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Manchukuo PerspectivesTransnational Approaches to Literary Production$
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Annika A. Culver and Norman Smith

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9789888528134

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888528134.001.0001

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Fairy Tales and the Creation of the “Future Nation” of Manchukuo

Fairy Tales and the Creation of the “Future Nation” of Manchukuo

(p.28) 2 Fairy Tales and the Creation of the “Future Nation” of Manchukuo
Manchukuo Perspectives

Chen Shi

Hong Kong University Press

From 1932 to 1945, imperial Japan established the puppet state of Manchukuo in a region now known as Northeast China. During those 14 years, the region’s literary world did not fall silent, though after the regime's demise, it was scarcely studied by scholars for over three decades. Since 1978, investigation of Manchukuo literature has revived considerably. However, research on children's literature, especially of fairy tales, is still a blank field. This continues, even though substantial numbers of fairy tales were published during the Japanese occupation, consciously and unconsciously shaping what was deemed the "future nation" of Manchukuo. Fairy tales exerted far-reaching influences upon local children's education. This chapter argues, through analysis of fairy tale writers’ careers, texts, and media networks, that these tales were not only entertaining literary creations but constituted powerful propaganda tools to construct and deconstruct the puppet regime’s "Kingly Paradise." Manchukuo’s fairy tales thus deserve greater status in research of the history of modern Chinese – and East Asian – literature.

Keywords:   Manchukuo, indoctrination, fairy tales, propaganda, children, education, colonial culture

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