Publication Details

Kilpatrick, H, Beyond dualism: Towards interculturality in pictorialisations of Miyazawa Kenji's 'Snow Crossing' (Yukiwatari), Papers: Explorations into Children's Literature, 17(2), 2007, p 26-35.


Miyazawa Kenji (1896-1933) is one of Japan's most renowned authors and his many children's stories (dowa) represent a Buddho-animist quest for a more integratcd cosmos. In his desire for this kind of holism, Kenji was largely writing against all the forms of scientific rationalism that, by his day, had cntered Japanese consciousness through intellectual thought and new forms of Naturalist literature. (For further discussion of this prevalcnce see, for example, Keene 1984, Chapters 11 & 16). Such rationalist modes of thought formed the foundation for a society that Kenji saw as responsible for many inequalities. Despite, or because of, Kenji's spiritual quest, he wrote many tales that demonstrate his concern with a more earthly egalitarianism. Kenji's multi-layered tale 'Snow Crossing' celebrates cultural and ethnic diversity. In this tale, he constructs a set of dualistic relationships that gradually break down through intercultural negotiations, which demonstrate the positive potential of such dialogism.