Lost in Alienation or Lost in an Alien Nation: Alienation, Otherness and Intertextuality in Yahagi Toshihiko’s “Rarara kagaku no ko”

By Phillip Musgrave.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

A recent work of Yahagi Toshihiko, “Rarara kagaku no ko” lends itself to examination using theories of otherness, alienation and the use of intertextuality. Yahagi himself has been seen as a somewhat ‘one man activist’ and this persona of the author is imbued in these novels. This paper will determine the extent this has influenced his texts. The paper will also examine the relation between place, (with its significance in the narrative) and its position in varying time frames throughout the novel. A model of otherness set up by Irmela Hijiya-Kirschnereit will be utilised to examine the various othering effects Yahagi has presented in this novel, and also to see more closely the use of proper nouns and descriptions of place as well as how characters are employed in the narrative.

Keywords: Irmela Hijiya-Kirschnereit, Yahagi Toshihiko, Zenkyōtō, Verfremdungseffekt, Shibuya, Roppongi, Odaiba, Astroboy, Urashima Tarō

The International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 5, Issue 7, pp.55-64. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 649.643KB).

Phillip Musgrave

Casual Lecturer and Candidate for PhD, Japanese Studies, Department of Asian Languages, Division of Humanities, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Phillip is a PhD candidate at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. He teaches Japanese Reading at Macquarie University and also is a tutor for students of the IB Japanese ab initio course. His research interest is the notion of place in the narratives of Modern Japanese Literature, with a special interest in urban space and its description in the Modern Japanese Novel. His present academic interest follows on from an earlier but related interest in the literature that emerged from the aftermath of the bursting of the Japanese economic bubble. Phillip comes to his doctorate after a career that has included high school teaching of Japanese, part time lecturing at university in Japanese programmes, and time spent in Japan, totalling about nine and a half years, where he taught English, researched both Japanese language teaching and language acquisition, Japanese Literature and also took on a position in editing English proficiency tests in Japan.

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