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.
Currency depends on your shipping address
- Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2020. 274 pp.
- Title Page
- 1.“Amid the Frenzied Sea of Fire”: The Great Tokyo Earthquake and Literature
- 1.1. The Event
- 1.2. The Earthquake in Prose
- 1.3. Ah Tokyo
- 1.4. Earthquake Poetry Collection
- 1.5. Aizu Yaichi’s Aftershocks
- 1.6. Kubota Utsubo’s Shiny Leaves
- 1.7. Yosano Akiko’s Poetry on the Earthquake
- 1.8. Wakayama Bokusui’s Miscellaneous Poems on the Aftershocks
- 1.9. Concluding Note
- 2. Writing in Extremis: Wartime Tanka Poetry
- 2.1. Writing against War
- 2.2. Kawada Jun’s Wartime Tanka
- 2.3. Tanka at War
- 2.5. Tanka against War
- 2.6. Conclusion
- 3. War, Memory, Trauma, Fiction, Truth: Kusaba Sakae at Nomonhan, 1939
- 3.1. Nomonhan: Victory or Defeat?
- 3.2. Kusaba’s Noro Hills and War Memory
- 3.3. Noro Hills, Volume One: Truth or Fiction?
- 3.4. Noro Hills, Volume Two: Retrospection and Reality
- 3.5. Brief Concluding Note
- 4. War in China and the Pacific: Takamura Kōtarō, Kusano Shinpei and the Matinée Poétique
- 4.1. Takamura Kōtarō’s War Poetry
- 4.2. Matinée Poétique and 1946
- 4.3. Kusano Shinpei’s War Poetry
- 4.4. Conclusion
- 5. Self-Censorship: The Case of Wartime Japanese Poetry
- 5.1. Censorship and Self-Censorship
- 5.2. Who is guilty? The Controversy over War Responsibility
- 5.3. Miyoshi Tatsuji’s Self-Censorship
- 5.4 Tsuboi Shigeji as a Resistance Poet
- 5.5. Kaneko Mitsuharu: Self-Censorship or Plain, Old Irony?
- 5.6. Takahashi Shinkichi: Uncomplicated Patriot?
- 5.7. Brief Concluding Note
- 6. “Sturm und Drang” in Tanizaki Junichirō’s The Makioka Sisters (1948)
- 6.1. Flood, Storm and Typhoon
- 6.2. Tanizaki and the Great Hanshin Flood
- 6.3. The Great Hanshin Flood and The Makioka Sisters
- 6.4 The Makioka Sisters and the Tokyo Typhoon
- 6.5. Concluding Note
- 7. The Trauma of the Postcolonial Hybrid: Ōshiro Tatsuhiro and Yuta
- 7.1. The Postcolonial Condition and Hybridity
- 7.2. Yuta and Ōshiro Tatsuhiro
- 7.3. Yuta/ Hybridity/Trauma
- 7.4 Postcolonial Hybridity: Matsuyo in the Labyrinth
- 7.5. Brief Concluding Note
- 8. The 2011 East Japan Earthquake and Literature: Contemporary Poetry Handbook 2011–2014
- 8.1. The 3.11 Earthquake as History
- 8.2. “Confronting the Great East Japan Earthquake”: Contemporary Poetry Handbook May 2011
- 8.3. Contemporary Poetry Handbook June–December 2011
- 8.4 Contemporary Poetry Handbook 2012–14
- 8.5. Fiction and the 2011 Earthquake
- 8.6. Brief Concluding Note
- 9. Trauma and Catharsis: The 2011 East Japan Earthquake and Traditional Genres of Verse
- 9.1. Trauma and Literature
- 9.2. Selection of Tanka from Local and Anonymous Poets
- 9.3. A Diary of the Earthquake in Verse
- 9.4 Anatomy of a Tanka Masterpiece
- 9.5. Poems from the Palace of the Dragon King
- 9.6. Concluding Note
2. Writing in Extremis: Wartime Tanka Poetry
It is not the “best” who survive (they are the ones who get killed first); war involves the survival of the worst—the fittest. Primo Levi (a survivor of Auschwitz) put it best: “It is the impression that the others died in your place; that you are alive gratis, thanks to a privilege you have not earned, a trick you played on the dead!” […] “We, the survivors are not the true witnesses” he added in another work; those best placed to bear witness died, not despite their valour but because of it. Those even better placed can’t bear witness; they return home mute because they have touched bottom. The survivors who can write or talk about their experiences are the ones who have survived because of their prevarications, or abilities, or simply good luck—those are the soldiers who have not looked the Gorgon in the face […]. All of which also reminds us why many soldiers choose not to survive; that those who go to their certain death running headlong into machine gun fire do so because that is what the men to the left and the right of them are doing. Over the centuries, writes Sebastian Junger, men have chosen to die in battle with their friends rather than flee on their own and perhaps, survive […]. Survival is often a choice, one that men have to live with for the rest of their lives.
From Men at War by Christopher Coker1
This chapter focuses on...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.