Visions of Precarity in Japanese Popular Culture and Literature
Recent natural as well as man-made cataclysmic events have dramatically changed the status quo of contemporary Japanese society, and following the Asia-Pacific war’s never-ending ‘postwar’ period, Japan has been dramatically forced into a zeitgeist of saigo or ‘post-disaster.’ This radically new worldview has significantly altered the socio-political as well as literary perception of one of the world’s potential superpowers, and in this book the contributors closely examine how Japan’s new paradigm of precarious existence is expressed through a variety of pop-cultural as well as literary media.
Addressing the transition from post-war to post-disaster literature, this book examines the rise of precarity consciousness in Japanese socio-cultural discourse. The chapters investigate the extent to which we can talk about the emergence of a new literary paradigm of precarity in the world of Japanese popular culture. Through careful examination of a variety of contemporary texts ranging from literature, manga, anime, television drama and film this study offers an interpretation of the many dissonant voices in Japanese society. The contributors also outline the related social issues in Japanese society and culture, providing a comprehensive overview of the global trends that link Japan with the rest of the world.
Visions of Precarity in Japanese Popular Culture and Literature will be of great interest to students and scholars of contemporary Japan, Japanese culture and society, popular culture and social and cultural history.
Table of Contents
Foreword: Liberty and equality in Japan’s unequal society, Suzuki Sadami 1. Towards an introduction: Japan’s literature of precarity, Roman Rosenbaum 2. Kirino Natsuo’s Metabola, or the Okinawan stage, fractured selves and the precarity of contemporary existence, Kristina Iwata-Weickgenannt 3. Precarity, kawaii (cuteness), and their impact on environmental discourse in Japan, W. Puck Brecher 4. Part-timer, buy a house. Middle-class precarity, sentimentality and learning the meaning of work, Christopher Perkins 5. Precarious attraction: Abe Kazushige’s Individual Projection post-bubble, Maria Roemer 6. Hirabayashi Eiko and the projection of a viable proletarian vision, Mats Karlsson 7.The Precarious Self: Love, melancholia and the eradication of adolescence in Makoto Shinkai’s anime works, Maria Grajdian 8. Graphic representation of the precariat in popular culture, Roman Rosenbaum 9.Towards new literary trend: Contemporary Japanese society mirrored in literature, Yasuko Claremont 10. Cinematic Narratives of Precarity: Gender and Affect in Contemporary Japan, Ritu Vij 11. Precarity beyond 3/11 or ‘Living Fukushima’––Power, politics, and space in Wagô Ryôichi’s poetry of disaster, Kristina Iwata-Weickgenannt
Kristina Iwata-Weickgenannt is Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Letters, Nagoya University, Japan.
Roman Rosenbaum is Honorary Associate in Japanese Studies at the University of Sydney, Australia.