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The Aesthetics of Japanese Fascism$
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Alan Tansman

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780520245051

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520245051.001.0001

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. Filaments of Fascism in Postwar Times

. Filaments of Fascism in Postwar Times

(p.254) 7. Filaments of Fascism in Postwar Times
The Aesthetics of Japanese Fascism

Alan Tansman

University of California Press

This chapter focuses on two 1980s figures—the novelist and essayist Nakagami Kenji, much of whose work can be read as a critique of the centralizing, discriminatory power of the Japanese state and its imperial narrative about one of Japan's historically oppressed minorities, the burakumin; and the singer Misora Hibari, who sang for the working classes in order to heal their suffering after the war—in whom the fascist strain was even more unknowingly held, and, to the reader or audience, barely, if at all, discernible. The hidden quality of the fascist strain in these respective works marks the measure of its durability. Its suitability to both highbrow literature and popular song suggests its easy diffusion throughout culture.

Keywords:   1980s Japan, Nakagami Kenji, working classes, Misora Hibari, fascism

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