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OSHINO Takeshi

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OSHINO Takeshi Professor

Division/Department
Linguistics and Literature / Filmology and Cultural Studies of Representation
Specialized Field
Modern Japanese literature, Cultural Studies
Research Subject
Analysis of ideology and the function of aesthetics in texts by Natsume Soseki, Miyazawa Kenji and Sakaguchi Ango. Re-evaluation of the place of the mystery genre in literary history. Research changes in the visual representation of youth from a gender studies perspective.
Website
Japanese page
Office/Lab.
Office/Lab.:403
E-mail.:toshino(at)let.hokudai.ac.jp
Replace "(at)" with "@" when sending email.
TEL.:+81-11-706-4034
FAX.:+81-11-706-4034

Lab. Letters: Messages from the Laboratory

Subcultures that emerged after World War II:
Read literary works critically.

The subcultures in which students have taken part in recent years emerged after World War II. With Japan's revival from defeat, fathers became corporate warriors, while mothers became full-time homemakers, leading to the creation of a new family model with close relationship between mothers and children. In the 1970s, a social structure where women and children played a major role as consumers emerged, leading to the thriving of subcultures that developed into the current otaku (nerd enthusiast) and kawaii (hypercuteness) cultures.
Interestingly enough, it was found that the monthly allowance of children in the 1970s is roughly equivalent in value to that of the children in modern times, even allowing for the high commodity prices then. By looking into the historical backdrops behind literary works and the types of media that promoted these works, you can deeply and critically read the distinguishing characteristics of the works.

  • The Shojo-no-tomo girls’ magazine, which dominated the early Showa period (the 1930s) A rare reprinted edition of Treasure Set: Furoku (attached items) of Showa Drawn by Junichi Nakahara, published as a centennial edition
  • Another reprinted edition: Harimaze Nempu, written by Rampo Edogawa A rare book of clipped articles and floorplans of rooms holding literary works and documents

A tributary has developed into the main stream, a mirror reflecting its times, its attractions transmitted across national borders.

The research themes that the students under my supervision have chosen cover various writers from various categories, including Rampo Edogawa, Nobuko Yoshiya, Kenji Miyazawa, Riichi Yokomitsu, Haruki Murakami and Mamoru Oshii. Some students have developed an interest in characters in modern mysteries, such as Ishin Nishio. Subcultures, which used to be regarded as tributaries, have become main streams, mirrors that reflect their times and exert an immense influence on young people. The essence of Japan, a mysterious country that the world once saw through ukiyo-e woodblock prints, is currently condensed into cartoons and animations that are popular around the world. The writer I wish to research is Haruki Murakami. I’d like to identify how his works have permeated to reach people in subcultures.

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