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Reading Food in Modern Japanese Literature$
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Tomoko Aoyama

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780824832858

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824832858.001.0001

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Down-to-Earth Eating and Writing (2)

Down-to-Earth Eating and Writing (2)

(p.71) Chapter Three Down-to-Earth Eating and Writing (2)
Reading Food in Modern Japanese Literature

Tomoko Aoyama

University of Hawai'i Press

Chapter 2 showed that down-to-earth representations of food and eating tend to focus on disempowered, marginalized people, although the style and form vary. This chapter begins with an examination of some women's texts that demonstrate that hunger is not simply a physical and socioeconomic issue, but has also a deep connection with gender. It then discusses three novels that depict the hunger and appetite of various social dropouts, outcasts, and marginalized people in the prewar, wartime, and postwar periods. The final text examined is somewhat different from the others, as it does not deal with marginalization or poverty, but with an issue that obviously concerns us all—namely, food safety. Issues concerning the body, feature prominently in the texts discussed. Important also in this chapter are the myths and the discriminations that concern “purity” and “cleanliness” that are closely linked to the body and to the production and consumption of food.

Keywords:   food, eating, hunger, gender, food safety, Japanese literature, body, purity, cleanliness

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