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Home > Books & Journals > Journal Abstracts Last Updated: 14:23 03/09/2007
Journal Abstracts #101: June 19, 2003

The Journal of Japanese Studies

Journal Name: The Journal of Japanese Studies: Summer 1999, Vol. 25, No. 2


Magical Realism and the Search for Identity in the Fiction of Murakami Haruki
This article is concerned with how Murakami Haruki has used the techniques of "magical realism" to challenge and explore the concept of individual identity in Japan. It argues that Murakami's raison d'Ítre as a writer is to expose the steady decay of individual identity in members of the generation born immediately after the Second World War, and in each succeeding generation thereafter. In doing so, the article suggests a plausible explanation for the fact that while Murakami's works were initially aimed at his own generation--the youngest to participate in the Zenkyoto movement--they remain consistently popular with readers between the ages of 20 and 30.

The Nature of Warfare in Fourteenth-Century Japan: The Record of Nomoto Tomoyuki
Thomas Conlan
Although the "rise" of warriors in Japanese history has generated considerable scholarly attention, the wars that propelled these men to prominence have not received the same scrutiny. Recent scholarship has revealed, however, that warfare was instrumental to change rather than merely expressive of it. The outbreak of war in 1331 and destruction of the Kamakura bakufu in 1333 were catalysts for profound transformations in Japan; to understand the changes in state and society, we must first explore the nature of the warfare that was endemic in this period. This essay reconstructs the experience of Nomoto Tomoyuki, a fourteenth-century warrior, in order to examine the nature of warfare.

The Mouse that Roared: Saito Takao, Conservative Critic of Japan's "Holy War" in China
On March 7, 1940, Saito Takao, a conservative Diet member representing a rural constituency, was expelled from the Diet as punishment for a speech he had given in the Diet on February 2, 1940, criticizing Japan's "holy war" in China. Leading the push for Saito's expulsion were numerous figures who later held top positions in the Nihon Shakaito (Japan Socialist Party). By analyzing Saito's speech and the movement to expel him, the essay attempts to provide a new perspective on 1930s militarism and the questions of who profited from it and who supported it.

Volume 25, Number 2 (Summer 1999)
©1999 Society for Japanese Studies

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