Graduate Student Forum

Eastern Europe Through the Eyes of Visiting Japanese Writers

Tuesday, 19 July 2022 | 9:00 - 9:45 (JST)
Zoom Meeting
  • Nina Habjan Villarreal Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, the University of Tokyo
  • Sawako Shirahase TCJS Director
Event Description

I will be presenting about two cases of Japanese writers, who had visited the countries located in Eastern Europe in the late 20th century and analyze the travelogues they published during and after their experience. I will be mostly discussing how they had described their experience of the region in their writing, how photography was used as another approach to the region, how the visit contradicted their expectations, and how it affected their creativity and their careers in the later years. The two writers I will be focusing on are Abe Kobo and Kaiko Takeshi, both of whom visited multiple countries in the region in the late 1950s and early 1960, however, their experience of which differed strongly.

About the Speaker

Nina Habjan Villarreal is a Doctoral candidate at the Department of Contemporary Literature at the University of Tokyo. After finishing her Bachelor’s program in Japanese Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia, she continues her research on Abe Kobo and Franz Kafka at the University of Tokyo. She is currently researching different Japanese writers who had written about Eastern Europe in the second half of the 20th century.