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Access Type

Open Access

Document Type


Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Japanese, translation


In this thesis, I have presented my translation of the novella Rakushō no goku (落照の獄) by Ono Fuyumi, preceded by a critical introduction. In this introduction, I have provided brief biographical information about the author, context for the story and its place in the Twelve Kingdoms series of novels, an analysis of the story's use of the death penalty as allegory, and an explanation for some of my choices in the translation.

In my introduction, my main purpose was to present the author, who has written multiple best-selling, award-winning novels that have received both popular and critical acclaim, yet has received little notice abroad and even less scholarly attention both in and out of Japan, as a writer meriting further study. To this end, I have used my own translation of Rakushō no goku as a primary example of the depth and value of her work, presenting my reading of the conflict in Rakushō no goku as an oblique criticism of the death penalty in Japan, and attempting to tie the story into a longstanding literary tradition of using the fantastic as allegory in order to comment on and critique contemporary culture.


First Advisor

Amanda C Seaman

Second Advisor

Reiko Sono