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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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The Literary Politics of Harmonization and Dissonance

The Literary Politics of Harmonization and Dissonance

Heterolingual Address in Nogawa Takashi’s “The People Who Go to the Hamlet”

(p.255) 16 The Literary Politics of Harmonization and Dissonance
Manchukuo Perspectives

Stephen Poland

Hong Kong University Press

In 1941, the writer Nogawa Takashi (1901-1944) was both nominated for the Akutagawa Prize in Japan and arrested in Manchukuo for his involvement in the Cooperative Movement (gassakusha undō) in rural north Manchuria. This dissonance between the literary recognition of Nogawa in the imperial metropole and his tragic fate—he died in prison three years after his arrest—marks him as an emblematic figure of the complexities of Manchukuo and the Japanese empire. Drawing on Naoki Sakai’s concept of heterolingual address, this chapter examines how Nogawa’s short story “The People Who Go to the Hamlet” (“Tonzu ni iku hitobito”) narratively stages ethnic interaction in the Cooperative Movement as a process of articulation between individuals in order to explore the (im)possibility of cross-class, cross-ethnic alliance. In contrast with the dominant state metaphor of “ethnic harmony” as a state of being between different peoples, Nogawa’s fiction both portrays and performs acts of “harmonization” and dissonance through grassroots organizing in a way that acknowledges the reality of class and ethnic difference, while also scrutinizing these differences and maintaining their possible permeability.

Keywords:   Nogawa Takashi, Cooperative Movement, Satō Daishirō, Heterolingual Address, ethnic literature, leftist writers

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