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The Journal of Japanese Language Literature Studies > Volume 13(1); 2021 > Article
Border Crossings: The Journal of Japanese-Language Literature Studies 2021;13(1): 15-22.
doi: https://doi.org/10.22628/bcjjl.2021.13.1.15
Japanese Detective Novels and Southeast Asia
Correspondence  Morio YOSHIDA ,Email: morio@cc.kogakuin.ac.jp
Published online: 30 December 2021.
Copyright ©2021 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.
Southeast Asia as depicted in Japanese detective novels was not only a source of exotic mysteries, but also a space where complex histories and cultures were intertwined. One example is “Kaikyo Tenchikai”, written by Oguri Mushitaro, who stayed in Murray from 1941 to 1942. One feature of this work is that the people who solve the novel’s mystery are Iinuma, an apprentice doctor, and Kogure, a detective novelist and a member of the press. Their relationship is reminiscent of the one between Holmes and Watson, but the detective and the narrator are not clearly distinct, and in fact their voices gradually overlap. They are more like characters in spy novels than in detective novels. Another example of the genre is Yuki Shoji’s “Gomez no na ha Gomez”, in which a former Japanese soldier who assimilated into Vietnam appears, having not returned to Japan after the end of the war. Here, the theme of being a double agent overlaps with that of national betrayal. In one more example, a Japanese holdout from the end of the war living in Asia also appears in Matsumoto Seicho’s “Atsui Kinu”. Ultimately, the divergence between the ideal of the liberation of Asia, which was the cause of the Pacific War, and the reality brought about by the Japanese military invasion, casts a complex shadow over mysteries set in Southeast Asia.
Keywords: Detective Novel, Spy Novel, Southeast Asia, Holmes and Watson, Japanese holdout

キ―ワ―ド: 探偵小説, スパイ小説, 東南アジア, ホームズとワトスン, 残留日本兵
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Revisiting Japanese Studies in Southeast Asia  2017 December;5(1)
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