Book Announcement: Literature and Art after Fukushima

Literature and Art After FukushimaGebhardt, Lisette; Masami, Yuki (eds.) (2014):
Literature and Art after Fukushima. Four Approaches.
(German Studies on Japanese Literature and Culture Vol. 7).
Berlin: EB-Verlag.
ISBN: 978-3-86893-118-1

This English language volume “Literature and Art after ‘Fukushima'” has been edited by Lisette Gebhardt and Yuki Masami. It collects contributions on subjects of Japanese literature and theatre / art after “Fukushima” which were presented at a panel of that name under the auspices of the Conference of the British Association for Japanese Studies (BAJS) 2012 in Norwich.

All essays focus on the question as to what extent Fukushima may be considered a turning point for the Japanese literature and art scene, how those unprecedented events have been received so far, and what positions were taken up by Japanese authors, theater directors, and performance artists in their works and productions following 3/11. While some writers set out to write healing narratives for a national trauma, others have taken the events of the triple catastrophy to demand departure from System Japan“ and to cast fundamental doubt on the direction of national values adopted after 1945.

In four analyses literary and fine arts arguments are being brought forth on the protestations for and reclamations of the public space, on a new democratic involvement with alternatives to consumerist society, on psychological impairment and the healing powers of community, and on the radioactive threat to safe food and Japan’s future. Texts by Yoshimoto Banana, Taguchi Randy and action art performances by Takayama Akira, the Chim↑Pom group, and others are introduced, to be followed up by asking what lies behind the medias’ drive for a mobilization of the Japanese art scene, and questions arising from the presentation of literary voices through translation; all of which serves as a critical evaluation of the thesis that Japanese arts and literature wish to return to a greater political involvement after Fukushima.

About Paula

Paula lives in the vortex of academic life. She studies medieval Japanese history.
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