No Future in Sakurai Ami’s Tumorōzu songu: Gender and Body, Past and Present


  • David Holloway University of Rochester



This paper analyzes Sakurai Ami’s novel Tomorrow’s Song (1999). The novel is unusual in Japanese literature for its attention to HIV, which even today remains little acknowledged in social discourse. My interest is in the ways in which Sakurai figures the virus vis-à-vis protagonist Akari’s singular devotion to counter-hegemonic ways of living, including drug use, unprotected sex, and alcoholism. My argument is that Sakurai uses HIV to advance a subtle petition for conformity.

Author Biography

David Holloway, University of Rochester

David Holloway is assistant professor of Japanese at the University of Rochester. His current research concerns Japanese fiction from the late 1990s and early 2000s. In particular, he looks closely at the ways in which authors – particularly female authors - grapple with the social and cultural fallout from Japan’s long recession. His book project, The End of Transgression: Gender, Body, Nation, asserts that young Japanese today face crises of affective homelessness, ambivalence, and loss as a result of the collapse of postwar affluence. The book explores the ways in which literary characters respond to this sense of generational dithering. Professor Holloway, who did his PhD work at Washington University in St. Louis, is also working on a second book project related to representations of HIV/AIDS in Japanese popular culture. His recent publications have appeared in U.S.-Japan Women’s Journal, Japanese Language and Literature, Electronic Journal of Contemporary Japanese Studies, and Sungkyun Journal of East Asian Studies.