The Journal of Japanese Studies

 

Abstract

SARI KAWANA
Mad Scientists and Their Prey:
Bioethics, Murder, and Fiction in Interwar Japan

This essay focuses on “mad scientist murders,” a subgenre within the larger stream of Japanese detective fiction during the 1920s and 1930s.  Through an overview of the popular sentiment toward science during this period and a discussion of works by Kozakai Fuboku, Yumeno Kyusaku, Oguri Mushitaro, and Unno Juza, I explore the ways these authors used the motif of the “mad scientist” and his uncompromising attitude toward his work to criticize the widespread overconfidence in the possibilities of science and to highlight the potential incompatibility between science and ethics.

Volume 31, Number 1 (Winter 2005)
© 2005 Society for Japanese Studies

 

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