'Futago no hoshi' to 'Ginga tetsudô no yoru' ni okeru shôjo bigaku toshite no Iihatobu
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Iihatobu, as an abstract force of the imagination, can connect seemingly unrelated phenomena and ideas. This imaginative capacity can be seen at its most effective through the combination of literature and art. As is well-known, Miyazawa Kenji, or Kenji, as he is commonly called, was creative in many forms of art, including literature, poetry, visual art and music, and his imaginative philosophies shone through all of these modes. Since his death in 1933, artists have taken up his work and ideas in innovative ways. This paper explores how present-day artistic images inspired by Kenji's initial and final narratives (dôwa), Futago no hoshi and Ginga tetsudo no yoru, convey broader, imaginative notions of Iihatobu and the shôjo to wider audiences, both in Japan and internationally. This combination of the concept of Iihatobu with that of the Japanese shôjo (girl) aesthetic demonstrates how both concepts utilise the power of the imagination. They can both be seen as generating a spirit of freedom, especially for marginalised communities such as females and for Kenji's own homeland, Iwate, which he imagined as Iihaobu, or a form of utopia, away from the metropolis of Tokyo.