First Advisor

Jon Holt

Date of Publication

Fall 11-21-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Japanese


World Languages and Literatures




Takiji Kobayashi (1903-1933). Kanikōsen, Scott McCloud (1960-) -- Criticism and interpretation, Hiroki Azuma (1971-) -- Criticism and interpretation, Comic books strips etc, Japanese political fiction



Physical Description

1 online resource (v, 82 pages)


Kobayashi Takiji's (1903-1933) Kanikōsen (The Crab Cannery Ship, 1929), the outstanding work from the proletarian literary movement, experienced an influx of new adaptations into various mediums during the years that preceded and followed the "Kanikōsen boom" of 2008. This thesis focuses on two manga adaptations that provide readers with starkly different takes on the original story. Using theories by Scott McCloud and Azuma Hiroki, I first attempt to draw parallels between the form of manga and that of the novel. Then, I examine the manner in which the most explicitly political content of the novel is adapted into the manga versions. Through this examination of form and content, it becomes apparent that, despite their differences, both adaptations reinforce a vague, individualist-humanist ideology that undermines the notions of class consciousness and class struggle that are central to the narrative of Kanikōsen. This diminishing of the explicitly "Red" aspects of the original reflects the Japanese public's general aversion to politics that has persisted since the early 1970's until this day.


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