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The Journal of Japanese Language Literature Studies > Volume 2(1); 2015 > Article
Border Crossings: The Journal of Japanese-Language Literature Studies 2015;2(1): 95-109.
doi: https://doi.org/10.22628/bcjjl.2015.2.1.95
Yuanchao SHAN
Correspondence  Yuanchao SHAN ,Email: shan@ed.sojo-u.ac.jp
Published online: 30 June 2015.
Copyright ©2015 The Global Institute for Japanese Studies, Korea University
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
In 1942, in the middle of The Great East Asian War (World War II), two novels sharing the same title, Opium War, were published in Manshukoku and Japan. One is Sutezou Umemoto’s Opium War published in Sinkyo on July 15 and the other is Osaragi Jiro’s published in Tokyo on October 17. Both were augmented and expanded editions of a publication. This study undertakes to evaluate these two novels to present views on the relationship of the respective works with their political and social context, while clearifying how the novels were formed. Furthermore, it considers several conundrums of historical novels written during wartime. The two novels are definitely contrastive not only from the viewpoint of the relationship to their political and social context but also from the viewpoint of the treatment of a subject. Sutezou Umemoto’s Opium War has a positive view of the war since it was written based on the Opium War study by Yano Niichi and reveals a new pattern of historical novel creation, i.e., a combination of both novel and historical study aligned with national policy. On the other hand, Osaragi Jiro’s Opium War begins with the Phaeton incident at Nagasaki with the main character being a Japanese national involved in the incident. Though this novel has only a first section, it depicts the attitude of the author who tried to maintain distance from the incident. Thus, such an attitude to prevent the novel becoming a "seasonal article" shows another possibility of historical novels during wartime.
Keywords: The Opium War, The Great East Asian War, Historical novel, Political and social situation, Historical facts and fictions

キ―ワ―ド: 阿片戦争, 大東亜戦争, 歴史小説, 時局, 史実と虚構
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