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Paradox and RepresentationSilenced Voices in the Narratives of Nakagami Kenji$
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Machiko Ishikawa

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501751943

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501751943.001.0001

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The Voice of an Illegitimate Son

The Voice of an Illegitimate Son

(p.135) Chapter 3 The Voice of an Illegitimate Son
Paradox and Representation

Machiko Ishikawa

Cornell University Press

This chapter gives a close rereading of Nakagami's most well-known work, the Akiyuki trilogy: “Misaki,” Kareki nada, and Chi no hate shijō no toki. It particularly focuses on Nakagami's depiction of the voice of a transgressive man who is oppressed by the fragmentation of the relationship between him and his family and also his subaltern (Burakumin) community during the dismantlement of the Kumano Burakumin homeland. Particular attention is paid to how Nakagami's theory of monogatari (narrative) operates to depict the voice of the Kasuga Burakumin. Of particular importance is the third novel in the trilogy, Chi no hate shijō no toki. Although this chapter provides an overview of “Misaki,” and Kareki nada, the focus of the textual analysis is on how Nakagami, a writer who consciously chose to “become a Burakumin,” represents the Burakumin voice in Chi no hate shijō no toki. It also discusses the Akiyuki trilogy as an example of Nakagami's unique writing practice that derived from overlaying the modern Japanese Western-influenced naturalist literature mode with the more traditional Japanese narrative mode.

Keywords:   Akiyuki trilogy, Misaki, Kareki nada, monogatari, Japanese narrative mode, Western naturalist literature, transgressive man, illegitimate son, Burakumin voice

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