Peter Tillack examines Kuroi Senji’s “Hashiru kazoku” (Running family; 1970) in the context of debates that arose in the 1970s about the so-called “Introspective Generation.” In contrast to the Marxist critic Odagiri Hideo, who charged that Kuroi wrote politically disengaged literature, Tillack interprets “Running Family” as a critique of the middle-class sensibilities that began to predominate during Japan’s period of rapid economic growth (1955–1973). Analyzing the nonrealistic techniques that Kuroi used to represent a suburb-dwelling salaryman’s relationship to his new car, Tillack shows that Kuroi’s language was influenced by the discourse of advertising as well as a perception that objects have assumed an agency at the expense of human subjects. Tillack thus finds evidence in “Running Family” for the reifying effects of a society increasingly tyrannized by economism. Rather than escaping ideology, Tillack concludes, Kuroi confronted it.


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pp. 235-261
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