Arts and Culture
Mainstream post-Fukushima literature perpetuates the routines of the Japanese cultural life within a mass-mediated reality. A large part of the publishing scene follows the agenda of appeasement and 'healing' (iyashi). However, there also were a few representatives of a literary community that still clings to the values of Japanese postwar democracy. They state their opinions frankly, or show aspects of an unwanted reality in their fictional representation of 3.11. To mention are the late renowned writer Tsushima Yûko 津島 佑子 (1947-2016), Kirino Natsuo, Yoshimura Man’ichi and Tawada Yôko. In fact, their works suggest that Japanese “post-disaster literature” (shinsaigo bungaku) has made a contribution to today’s world literature in the direction of what was formally known as “political literature”.
In "Hangenki wo iwatte" (2016), Tsushima refers to the German 'Hitler Jugend' when she characterizes a dystopian totalitarian Japanese society in the near future, where the youth has undergone a mental transformation. Tawada’s protagonist in "Kentôshi" (2014), Yoshiro, once a friend of the German woman Hildegard, takes care of his grandson Mumei who represents a younger generation in post-apocalyptic Japan that already has mutated genes. While Tsushima describes totalitarian pedagogy in order to expose anti-democratic and inhuman structures under nuclear regimes, Tawada thinks of totally new forms of existence and of a challenging conviviality with the nuclear.