The 32nd Ueno Seminar of WAN December 11, 2016 Musashino City, Tokyo, Japan

The Devouring Empire: “Eating the Other” in Modern Japanese Narratives and Memories

HORIGUCHI Noriko J. Associate Professor of Modern Japanese Literature Department of Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures University of Tennessee

Time & Day: 4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m., Sunday, December 11, 2016

Venue: Meeting Room, 2nd floor, Sky Gate Tower, Musashino Towers 1 Naka-machi, Musashino City, Tokyo, Japan (2 minute walk from North Exit of Mitaka Station, JR Chuo Line)

Abstract of the Lecture: The Devouring Empire: “Eating the Other” in Modern Japanese Narratives and Memories (With the focus on Tanizaki Jun’ichiro, Hayashi Fumiko, and Naruse Mikio’s Texts)

Starvation and malnutrition contributed to 60 percent of the Japanese military’s casualties during the Asia-Pacific War and also to the deaths of civilians in Japan in the years following the end of the war. On the one hand, food is a literal source of sustenance; lack of food weakens bodies and endangers their survival. On the other hand, food is a rich source of metaphor that contributed to the narratives and memories of the creation, expansion, and collapse of the modern Japanese empire.

This presentation will (1) problematize the concept and acts of “eating the other,” in which eating is equated with consumption, assimilation, and expulsion (Jacques Derrida, bell hooks); (2) locate the self that starves, desires, and eats the other gender, class, race, and ethnicity which constitute the modern Japanese empire; and (3) explore some of these examples in the literary and visual texts produced by Tanizaki Jun’ichiro, Hayashi Fumiko, and Naruse Mikio. My analysis of the history of the devouring empire is posited in conjunction with the possibility of alternative narratives of survival and co-existence that do not rely on the substantive dualism of the self that eats the other.

Social Program: A BYOB or a potluck party is planned to be held from 6:30 pm in the Sky Lounge, Sky Cross Tower, Musashino Towers. Participants will be informed of details after registration.

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