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4: Beyond Dualism in ‘Snow Crossing’ (Yukiwatari)

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores how 'Yukiwatari' uses a symbolic exchange between two different groups of children, human and animal, to push beyond dualistic views of the universe. The exchange occurs when two children go out to play in the snow. When they meet a fox cub, they cross into a different setting, an extraordinary space and time where 'anything is possible', offering a heterocosm for the 'crossing' of the title. 'Yukiwatari' is one of the few tales published while Kenji was still alive, and the only one for which he received a small fee. It first appeared in the journal Aikoku Fujin (Patriotic Woman) in two parts, in December 1921 and January 1922. All of Kenji's tales are, in one way or another, about transcending dualism, but 'Yukiwatari' in particular constructs a set of dualistic relationships that are gradually broken down.

Keywords: Aikoku Fujin; dualism; fox cub; Miyazawa Kenji; Yukiwatari



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