Keiko, a 10 year old girl, has been kidnapped on her way home from ballet class. Her abductor keeps her as a prisoner in the upstairs of the factory where he works, and one year has passed before the factory owner's wife discovers and frees her. Twenty-five years later Keiko, now a famous writer, leaves her husband without a word except for a post-it note upon her latest novel’s manuscript, titled 'Zangyakuki'. Alongside the novel lies a letter from her abductor, Kenji, who recently has been released from prison. 'Zangyakuki' focuses on Keiko’s relationship with Kenji during her captivity, and the reader relives Keiko’s experience through her eyes. But the recurring questions are: what is fiction and what is real? what is said and what is unsaid? In Zangyakuki, Kirino Natsuo investigates a suffering rooted before and beyond the outrage, into the dirty suburbs, into the empty eyes of people watching without seeing, into Keiko’s ill-functioning family. My presentation will focus on the dynamics of inclusion/exclusion emerging in (broken) family relationship, society and urban spaces which are at the core of the novel, and on the blurred border between (cruel) affectivity and violence: the ambiguous relationship between Keiko and Kenji stems from their being both ‘outside/r’ (Keiko was bullied prior to her kidnapping; her family was already broken) and fated to be forgotten. During the Nineties, Japan went through a series of deep transformations on a political, economic, social and cultural level. Family is certainly one of the areas in which this is more evident (Rebick and Takenaka, 2009; Kumagai e Ishii-Kuntz, 2016). Trough Kirino eyes we can witness the transformations and disintegration of contemporary family: real or imaginary, cruel or cozy, desired or rejected, often in a precarious balance in the ambivalent space created between real and ideal.

Translating Family Violence in Contemporary Japanese Literature: Dynamics of (Cruel) Affectivity in Zangyakuki by Kirino Natsuo

PAOLA SCROLAVEZZA
2020

Abstract

Keiko, a 10 year old girl, has been kidnapped on her way home from ballet class. Her abductor keeps her as a prisoner in the upstairs of the factory where he works, and one year has passed before the factory owner's wife discovers and frees her. Twenty-five years later Keiko, now a famous writer, leaves her husband without a word except for a post-it note upon her latest novel’s manuscript, titled 'Zangyakuki'. Alongside the novel lies a letter from her abductor, Kenji, who recently has been released from prison. 'Zangyakuki' focuses on Keiko’s relationship with Kenji during her captivity, and the reader relives Keiko’s experience through her eyes. But the recurring questions are: what is fiction and what is real? what is said and what is unsaid? In Zangyakuki, Kirino Natsuo investigates a suffering rooted before and beyond the outrage, into the dirty suburbs, into the empty eyes of people watching without seeing, into Keiko’s ill-functioning family. My presentation will focus on the dynamics of inclusion/exclusion emerging in (broken) family relationship, society and urban spaces which are at the core of the novel, and on the blurred border between (cruel) affectivity and violence: the ambiguous relationship between Keiko and Kenji stems from their being both ‘outside/r’ (Keiko was bullied prior to her kidnapping; her family was already broken) and fated to be forgotten. During the Nineties, Japan went through a series of deep transformations on a political, economic, social and cultural level. Family is certainly one of the areas in which this is more evident (Rebick and Takenaka, 2009; Kumagai e Ishii-Kuntz, 2016). Trough Kirino eyes we can witness the transformations and disintegration of contemporary family: real or imaginary, cruel or cozy, desired or rejected, often in a precarious balance in the ambivalent space created between real and ideal.
Violence, Justice, and Honor in Japan’s Literary Cultures
198
208
PAOLA SCROLAVEZZA
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/780638
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