Thursday, July 9th 2020, 06:30 p.m. JST (Zoom Meeting open from 06:15 p.m.(JST), max. 100 participants)
A convenience store is a reflection of Japan’s society. The way people behave, act, react, and interact is a display of contemporary Japan’s common sense. It reveals how social life is organized in terms of interpersonal relations, habits, norms, values, etc. What, however, happens when someone does not fit Japan’s common sense? Author Murata Sayaka chooses a convenience store to stage and explore this question. Her award-winning novel Konbini Ningen (Convenience Store Woman, 2016) does not only portray and reveal the underlying structures of Japanese society, but also imagines what life is like for people who do not meet common expectations.
In this presentation, I will elaborate on how Murata addresses the fundamental question of an individual’s place within society by focusing on how the novel deals with social conventions, gender constructions, and work. The analysis of these issues shows how Murata deconstructs Japan’s common sense and reveals its naturalized, unspoken, and taken-for-granted rules that organize contemporary Japanese society. I will suggest that the novel is a plea for a more ‘human’ society that allows those who do not fit to find their niche as well.
The event is open to all. To receive login data please register with firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com by July 8 (JST).