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Kawabata Yasunari's The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa as the Territory of the Dispossessed Girl


Hartley, B, Kawabata Yasunari's The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa as the Territory of the Dispossessed Girl, US - Japan Women's Journal: English Supplement, 62, (62) pp. 59-84. ISSN 2330-5029 (2022) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1353/jwj.2022.0009


This article presents the narrative space of Kawabata Yasunari's The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa (Asakusa kurenaidan) as the territory of the dispossessed girl - that is, the territory of young women and girl children who must largely live by selling either their labor or their bodies. Without diminishing the importance of the novel's innovatively modernist elements and depictions of Tokyo modernization, I redirect reader attention to the many girls and young women who pass through the pages of the narrative. I note how the narrator of The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa can be chillingly impervious to the struggles of the girls depicted. This detachment paradoxically creates a strikingly graphic account of how the Asakusa narratorial space operates as an imminent threat to the many girls who gather there.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Literary studies
Research Field:Literature in Japanese
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Understanding past societies
Objective Field:Understanding Asia's past
UTAS Author:Hartley, B (Dr Barbara Hartley)
ID Code:155384
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:Office of the School of Humanities
Deposited On:2023-02-17
Last Modified:2023-02-17

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