Writing (in) Iwate: Exploring a Local Literary Scene and its Fiction
The literary scene in Japan has one strong focal point: Tokyo. From the early 20th century onwards, publishers gathered in the capital, attracting those who aspired to be professional writers from all over the country. Still today, more than 76 percent of all Japanese publishing houses are located in Tokyo according to a recent report of the Japan Book Publishers Association. However, the situation for writers in other regions of Japan seems to have changed significantly as my research on literature in the prefecture of Iwate shows: While my study began with the question whether there was any local literary production in present-day Iwate at all, an on-site exploration yielded that a considerable literary scene actually does exist. Yet, this local literature is mostly overlooked by academia and media. To change this and draw attention to the literary production of Iwate, I dedicated my dissertation to the question what the local literary scene in Iwate and its literature look like.
In the presentation the focus will be put on the literary magazine Kita no bungaku [Literature of the North], which I identified as one of the key institutions supporting literature in Iwate.
Tamara Kamerer, University of Vienna