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Contesting the Myths of Samurai BaseballCultural Representations of Japan's National Pastime$
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Christopher T. Keaveney

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9789888455829

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888455829.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HONG KONG SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hongkong.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hong Kong University Press, 2019. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HKSO for personal use.date: 14 October 2019

The One Constant: The Literature of Nostalgia and Catharsis in Postwar Japanese Baseball Fiction

The One Constant: The Literature of Nostalgia and Catharsis in Postwar Japanese Baseball Fiction

Chapter:
(p.93) 4 The One Constant: The Literature of Nostalgia and Catharsis in Postwar Japanese Baseball Fiction
Source:
Contesting the Myths of Samurai Baseball
Author(s):

Christopher T. Keaveney

Publisher:
Hong Kong University Press
DOI:10.5790/hongkong/9789888455829.003.0005

Chapter 4 describes the venerable tradition of baseball fiction in the latter half of the Shōwa period and in the early Heisei period (1989-), an era in which baseball emerged as a true sport of the masses and in which Japan’s economic success paralleled the emergence of professional baseball as Japan’s national pastime. This chapter explores the emergence of several important trends in baseball literature including the appearance of the first examples of baseball mystery literature and the continuation of juvenile fiction about baseball. This latter literary category developed from the body of writing aimed at young readers that had been initiated by Akai tori (Red Bird) and other magazines that made an appearance in the Taishō period (1912-1926), and as baseball was resuscitated and gained popularity in the postwar period, it again emerged as a natural topic for juvenile fiction. While the juvenile baseball fiction of the Occupation Era was cathartic and was intended to help young readers grapple with the harsh realities of the postwar era, the baseball fiction of the 1980s and 1990s, often set in the immediate postwar era, tended to be more nostalgic, portraying baseball as a refuge and source of hope in a time of uncertainty.

Keywords:   Juvenile fiction, Akai Tori (Red Bird), dōshin (child’s heart)

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