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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, 2020. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HKSO for personal use.date: 18 February 2020

Game On: Encounters with the Magic of Baseball in Japanese Postmodern Fiction

Game On: Encounters with the Magic of Baseball in Japanese Postmodern Fiction

(p.123) 5 Game On: Encounters with the Magic of Baseball in Japanese Postmodern Fiction
Contesting the Myths of Samurai Baseball

Christopher T. Keaveney

Hong Kong University Press

Chapter 5 builds upon the foundation established in Chapter 4 by examining a particular approach to literature, Postmodernism, and describing how the postmodern literature that emerged in the 1980s and 1990s in Japan, indebted to postmodern baseball fiction in the United States, exemplifies the continuing appeal of baseball as a literary subject and of baseball’s capacity to adapt to cultural shifts. The chapter provides analyses of four baseball-themed works including fiction by the well-know postmodern novelists Murakami Haruki and Takahashi Genichirō, and more recent works by Nagao Seio and Enjō Tō, to demonstrate the possibilities that baseball fiction offers for avant-garde literary experimentation, possibilities exploited in American literature by writers from Philip Roth to Bernard Malamud. This chapter also charts how, ironically, Nagao Seio in his novel Shiki and Sōseki’s Big Game, achieves a remarkable pastiche in which one of the protagonists is none other than Masaoka Shiki with whom this survey of cultural representations of baseball in Japan begins.

Keywords:   Postmodernism, pastiche, Murakami Haruki

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