Ms Megumi Yamaguchi1
1University Of Otago, New Zealand
The sheer magnitude of the triple disaster of the earthquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear incident on March 11, 2011 has created representational challenges in literary responses. Whereas these challenges have led to the rejection of simplified meanings and reassuring messages expressed in an overt manner, the severity of the disaster has generated a need for narratives of hope. In such post-3.11 conditions, a number of non-realistic narrative modes of fiction in the form of manga have played a significant role. Their interpretive latitude provides space for readers to envision alternative ways of being. This paper investigates the ways in which post-3.11 fantastical manga prompts thoughts on human interdependence and care for others in a post-nuclear age. The analysis of Yoko Kondo’s Goshiki no Fune (Five coloured ship, 2014) focuses on two main narrative techniques: heavy focalisation which provides access to the experiencing mind of characters, and intertextual references which invite negotiative reading. The manga incorporates existing literary and visual intertexts which have been historically associated with disasters. Such intertexts, which entail cultural ideas in relation to disasters, thus enable a dialogue with Japanese disaster-related discourses of the past.
Megumi is currently a PhD student in the Department of Languages and Cultures at the University of Otago. Her research interest is Japanese manga in relation to the triple disaster of March 11, 2011. She is particularly interested in the use of intertextuality to invite negotiative reading of post-3.11 manga.