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Of Brutality And Betrayal: Youthful Fiction And The Legacy Of The Asia Pacific War

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines Ōe Kenzaburo's first novel, Memushiri kouchi, and Fukasaku Kinji's film Batoru rowaiaru as allegorical critiques of Japanese nationalist wartime indoctrination and postwar evasion. These texts present harsh criticisms of a government which promised its citizens that Japan could win the War and yet which, after defeat, was quick to ignore the peoples sacrifices. Thus, both works condemn the fallacy of official war memories that suppress the sheer brutality of the War. The graphic images of extreme violence in both texts are not simply gratuitous but are shocking reminders of the harsh reality of war as experienced by Ōe and Fukusaku as youths. Representation of the violenceboth physical and psychologicalto which they were subjected is the means these two artists employ to condemn the viciousness of war.

Keywords: Ōe Kenzaburo; Asia Pacific War; Batoru rowaiaru; brutality; Fukasaku Kinji; Memushiri kouchi

10.1163/ej.9789004182981.i-362.74
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004182981.i-362.74
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