Social Trauma, Narrative Memory and Recovery in Japanese Literature and Film: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Social Trauma, Narrative Memory and Recovery in Japanese Literature and Film

1st Edition

By David C. Stahl


256 pages | 10 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781138019362
pub: 2019-07-25
SAVE ~$30.00
Available for pre-order

FREE Standard Shipping!


This book provides a comprehensive analysis of major works in Japanese literature and film through the interpretive lens of trauma and PTSD studies. Focusing critical attention on the psychodynamics and enduring psychosocial aftereffects of social trauma, it also evaluates the themes of dissociation, failed mourning and psychological defence fantasies.

Building on earlier studies, this book emphasises the role of protagonists in managing to effect partial recovery by composing memoirs in which they transform dissociated traumatic memory into articulate, narrative memory or bring about advanced recovery by pioneering alternative means of orally, communicating, working through, and overcoming debilitating personal histories of traumatization and victimization. In so doing, Stahl also demonstrates that what holds true on the individual and microcosmic level, also does so on the collective and macrocosmic level.

This new critical approach sheds important new light on canonical Japanese novels and films and enables recognition and appreciation of integral psychosocial aspects of these traumatic narratives. As such, the book will be of huge interest to students and scholars of Japanese film and literature, as well as those of trauma studies.

Table of Contents


Part 1: Trauma, Narrative Memory and Partial Recovery

1. Natsume Sōseki’s Kokoro

2. Ōoka Shōhei’s Fires on the Plain

Part 2: Trauma, Intra/Interpersonal Response-ability and Relational Healing

3. Ōe Kenzaburō’s Personal Experience

4.Imamura Shōhei’s Black Rain


About the Author

David C. Stahl is Professor of Japanese Literature and Cinema at Binghamton University, USA. His publications include Trauma, Dissociation and Re-enactment in Japanese Literature and Film (2017)and The Burdens of Survival: Ooka Shohei’s Writings on the Pacific War (2003).

About the Series

Routledge Contemporary Japan Series

The aim of this series is to publish original, high-quality work by both new and established scholars on all aspects of contemporary Japan.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / Asian American Studies