A Contemporary Indian Expatriate View of Japan: Orienting an Indian in Japan by Pallavi Aiyar

M. V. Lakshmi

Assistant Professor, Centre for Japanese Studies, School of Language Literature and Culture Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. E-mail:mvlakshmi@gmail.com


In recent years, with the movement of people across nations, be it for economic or political reasons, by choice or due to economic or political circumstances, the opportunities to interact with one another across borders of one’s own country have increased. Thiscan be seen in various milieus such as the workplace or socially, through informal and formal platforms, through person to person contact and social networking. Diaspora literature is one of the significant genres of literature that has emerged because of this movement of people across borders, and it has established itself as a genre of literature in its own right. Another related genre of writing, namely, ‘expatriate writing’, has also gained prominence. It would be important to note that expatriates, unlike diaspora, are people who move to another country by choice, for a limited period with a definite purpose or intention and are not permanent immigrants. This paper will explore a work of contemporary Indian expatriate writing on Japan to understand Japan as seen through the eyes of an Indian expatriate writer. Expatriate studies can be studied as a specific discourse or given the distinction of a literary genre, much like the work that is called a feminist or a Marxist theory (Ilyas, 2018). The above statement refers to expatriate writing as a literary genre like feminist or Marxist writing with a theoretical basis. Orienting an Indian in Japan by a female Indian journalist – Pallavi Aiyar, written in the year 2021, will be analysed for her perception of Japan. Before discussing the book and the author’s insights on Japan, the paper would first elaborate upon the genre of expatriate writing and the unique perspective it offers vis-àvis that of a tourist or a traveller’s account or a work of fiction.

Keywords Expatriate writing . India and Japan . Non-fiction . Self and the other . Stereotypes .