- 名古屋大学人文学フォーラム (ISSN:24332321)
- vol.2, pp.237-250, 2019-03-31
After World War II, about 6.6 million former Imperial Japanese soldiers and civilians were sent home by Allied forces. Especially, there were about 1 million Japanese civilians who returned from Manchuria (known as northeastern part of China) between May and October in 1946. Japanese repatriates from Manchuria were always described as war victims in postwar Japan. This article explores the making of victim discourse about them, and the possibility to overcome victim discourse. The article consists of four sections. First, previous studies at literature, history and sociology are summarized to point out that there are diverse discourse about Japanese repatriates from Manchuria. And I determine that victim discourse is the main thinking in postwar Japan. Second, from politics and media, how victim discourse about repatriates from Manchuria was constructed by aid and relief is demonstrated. In order to support my argument, I have quoted some official documents and newspaper articles which have been always describing repatriates as needy people, and thus built up the presentation that these repatriates have been rescued. As far as I am concerned, repatriates were alienated from post-war society. Also, I have focused on the national identity in postwar Japan to figure out what the relationship between national identity and victim discourse is for the repatriates from Manchuria. In this section, I have concluded that victim discourse has been integrated into national identity, and the integrating process also played an important role in restricting the narratives of repatriates. Forth, I tried to find the possibility of overcoming victim discourse. I have chosen ABE Kōbō who is called stateless novelist and one of his famous novels--- 《Beasts Head for Home》 (『Kemonotachi wa kokkyō o mezasu』). From this novel, we can see the differences of hierarchies between the metropole Japanese and their counterparts, also as Japanese, in colonies.In addition, for the victimhood of colonial, ABE resisted integrating it into national identity. In conclusion, I have summarized that the making of victim discourse about repatriation from Manchuria is not only for the purpose of national identity integration, but also constructed by repatriates themselves in postwar Japan. But during the process of constructing, there is also a resist which is a method to overcome and deconstruct it at the same time.