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In the wake of the disaster of 1945-as Japan was forced to remake itself from "empire" to "nation" in the face of an uncertain global situation-literature and literary criticism emerged as highly contested sites. Today, this remarkable period holds rich potential for opening new dialogue between scholars in Japan and North America as we rethink the historical and contemporary significance of such ongoing questions as the meaning of the American occupation both inside and outside of Japan, the shifting semiotics of "literature" and "politics," and the origins of what would become crucial ideological weapons of the cultural Cold War. The volume consists of three interrelated sections: "Foregrounding the Cold War," "Structures of Concealment: 'Cultural Anxieties, '" and "Continuity and Discontinuity: Subjective Rupture and Dislocation." One way or another, the essays address the process through which new "Japan" was created in the postwar present, which signified an attempt to criticize and reevaluate the past. Examining postwar discourse from various angles, the essays highlight the manner in which anxieties of the future were projected onto the construction of the past, which manifest in varying disavowals and structures of concealment.
About the Author
Atsuko Ueda is associate professor of modern Japanese literature at Princeton University. Michael K. Bourdaghs is Robert S. Ingersoll Professor in East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. Richi Sakakibara is professor of modern Japanese literature at Waseda University. Hirokazu Toeda is professor of modern Japanese literature at Waseda University.