Romantic Love in the Early Fiction of Banana Yoshimoto

Anna Felicia Sanchez



Romantic love does not exist in traditional Japanese literature, or where it does, it always meets with objection and too often ends in tragedy. Murasaki Shikibu’s writings reflect more affection and sport than love in Heian courtship, playwrights like Chikamatsu Monzaemon perpetuate love suicides in seventeenth century stories of store clerks and prostitutes, and twentieth century fiction abounds in characters who may or may not be married but whose romantic sentiments are repressed or thwarted.

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