Romance, Family, and Nation in Japanese Colonial Literature

Hardcover | February 15, 2010

byKimberly Kono

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Romance, Family, and Nation in Japanese Colonial Literature explores how Japanese writers in Korea, Manchuria, and Taiwan used narratives of romantic and familial love in order to traverse the dangerous currents of empire. Focusing on the period between 1937 and 1945, this study discusses how literary renderings of interethnic relations reflect the numerous ways that Japan’s imperial expansion was imagined: as an unrequited romance, a reunion of long-separated families, an oppressive endeavor, and a utopian collaboration. The manifestations of romance, marriage, and family in colonial literature foreground how writers positioned themselves vis-à-vis empire and reveal the different conditions, consequences, and constraints that they faced in rendering Japanese colonialism.

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Romance, Family, and Nation in Japanese Colonial Literature explores how Japanese writers in Korea, Manchuria, and Taiwan used narratives of romantic and familial love in order to traverse the dangerous currents of empire. Focusing on the period between 1937 and 1945, this study discusses how literary renderings of interethnic relation...

Kimberly T. Kono is Associate Professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures at Smith College.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 9.82 × 5.7 × 0.7 inPublished:February 15, 2010Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230619894

ISBN - 13:9780230619890

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Table of Contents

Introduction * Performing Ethnicity, Gender, and Modern Love in Yokota Fumiko’s “Love Letter” * (Re)Writing Colonial Lineage in Sakaguchi Reiko’s “Passionflower” * Looking for Legitimacy: Cultural Identity and the Interethnic Family in Colonial Korea * Marriage, Modernization, and the Imperial Subject * Colonizing a National Literature: The Debates on Manchurian Literature * Conclusion

Editorial Reviews

“Kono’s book is admirably bold in subjecting to literary scrutiny work long dismissed as derivative and marginal to the modern Japanese literary canon. It is a timely contribution to studies of Japanese colonialism and to the dynamic, growing field of transnational Asian Studies.”—Brett de Bary, Professor, Asian Studies and Comparative Literature, Cornell University“Kono examines the representation, production, and reproduction of the tropes of romance and family in Japanese Colonial Literature. Combining dexterous textual interpretation with gender, ethnicity, and postcolonial theory, the book provides a rare and insightful glimpse into the private realm of the colonial enterprise. Kono makes a compelling argument that it is essential to explore the literary renderings of romance, marriage, and family not just for the entertaining melodrama, but also to understand how the state apparatus used these familiar tropes to make their policies ‘attractive’ and win popular support for them. The book covers the hemispheric scope of the Japanese colonies and takes us on a literary excursion of the empire. A compelling read and a significant contribution to the growing interest in the studies of Japanese colonial literature.”—Faye Kleeman, Associate Professor of Japanese, University of Colorado at Boulder