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Memory MapsThe State and Manchuria in Postwar Japan$
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Mariko Asano Tamanoi

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780824832674

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824832674.001.0001

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Memory Map 2

Memory Map 2

Repatriate Memoirs

(p.53) 3 Memory Map 2
Memory Maps

Mariko Asano Tamanoi

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter reads the memoirs of the agrarian colonists who were stranded in Manchuria for many months, or even years, and then repatriated to Japan between 1946 and 1949. Together with the memoirs of repatriates from other parts of the former empire, they constitute the literary subgenre called hikiage-mono and they share several prominent characteristics. First, the central theme of repatriate memoirs is suffering, which their authors, as well as their families, friends, and neighbors, experienced on their way home from Japan's former overseas empire. Second, the memoirs closely resemble each other in narrative structure because authors employ a single formula to recount their memories, beginning their stories with either the Soviet invasion of Manchuria or Japan's capitulation, and ending with their arrival in the ports of disembarkation in China or the entry ports in Japan. Third, majority of authors waited for more than two decades before publishing their memoirs—in order, possibly, to keep a certain distance from the past.

Keywords:   Manchuria, agrarian colonists, Japanese repatriates, Soviet invasion, memories, hikiage-mono, memoirs

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