“Life After Return in Postwar Japan: From Fujiwara Tei to Miyao Tomiko”
Friday, November 16, 3-5PM
Location: CEAS 319 (1155 E 60th St)
Discussant: Nicholas Wong, PhD (Comparative Literature)
On November 16th from 3:00pm to 5:00pm the Art and Politics of East Asia workshop will host Nicholas Lambrecht (PhD Candidate, EALC). He will present “Life After Return in Postwar Japan: From Fujiwara Tei to Miyao Tomiko,” a chapter of his dissertation. The abstract is as follows:
This week marks the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I, an event that brought global attention to the issue of postwar repatriation, and November 6 was the 100th anniversary of the birth of Japanese writer Fujiwara Tei (1918–2016). Fujiwara Tei and Miyao Tomiko (1926–2014) were among the more than one million Japanese civilians who repatriated from Manchuria to Japan at the end of the Second World War, a journey that cost tens of thousands their lives. The repatriation literature (hikiage bungaku) of returnees like Fujiwara and Miyao has struggled to maintain the memory of the hardships of postwar repatriation and pass it down to new generations. This paper examines popular narratives about the large-scale repatriation to Japan that took place in the aftermath of the Second World War. The paper traces the development of tropes about repatriation, shows how depictions of repatriation have reflected the postwar lives and evolving perspectives of their authors, and points to factors that influenced the dissemination and style of Japanese-language repatriation literature.