Urban Dystopia in Japanese crime fiction Strawberry Night

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ปราง ศรีอรุณ
ทอแสง เชาว์ชุติ


Contemporary Japanese literature often employs an urban setting. In the case of Japanese crime fiction, the city is often described as chaotic and dark, in other words, “dystopian”. The crime fiction Strawberry Night (ストロベリーナイト, 2008), set against a backdrop of urban Tokyo, presents dystopian images of the city as well as dark representations of the characters – especially the protagonist, a serial killer – to bring to light social problems that have resulted from the transition to modernity. Moreover, the novel describes the way the urban space and the serial killer’s psyche melt into and become indistinguishable from each other. This “psychotopography,” or blending of space and psyche, points to the monstrosity that lurks within the cityscape and suggests that the modern city, rather than being a locus of peace, order and progress, is a place full of danger and crisis.

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