Annali di Ca’ Foscari. Serie orientale
55 | 2019

Annali di Ca’ Foscari. Serie orientale
55 | 2019

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Topic
chevron_rightLanguages and Cultures of the Middle and Far East

Language
en

ISSN
chevron_right1125-3789

e-ISSN
chevron_right2385-3042

Online issue
Vol. 55 | Num. 1 | Giugno 2019

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Annali di Ca’ Foscari. Serie orientale | 55 | 2019

From Secluded Paradise to Hell on Earth
Hino Ashihei’s Imaginative Geography of Okinawa

Stefano Romagnoli
Sapienza Università di Roma, Italia
stefano.romagnoli@uniroma1.it

DOI 10.30687/AnnOr/2385-3042/2019/01/018

Submitted 13 Feb 2019
Accepted 17 Jun 2019

Abstract

This paper focuses on the writings of Hino Ashihei (1907-1960) about Okinawa, a corpus of twelve works composed over a period of sixteen years that were inspired by three visits to the Ryūkyū Islands. Hino is best known as a writer of war novels, but these twelve works have received almost no attention, partly because they are not considered Okinawan literature since Hino was a native of Kyūshū. The aim of this article is to show that Okinawa is not merely a setting for these neglected writings but rather a complex representation that incorporates the author’s gaze, his stance toward the region, and a topography of power. Moreover, this representation evolved over time to produce an array of at times contrasting images of Okinawa, whether as a tropical paradise, the shield of the nation, or a symbol of its occupation. On the other hand, the narrator’s stance, which is characterised at first by the strength and assertiveness of a first-person narrator, underwent a progressive disengagement that was intended, by this article’s interpretation, to introduce greater objectivity into Hino’s prose.

Keywords
Hino Ashihei. Japan and Okinawa. US-occupied Okinawa. Colonial gaze. Imaginative geographies. Othering.

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License 

Table of contents
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Campo DC Valore

dc.contributor.author

Romagnoli Stefano

dc.title

From Secluded Paradise to Hell on Earth

dc.type

Journal Article

dc.language.iso

en

dc.identifier.uri

http://doi.org/10.14277/AnnOr/2385-3042/2019/01/018

dc.description.abstract

This paper focuses on the writings of Hino Ashihei (1907-1960) about Okinawa, a corpus of twelve works composed over a period of sixteen years that were inspired by three visits to the Ryūkyū Islands. Hino is best known as a writer of war novels, but these twelve works have received almost no attention, partly because they are not considered Okinawan literature since Hino was a native of Kyūshū. The aim of this article is to show that Okinawa is not merely a setting for these neglected writings but rather a complex representation that incorporates the author’s gaze, his stance toward the region, and a topography of power. Moreover, this representation evolved over time to produce an array of at times contrasting images of Okinawa, whether as a tropical paradise, the shield of the nation, or a symbol of its occupation. On the other hand, the narrator’s stance, which is characterised at first by the strength and assertiveness of a first-person narrator, underwent a progressive disengagement that was intended, by this article’s interpretation, to introduce greater objectivity into Hino’s prose.

dc.relation.ispartof

Annali di Ca’ Foscari. Serie orientale

dc.relation.ispartof

Vol. 55 | Num. 1 | Giugno 2019

dc.publisher

Edizioni Ca’ Foscari - Digital Publishing

dc.date.issued

2019-06-27

dc.dateAccepted

2019-02-13

dc.dateSubmitted

2019-06-17

dc.identifier.issn

1125-3789

dc.identifier.eissn

2385-3042

dc.rights

Creative Commons 4.0 Attribution alone

dc.rights.uri

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

dc.subject

Hino Ashihei

dc.subject

Japan and Okinawa

dc.subject

US-occupied Okinawa

dc.subject

Colonial gaze

dc.subject

Imaginative geographies

dc.subject

Othering

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55 | 2019

Table of contents