Library Open Repository

The diary of Tamura Yoshikazu: Writing under the gaze of the Kokutai during the Japanese imperial army New Guinea campaign

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

Eaves-Young, VL (2011) The diary of Tamura Yoshikazu: Writing under the gaze of the Kokutai during the Japanese imperial army New Guinea campaign. PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

[img]
Preview
PDF (Front matter)
front.pdf | Download (175kB)
Available under University of Tasmania Standard License.

[img]
Preview
PDF (Whole thesis )
whole.pdf | Download (3MB)
Available under University of Tasmania Standard License.

Abstract

The purpose of this thesis is to investigate the influence of the social context of imperial Japan on the diary of Tamura Yoshikazu, a member of the Japanese Imperial Army stationed in New Guinea from January 1943 until his presumed death at the end of the same year. As one of the few remaining original diaries from the New Guinea theatre of the Pacific War, this material offers a unique opportunity to analyse the processes by which an ordinary foot soldier of Imperial Japan interpreted the extreme tropical war zone circumstances to which he was despatched. The thesis begins with a discussion of the discursive environment in which Tamura’s diary was produced, referred to throughout the document as “kokutai discourse” in acknowledgement of the influence of the notion of kokutai – literally “body of the nation” but generally translated as “national polity” – on the socio‐political and cultural environment of pre‐war Japan. A major tension that drives the narrative of the diary is the conflict between Tamura’s desire as a subject of Imperial Japan to follow kokutai teachings and lay down his life in the name of the Emperor and the contradictory desire to express a personal sense of self. In resolving this tension, Tamura often referenced the seasonal markers and the familiar natural imagery of the homeland, Japan, as a means of remaining grounded in the alien surrounds of the tropics. Memories of more favourable experiences as a soldier enabled Tamura to fantasise about a noble and glorious death.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: kokutui, self, death, war diary, Pacific war, Emperor, Imperial Japanese army, nature
Additional Information: Copyright 2011 the Author
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2011 00:30
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 04:26
URI: http://eprints.utas.edu.au/id/eprint/12435
Item Statistics: View statistics for this item

Repository Staff Only (login required)

Item Control Page Item Control Page