Transforming Japan—Banana Yoshimoto’s Amrita
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The enormous powers of globalization impact various dimensions of Japanese contemporary social life although the mark of globalization is conspicuously apparent in many other Asian countries such as Korea and China. Among these countries, however, understanding the effect of globalization in relation to the Japanese identity problem is more complicated than it seems at first glance. The problems in regards to the subjectivity of Japan appear in its literature such as in the works of Haruki Murakami, Banana Yoshimoto, and others in the late twentieth century. Their works provide a way to better understand thoughts of Japanese culture and society as well as those of individuals. In an attempt to contribute to this understanding, this essay will analyze Amrita in the context of postcolonialism and globalization scholarship. Using them as a framework for a textual analysis of Yoshimoto's work, this essay will study the advance of Modernism in Japan to the late 20th century of Japan based on the analogy between the fiction and Japan. To do so, this paper argues that Yoshimoto attempts to posit a positive light on the identity crisis of Japan through the main character’s struggle for identity (re)construction and healing.