Redacted: The Archives of Censorship in Transwar Japan
At the height of state censorship in Japan, more indexes of banned books circulated, more essays on censorship were published, more works of illicit erotic and proletarian fiction were produced, and more passages were Xed out than at any other moment before or since. As censors construct and maintain their own archives, their acts of suppression yield another archive, filled with documents on, against, and in favor of censorship. The extant archive of the Japanese imperial censor (1923-1945) and the archive of the Occupation censor (1945-1952) stand as tangible reminders of this contradictory function of censors. As censors removed specific genres, topics, and words from circulation, some Japanese writers converted their offensive rants to innocuous fluff after successive encounters with the authorities. But, another coterie of editors, bibliographers, and writers responded to censorship by pushing back, using their encounters with suppression as incitement to rail against the authorities and to appeal to the prurient interests of their readers. This study examines these contradictory relationships between preservation, production, and redaction to shed light on the dark valley attributed to wartime culture and to cast a shadow on the supposedly bright, open space of free postwar discourse. (Winner of the 2010-2011 First Book Award of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University” ).
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archive authors banned books Bungei canonical censors censorship in Japan censorship system collection critics critique cultural Dazai Osamu death discourse edition editors Edogawa Ranpo Ero guro erotic essays Etō Jun examination copies explicit fact fiction film fuseji hakkin heitai historicism Home Ministry humor imperial implicit instance internal Ishikawa Tatsuzō issue Japanese Literature Jay Rubin Kaizō keihokyoku ken’etsu kenkyū Kindai Kobayashi Takiji Kuroshima Kuroshima Denji language of slaves Library lists literary magazine maggots manuscript markers material meaning Meiji mode modern Nakano Shigeharu narrative National novel Occupation censors offensive Ōoka Ōya passage period poem political possible prewar production proletarian publication Publishing Police Puroretaria readers redaction redaction marks reference reprinted Saitō scene self-censorship sexual shinbun shiryō Shobō Shōwa Shuppan keisatsu soldiers specific story Strauss taboo Tanizaki textual tion titles Tokyo trace translation transwar Umehara Hokumei University Press unname violence wartime words writing X-ing York zenshū Tokyo