Globalism and Nationalism in Transnational Japanese Literature
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During the Meiji Era, when Japan finally opened its borders after centuries of isolation, Japanese writers began to look outwards towards countries like the United States. At the same time, the West gained greater awareness of Japan. Writing from the time period reflects Japan’s curiosity, but also a certain wariness that they could end up colonized and divided like China. In the time leading up to WWII, Japan for a second time closed itself off to the West. However, after the war, Japan again focused on global connections, and many writers began moving out of Japan. Transnational Japanese literature from the Meiji Era to the present offers insight into Japan’s view of the world – a view that has little study in the Western world. There are many articles on how the West views Japan, and how Japanese migrants struggle to live in the West. However, there is little research into nationalism and globalization within Japanese writers. This paper examines the themes of nationalism and globalization within transnational Japanese writers Lafcadio Hearn, Sugimoto Estu, Shimazaki Tōson, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Murakami Haruki. By examining how each author’s definition of Japaneseness colludes with the international affairs of their time period, I examine how internationalism shaped Japanese nationalism throughout modern history.
Gould, Laura V (2016). Globalism and Nationalism in Transnational Japanese Literature. Undergraduate Research Scholars Program. Available electronically from