Organized Panel Session
Western detective fiction had reached readers around the globe, gaining a significant number of readers in early twentieth-century Japan and Korea. Translations of Western novels, notably works by Edgar Allan Poe, Etienne Èmile Gaboriau, Fortuné du Boisgobey, Maurice Leblanc, and Arthur Conan Doyle enjoyed high popularity in the two countries where native detective fiction writers actively produced their creative works from the mid 1920s. The Euro-American detective fiction developed as crime and policing in metropoles and their colonies became a great concern for social control for the Western empires. And figures of colonized/non-Western others in the genre often reflect the imperial desire to control, fantasy of unknown others, and the fear of social disorder, among others. Portrayals of outlaws, fugitives, and detectives in the genre thus often embody the ambiguous and contentious relationship between the ‘centre’ and the ‘periphery’ of the empire. This panel aims to examine detective fictions that were produced in Japan and colonial Korea between the late 1920s and the early 1940s as an attempt to decode the relationship and to see how the genre became a critical tool for authors and readers to respond to the socioeconomic reality in the Japanese empire. Presenters in this panel examine detective fictions penned by Koreans and Japanese residents in colonial Korea and by Japanese in Japan. Drawing detective fictions from various locations of the empire is intended to complicate the centre/periphery dichotomy; and to identify sources of chasm between them.