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Nakagami, JapanBuraku and the Writing of Ethnicity$
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Anne McKnight

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816672851

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816672851.001.0001

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Confession and the Crisis of Buraku Writing in the 1970s

Confession and the Crisis of Buraku Writing in the 1970s

(p.65) Chapter 2 Confession and the Crisis of Buraku Writing in the 1970s
Nakagami, Japan

Anne McKnight

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter focuses on the theme of confession, engaged by writers in the 1970s who opted to use buraku characters and settings as the focus of their works. It features Toson Shimazaki’s novel The Broken Commandment, which paved the way for the use of confessional writing in the depiction of buraku characters and examining their sense of belongingness within the state. The buraku activists who were offended by the text reacted to the realist descriptions, dubbed as the “outwardly legible signs,” distinguishing the buraku people, which are indicative of social discrimination. The chapter cites avant-garde poetry and leftist journals as examples of other genres containing the language of discrimination influenced by the theme of confession. These texts triggered activist fury as they further supported the heightened sense of relationship between the buraku identity and a culture of pathology.

Keywords:   confessional writing, buraku setting, The Broken Commandment, Toson Shimazaki, buraku activists, avant-garde poetry, leftist journals, buraku identity, cultural pathology

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