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Gitte Marianne Hansen Guest Researcher at NIAS

Dr Gitte Marianen Hansen, Lecturer in Japanese studies at Newcastle University will be spending three month at NIAS. During her time here, she will be working on a book project entitled ‘Women in the world of Murakami Haruki’, which is to be published with Palgrave Macmillan.

Women in the World of Murakami Haruki
"Literary analyses of Murakami’s gender representations have often concluded that his fiction mirrors Japanese patriarchy and positions female characters traditionally as objects for male subjectivities and sexualities. However, as this book shows, Murakami’s works also portray female main characters, protagonists, and narrators who act as subjects in their own worlds. This group of works includes both Murakami's major novels such as 1Q84 as well as many of his less known short stories such as The little green monster and Lederhosen. Through comprehensive analyses of specific female characters across Murakami’s authorship, the purpose of the book is to show the diverse and changing position of female characters in the literature of Japan’s most well known contemporary writer. As I argue, throughout the authorship, female characters include not only the well known ‘mysterious young girl’, but also silent housewives and the serial killer Aomame. This character development interestingly mirrors women’s shifting position and paradoxical empowerment in contemporary Japanese society. Theoretically, the book enters the discussion of male author’s ability and right to construct versions of ‘female’, and overall the book argues that Murakami works show connections to Japanese feminism and reflect women’s reality in contemporary Japan."