研究論集 = Research Journal of Graduate Students of Letters;第11号

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Desire “For” / “Immanent to” the Fingerprint

井上, 貴翔

Permalink : http://hdl.handle.net/2115/47879

Abstract

As can be seen in recent years with the requirement for fingerprint registration upon entry into the United States or Japan, the use of fingerprints as a technology of individual identification remains effective even today. Originally invented and introduced in England in the nineteenth century, it was in 1908 that this technology of identification was officially introduced in Japan. Through the mass media ― newspapers, magazines, and books― the effectiveness of this technology came to be recognized by the public. As such, when the discourse on fingerprinting is gathered, what can be seen is an obsession, a desire for the fingerprint as the details of the body to the extent that they might be called“haunted.”This obsession or desire for the fingerprint was sustained by ideologies and apparatuses of power of the period. In this paper, I will begin with a discussion of the discourse on fingerprinting in pre-war Japan and the social forms they organize, and then show what desires are incorporated therein. This is the desire for the fingerprint. Secondly, I focus on another desire― the desire immanent to the fingerprint. To this end, I take up detective fiction of the period, specifically the work of Sato Haruo. Sato's Fingerprint shows both the key features of fingerprinting and the point at which those features become excessive.

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