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Cervelli, Filippo (2021) 'Shūnen to iu kibō: Abe Kazushige to Usami Rin ni yoru wakamono shōzō.' Nihon bungaku = 日本文學, 70 (10). pp. 22-32.

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Abstract

This article proposes obsession as an important trait in considering narrative representations of alienated youth over the last twenty years. The study focuses on two novels: Nipponia Nippon (2001), by Abe Kazushige, and Oshi, moyu (2020), by Usami Rin. Both works portray high school students embodying the difficulties of living in “today's Japan”, conducting non-conforming lives, unable to meet societal expectations of prosperity, of social and professional success. Incapable of functioning in the real world, nor of maintaining healthy relationships with their families, both protagonists cling obsessively to an idea of purpose in order to fill the emptiness and loneliness of their supposedly meaningless lives. While it may lead to destruction in Abe, and to a sort of rebirth in Usami, obsession is utilized in both novels to express the loneliness of youth in multiple ways, traversing various cultural phenomena associated with youth such as otaku (passionate fans of popular culture and technology), and oshi (whereby fans support a particular member of a music band, show, etc.). Here, obsession is not a one-sided and simplistic critique of society, but a multifaceted portrait of youth through their psychology and their fears.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Japanese literature, Youth, Abe Kazushige, Usami Rin, otaku, oshi, hikikomori
SOAS Departments & Centres: Regional Centres and Institutes > SOAS Japan Research Centre
Departments and Subunits > Department of East Asian Languages & Cultures
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PI Oriental languages and literatures
ISSN: 03869903
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2021 17:38
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/35700
Related URLs: http://nihonbun ... 21/2021_10.html (Organisation URL)

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