The Influence of Manchuria Experience on Abe Kobo`s Post – war Novels

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Yuan Jiahui


The Japanese writer Abe Kobo spent sixteen years in Manchuria in his early years and returned to Japan after World War II, which provides a unique colonial experience for his work. The alienation of social relations, the reemergence of war memories, and the crisis of national modernization revealed in his postwar novels are closely related to Abe's dual identity as both a Japanese expatriate as the aggressor and one who grew up in China, the invaded side. His depictions of post – war Japanese cities, which reflect the period of rapid economic growth in Japan and the view of urban he developed in the colonial Chinese city Fengtian (Shenyang), use the imagery of walls, cocoons, sand caves, and other enclosed spaces to express the spiritual desolation and the alienation between individuals beneath the surface of prosperity. His colonial experience enabled him to capture keenly the changes in social relations in postwar Japan that were foreign to him as a returned expatriate at the time, and deepened his questioning of the ambiguous homeland and the traditional collectivism that are major themes throughout his novels.

Published: Nov 14, 2022

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Colonial, Postcolonial, Decolonial and Neocolonial Experiences:Rewriting Culture