literature that emerged from World War II. It also examines the literature that resulted from the two major earthquakes that have struck Japan over the course of over the last hundred years. The small number of volumes previously published examining the literature of war and earthquakes in Japan have almost always focused exclusively on fiction while this volume focuses mainly on poetry. This volume breaks new ground in its attempt to draw together and analyze the literature produced by these tragedies as a single phenomenon. It provides a new template for the literature of trauma produced by such events as the earthquake that accompanied the tsunami and nuclear meltdown in northeast Japan in 2011.

Preface

Introduction

1.“Amid the Frenzied Sea of Fire”: The Great Tokyo Earthquake and Literature

2. Writing in Extremis: Wartime TankaPoetry

3. War, Memory, Trauma, Fiction, Truth: Kusaba Sakae at Nomonhan, 1939

4. War in China and the Pacific: Takamura Kōtarō, Kusano Shinpei and the Matinée Poétique

5. Self-Censorship: The Case of Wartime Japanese Poetry

6. “Sturm und Drang” in Tanizaki Junichirō’s The MakiokaSisters(1948)

7. The Trauma of the Postcolonial Hybrid: Ōshiro Tatsuhiro and Yuta

8. The 2011 East Japan Earthquake and Literature: Contemporary Poetry Handbook2011–2014

9. Trauma and Catharsis: The 2011 East Japan Earthquake and Traditional Genres of Verse

Reflections

Bibliography

Notes

Index