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The Journal of Japanese Language Literature Studies > Volume 4(1); 2017 > Article
Border Crossings: The Journal of Japanese-Language Literature Studies 2017;4(1): 141-152.
doi: https://doi.org/10.22628/bcjjl.2017.4.1.141
A Stranger in Sakhalin, Japan, and Korea: A Critical Analysis of Ri Kaisei's Mata Hutatabi no Michi
Jungae KIM
Correspondence  Jungae KIM ,Email: jajakim@kitakyu-u.ac.jp
Published online: 30 June 2017.
Copyright ©2017 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.
Ri Kaisei, who was the first Akutagawa Prize winner as a writer of foreign citizenship, started his career with the novel named “Mata Hutatabt no Michi” in 1969. This novel also won the Gunzo Prize for New Writers, however, scholars have not paid much attention to this novel compared with the Akutagawa Prize novel, “Kinuta Wo Utsu Onnna.” Interestingly, if we consider this novel in the process of his adaptation to the Japanese major readership from his literature activity in the Korean minority group in the mid 1960's, we can shed a new light to the novel. In fact, he began his career as a novelist with the short novel "Sono Zenya,” and wrote two other short novels at least before “Mata Hutatabt no Michi. In this novel, he newly described the exotic scenes of Sakhalin where he was born and brought in his youth, taking the Japanese readers' interest to abroad at that time. Additionally, he mentioned the Korean refugees in Sakhalin through his novel, which arose the Japanese readers retrospective emotion and collective memory of return from Asian Countries after World Warn. In this way, his strategy led his success and brilliant debut in the Japanese literature society.
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