This is the second talk in 'Read Japan: A Booklover's Guide to Japanese Literature in Translation, 1960 - Now', a three-part series introducing contemporary Japanese fiction.
In the 1980s, Japanese society began to experience some of the downsides of rapid economic growth. The media of the time coined the term ‘shin-jinrui’ (‘new humans’) to refer to the new generation that had grown up in a time of affluence and had no experience of the hardship of wartime and the early postwar years. These young people were portrayed as uninterested in the value of hard work and spirit of sacrifice that had inspired postwar reconstruction, and as result were seen as individualistic, superficial, and lacking political consciousness.
In the realm of literature, a new generation of authors, from Ryū Murakami and Haruki Murakami to Banana Yoshimoto and Amy Yamada, emerged to give voice to the distinctive combination of disillusionment and hope that characterised this generation.
This talk by Rebecca Suter (Associate Professor in Japanese Studies at the University of Sydney) examines a range of literary works of the 1980s and 1990s and the ways in which they reflected and affected the social transformations of their time.
A recommended reading list will be provided at the end of the session. Attendees can also receive a 20% discount voucher from Books Kinokuniya Sydney, redeemable online, and will have a chance to win a book pack themed around the reading list for this talk, also courtesy of Books Kinokuniya Sydney.
'Read Japan: A Booklover's Guide to Japanese Literature in Translation, 1960 - Now' explores fiction produced in Japan through three talks. Each talk focuses on a 20-year period (1960s-70s, 1980s-90s, 2000-present), discussing expert picks from the literature of the time and highlighting the social and cultural context that informed them. Read Japan runs on Thursday nights from March 11 - 25, 2021, presented by The Japan Foundation, Sydney.
Onsite & online. Free; registration essential.
Due to capacity limitations, onsite attendees must register to attend this event and will be required to check in at reception on arrival. In-person attendees are encouraged to wear a facemask. Conditions for onsite attendance of this event are subject to change based on COVID-19 restrictions.
Online attendance also available.