ABSTRACT. Tawada Yōko’s novel Kentōshi (translated in the USA as The Emissary and in Great Britain as The Last Children of Tokyo) published in Japan in 2014, illustrated a major issue of contemporary literature: the frailty of the human being. In Japan, after the disaster from Fukushima, Tawada’s dystopic novel was considered a warning regarding the major challenges which human beings may have to deal with, in the event of surviving a major catastrophe and living in a post-apocalyptic world. In a different way, Murata Sayaka’s novel Konbini ningen (translated in English as Convenience Store Woman), published two years later, reiterated the same literary theme by reminding people of their frail human condition in a hostile cultural environment due to the rigid morals of a society still fond of Confucian female stereotyped images projected into the contemporary model of ‘wise mother and good wife’ as a result of culturally induced goals – among them happiness being regarded as an achievable goal only through marriage. The two Japanese female authors warn their readers about the fundamental frailty of the human being through their characters’ challenges. The present study is an attempt at answering whether their leading characters manage to project any exits out of the suffocating milieu or find themselves limited to mere survival in conditions too adverse for them to overcome.

Keywords: Human condition; Murata Sayaka; Tawada Yōko; dystopia; iwakan

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
University of Bucharest;
Bucharest, Romania

Home | About Us | Events | Our Team | Contributors | Peer Reviewers | Editing Services | Books | Contact | Online Access

© 2009 Addleton Academic Publishers. All Rights Reserved.

Joomla templates by Joomlashine