Possible Table of Contents

One possible organizational strategy

NOTE: Authors in parentheses are meant as examples and not an exhaustive list

Part I             Contexts

  • Continuity and change from the prewar era
  • The novel and the shōsetsu
  • Language and the novel (genbun’itchi to Murakami Haruki)
  • I-novel and autobiographical fiction (Ōe Kenzaburō and Dazai Osamu)
  • Gender and the postwar resurgence of female authors (Hayashi Fumiko, Enchi Fumiko, Okamoto Kaneko, Kōno Taeko, Tsushima Yuko)
  • Orientalism and the teaching of Japanese literature
  • Marxism and resisting the state (Abe Kōbō)

Part II             War and memory in postwar Japanese literature

  • War crimes (Hirabayashi Taiko, Mishima Yukio, Kojima Nobuo, Endō Shūsaku, Ōoka Shōhei)
  • The atomic bombs (Ibuse Masuji, Hara Tamiki, Ōta Yōko, Ōe Kenzaburō)
  • Soldiers’ experiences (Ōoka Shōhei, Kojima Nobuo)
  • The homefront (Kōno Taeko, Dazai Osamu)
  • Occupation (Dazai Osamu, Sakaguchi Ango, Nosaka Akiyuki, Murakami Ryū, Burai-ha writers)

Part III            The Canon

  • Akutagawa Prize, Naoki Prize, and the Nobel Prize
  • Two Nobel speeches, two visions of Japan (Ōe and Kawabata)
  • English translation and canonization (Kawabata, Mishima and Tanizaki)
  • Global authors (Mishima Yukio, Abe Kōbō, and Murakami Haruki)

Part IV            Teaching gender and sexuality in postwar Japanese fiction

  • “Joryū bungaku” (“Women’s literature”) and its critics (Hayashi Fumiko, Enchi Fumiko, Okamoto Kaneko, Kōno Taeko, Tsushima Yuko, Kanai Mieko, Yamada Amy, Yoshimoto Banana)
  • The body in postwar Japanese literature (Tamura Taijirō, Takamoto Takako, Noma Hiroshi, Sakaguchi Ango)
  • Non-normative sexuality and Japanese literature (Mishima Yukio, Matsuura Rieko, Murakami Haruki, Yamada Amy)

Part V             Marginalized people in Japanese literature

  • Burakumin (Nakagami Kenji)
  • Resident Koreans (Yū Miri, Yi Yang-ji, Kim Tal-su)
  • Okinawan literature
  • Ainu literature

Part VI            Postwar Japanese literature and the environment

  •  Pollution and Japanese literature (Ishimure Michiko, Ariyoshi Sawako)
  • Representations of nature (Ibuse Masuji)
  • Natural and unnatural disasters in postwar Japanese literature (Murakami Haruki, Tawada Yōko, Kawakami Hiromi)

Part VII          Cross-cultural encounters

  • Expats and outsiders: “Nihongo” literature and writers from elsewhere (Tawada Yōko, Hideo Levy, Mizumura Minae)
  • Japanese authors abroad (Endō Shūsaku, Murakami Haruki)

Part VIII         Pedagogical, institutional, and classroom contexts

  • Teaching Japanese literature in Japan (short term study abroad)
  • Japanese literature in a medical school
  • Japanese literature in a world literature survey
  • Japanese literature in the language classroom