Full-text resources of CEJSH and other databases are now available in the new Library of Science.
Visit https://bibliotekanauki.pl


2018 | 9 "Memory, Melancholy and Nostalgia" | 87-96

Article title

Nostalgia as a means to overcome trauma: the case of Yoshimoto Banana’s “Sweet Hereafter”


Title variants


4th International Interdisciplinary Memory Conference “Memory, Melancholy and Nostalgia” (17-18 Semptember, 2015 in Gdansk)

Languages of publication



The natsukashisa (nostalgia) is a common key to interpretation of novels written by the Japanese author Yoshimoto Banana. Considered as the desire for a replay of life, nostalgia is evaluated as a solution for the sensation of emptiness and solitude attributed to modern life; a gap that can be bridged by memory, recollection and flash-backs of the protagonists in Yoshimoto’s novels. As a representation for something gone, the objects of this nostalgic feeling assume different forms in Yoshimoto’s works: a faraway house, a lost person, a feeling perceived and then missed; dreams, hallucinations, images and paintings: everything is transformed by the author in a vehicle to allow the reader to sympathize with the protagonists and share the same nostalgic feeling. Author’s attempt is to encourage the young readers to keep on seeking the lost self in the past in order to not betray one’s identity. This is the main topic one can also recognise in her novel called Sweet Hereafter, a publication in which nostalgia for a self lost in a car accident is compared to the one felt by the hisaisha of Tōhoku region who lost everything after the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on 11th March 2011. Here Yoshimoto suggests natsukashisa as the possible way to overcome the traumatic experience of witnessing Japanese Daishinsai. This brief investigation proposes a literary case study that highlights the relation between trauma and memory, with a particular focus on nostalgia considered as a positive means for overcoming traumatic experience.


  • Ca' Foscari Graduate School (Venice, Italy), Department of Asian and African Studies
  • École doctorale INALCO (Paris, France) Centre d’études japonaises


  • Amitrano Giorgio. 2007. Il mondo di Banana Yoshimoto. Milano: Feltrinelli.
  • Caruth Cathy. 1996. Unclaimed Experience. Trauma, Narrative and History. London: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
  • De Pieri Veronica. 2014. Auschwitz, Hiroshima & Nagasaki, Fukushima. La parola come veicolo di memoria. Venice: Ca’ Foscari University.
  • Gebhardt Lisette and Yūki Masami. 2014. Literature and Art after Fukushima. Four Approaches. Berlin: EB-Verlag.
  • Gebhardt Lisette and Richter Steffi. 2013. Lesebuch „Fukushima“ – Übersetzungen, Kommentare, Essays. Berlin: EB-Verlag.
  • LaCapra Dominick. 2001. Writing History, Writing Trauma. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
  • Murakami Fuminobu. 2005. Yoshimoto Banana’s Feminine Family. Postmodern, Feminist and Postcolonial Currents in Contemporary Japanese Culture. London: Rutledge.
  • Sherif Anne. 1999. Japanese without Apology: Yoshimoto Banana and Healing. Ōeand Beyond by Stephen Snyder and Philip Gabriel. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
  • Treat John Whittier. 1993. “Yoshimoto Banana Writes Home: Shojo Culture and the Nostalgic Subject.” The Society of Japanese Studies 19 (2): 353–387.
  • Yoshimoto Banana. 2002. Afterwords Lucertola. Milano: Feltrinelli.
  • Yoshimoto Banana. 2012. Shinsai ga watashi no nani wo kaetaka & Shinsaigo nani wo yondaka Shinchō. Tōkyō: Shinchōsha.
  • Yoshimoto Banana. 2011. Suiito Hiaafutaa.Tōkyō: Gentōsha.
  • Yoshimoto Banana. 2011. “Tokubetsu kikaku” Banana Yoshimoto Official Site. Accessed November 26, 2013. http://www.yoshimotobanana.com/special/.
  • Yoshimoto Banana and Wataya Arisa. 2013. Kōhaishita sekai wo ikiteiku uede, shōsetsu ni dekru koto Shinchō. Tōkyō: Shinchōsha.

Document Type

Publication order reference

YADDA identifier

JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.