Murakami Haruki, Ogawa Yōko, Tawada Yōko, Kanai Mieko, Hino Keizō, Murakami Ryū, Kawakami Hiromi, Murata Sayaka... These acclaimed authors are united by a shared fascination with fantastical conceptions of space. In highlighting these luminaries of contemporary Japanese literature, Into the Fantastical Spaces of Contemporary Japanese Literature examines the role of extramundane topos from an interdisciplinary approach. As writers navigate fantastical spaces in resistance to the logic of everyday life, they are able to challenge the dualistic norms on the body and mind that typify modern Japanese life. These studies demonstrate the essential role played by fantastical spaces in the development of modern Japanese literature to the present day. Scholars of Japanese studies, literature, and other fields will find this book an excellent resource for teaching and research.
Dr. Mina Qiao teaches Japanese literature at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies.
Into the Fantastical Spaces of Contemporary Japanese Literature: An Introduction by Mina Qiao
Chapter One: The Layered Everyspace in the Fiction of Murakami Haruki by Matthew C. Strecher
Chapter Two: Shōjo, Mother, and the Uncanny Space in Ogawa Yōko’s Writings by Mina Qiao
Chapter Three: Textual, Liminal, Fantastical Spaces in Kanai Mieko’s Early Writings by Anthony Bekirov
Chapter Four: Cannibalistic Space and Reproduction in Japanese Speculative Fiction by Kazue Harada
Chapter Five: Ports in a Storm: The Poetics of Space in Hino Keizō by Amanda C. Seaman
Chapter Six: The Foreign Land Outside Japan: an Attempted Solution to Abjection in Murakami Ryū’s Fiction by Francesca Bianco
Chapter Seven: The Fantastical Space of Exile in Tawada Yōko’s Memoirs of a Polar Bear by Barbara Hartley
Chapter Eight: Minding the Gap in Kawakami Hiromi by Mina Qiao and Matthew C. Strecher
About the Contributors
Qiao here asserts that modern Japanese literature, at times absurd and even ridiculous, is created out of traumas both unique to Japan and common to all…. It is encouraging that younger female writers are included [in the book]. Each chapter has its own notes and works cited... an index of works adds to usability. A required resource for students of world literature, Asian studies, and Japanese literature.Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty.
If Japanese fiction today is inexorably linked in the minds of readers with the fantastic—the absurd, the ridiculous, the unconscious real—then rising star Mina Qiao and her fellow critics explain why: a national literary imagination is responding to traumas unique to Japan and others common to us all; to traumas both recent and looming. Starting with Murakami Haruki but moving on to younger, female writers such as Ogawa Yōko, Murata Sayaka, Kawakami Hiromi and Tawada Yōko, the collective project is this: Via close attention to space and time, Fantastical Spaces speaks to how Japanese writers understand the improbable world now itself uncannily unfolding before us.