Literary Representations of Japan: At the Intersection of David Mitchell and Haruki Murakami’s Worlds
by Eugenia Prasol
This book will focus on analyzing the different aspects of Japan's representation in the novels of Haruki Murakami and David Mitchell. It is proven that Murakami creates and recreates Japan without implementing any orientalist features or exotic imagery. In the works of both authors, the intent to depict a new world of Japan stripped of traditional stereotypical traits becomes clear. The difference between Murakami and Mitchell's representation of Japan lies in the difference between Japan as seen by the Japanese and Japan as seen by modern Westerners, but both are 'correct' images of Japan. It is a recreation of the global image of Japan.
In that sense, the texts of Murakami and Mitchell are complementary representations of Japan through East-West cultural dialogue. Studying the representations of Japan and Japanese national character helps to understand the role of Murakami and Mitchell in the formation of a new image of Japan, the de-stereotyping of anachronistic ideas about Japanese national exclusivity, enriching by doing so the world literature with new visions of the country and its culture.
The purpose of the comparative analysis of English and Japanese literary works performed in this work is to reveal both deep analogies and differences in the representation of the image of Japan, actualizing the national specificity of the texts. This research advances the understanding of how both general and specific components of literary representations of Japan and Japaneseness are manifested in the East-West cultural dialogue.
Murakami Haruki’s Works as Intertextual Component of the Representation of Japan in the “Japanese” Novels of David Mitchell
1.1 Problem Statement
1.2 Murakami Haruki: A Brief Outline of the Intercultural Influences on His Work
1.3 David Mitchell: The Writing Path and Creative Orienteers
1.4 Intertextuality, Literary Influences and the Image of Japan in the Works of Murakami Haruki and David Mitchell
The Concept of Techno-Orientalism and Techno-Images of Japan in the Works of Murakami Haruki and David Mitchell
2.1 Perceptions of Japan through Different Types of Orientalism
2.2 Techno-Images of Japan in the Works of David Mitchell and Murakami Haruki
2.2.1 “Japanese” Novels by David Mitchell through the Concepts of Techno-Orientalism and Remediation
2.2.2 Dystopian Features of Techno-Images in Murakami’s Works
Representations of Violence as Part of the Image of Japan in the Works of David Mitchell and Murakami Haruki
3.1 Theoretical Background and Types of Violence
3.2 Murakami’s Position on Violence
3.3 Intertextuality of the Religious Violence in David Mitchell’s Ghostwritten
3.4 Comparative Analysis of the Representations of Religious Violence
3.5 Individual and Domestic Violence in Murakami’s Works
3.6 Historical Violence in Murakami’s Representations of Wartime Japan
3.7 Aesthetisation and Deconstruction of the Samurai Ethics in Number9Dream
Eugenia Prasol received an MA in Global Humanities and Social Studies, from Nagasaki University, in 2020, where she also worked as a teaching assistant. Prior to that, she received a BA in Japanese Language and Literature (2007) and an MA in Comparative Literature (2008) in Dnipropetrovsk National University, Ukraine, where she worked as a lecturer, teaching Japanese language and literature (2008-2016). Her research interests focus on contemporary Japanese studies, comparative studies, literary and cultural representations, and the image of Japan inside and outside the country studied on the basis of literary works of English, American, and Japanese authors.
Comparative literature, imagology, Japanese studies, stereotypes, national identity, literary representation, orientalism, techno-orientalism, violence and literature