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Russo-Japanese War And Literary Expression: Voice, Gender And Colonialism

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Chapter Summary

This chapter traces the cultural conditions during the time of the Russo-Japanese War. It outlines the development of modern war literature in Japan, its difference from previous war literature and its implications for the development of the genre. The chapter ventures into the terrain of the role gender played in representing the war culture. It considers the feminine and masculine articulations of opinions towards the war through an examination of wartime material culture and the influence of the popular imagination on the construction of the heroic. Gender-specific war culture is explored through the life story of Kawahara Misaoko (Sokō), often described as the first female spy in Japanese history. The chapter explores the effects of war on culture at the turn of the century and its connections to later practice. The militarism and nationalism that emerged from the Russo-Japanese War survived and reared its ugly head in the Pacific War.

Keywords: colonialism; feminine articulations; Kawahara Misaoko; modern war literature; Russo-Japanese War; war culture



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