Redacted: The Archives of Censorship in Transwar Japan

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University of California Press, Aug 18, 2012 - Social Science - 355 pages
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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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The Censors Archives and Beyond
Indices of Censorship
Essaying the Censors
Seditious Obscenities
Literary Casualties of War
Redactionary Literature
Beyond X
Unnaming and the Language of Slaves
Redaction Countertime

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About the author (2012)

Jonathan Abel is Assistant Professor In the Department of Comparative Literature at Penn State University

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