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The Journal of Japanese Language Literature Studies > Volume 17(1); 2023 > Article
Border Crossings: The Journal of Japanese-Language Literature Studies 2023;17(1): 233-250.
doi: https://doi.org/10.22628/bcjjl.2023.17.1.233
The Lost ‘Boku’ in Post-Disaster Literature:Haruki Murakami’s “Super-Frog Saves Tokyo”
Teacher, Hosei University Junior and Senior High School
災後の「ぼく」 ―― 村上春樹「かえるくん、東京を救う」論
Correspondence  Keisuke HAYASHI ,Email: keisukeh@toki.waseda.jp
Published online: 30 December 2023.
Copyright ©2023 The Global Institute for Japanese Studies, Korea University
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
This paper examines the shift in the first-person narrator from the ‘boku’ to the ‘watashi’ in Haruki Murakami’s short story “Kaeru-kun, Tokyo wo sukuu” [“Super-Frog Saves Tokyo”], a shift that characterizes his work. In this way it aims to clarify the meaning of the post-disaster world in Murakami’s work.
This short story consists of a dialogue between the ‘boku’ and the ‘watashi’, and describes the process of the ‘watashi’ taking on the mystery of the ‘boku’, who calls himself “the un-me”. The ‘boku’ is a giant frog in the imaginary world, and the ‘watashi’ refers to the protagonist, Katagiri, an “ordinary person” in the real world. The frog’s ‘boku’ is transformed into countless insects after a battle with a “gigantic worm” called Mimizu-kun, who wants to destroy Tokyo.
The story of the ‘boku’, or the lost frog, is told by the ‘watashi’ Katagiri who survived the battle between the frog and the worm, and is now in the post-disaster world. Murakami’s work has found a point of view from which to retell the story of the ‘boku’ based on the perspective of the ‘watashi’, that is, the point of view in which the ‘watashi’ is rendered animal-like, like the frog and the worm.
Keywords: Haruki Murakami, First-person Pronoun, Post-disaster, Dialogue, Animal

キ―ワ―ド: 村上春樹, 一人称, 災後, 対話, 動物
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