Writing of Japanese American women: Changing roles in a changing society

Date
1995-08-30
Authors
Takahashi, Akiko
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Abstract

This paper examines the rhetoric of Japanese American literature, focusing on the changes in women's roles in America and Japan. The introduction presents a historical overview of Japanese American literature and addresses the obscurities in the descriptive terms related to it. Chapter one introduces two Issei writers, Etsu Sugimoto and Haru Matsui, and discusses how the feminist movement in Japan affected their writings. Contrasting Nisei, Yoshiko Uchida and Hisaye Yamamoto, are analyzed in chapter two, according to whether their experiences had any effect on their Japanese heritage: Japanese womanhood, which is often compared to the sun, and Japanese aesthetics, in association with nature. A sansei, Joy Kogawa, exemplifies the successful transmission of Japanese heritage and its reconciliation with Canadian heritage in chapter three. The paper concludes that the essence of Japanese culture is preserved in the writings by the Sansei, despite the fact that they are no longer a homogeneous group.

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Language, literature, and linguistics, Etsu sugimoto, Haru matsui, Hisaye yamamoto, Joy kogawa, Yoshiko Uchida, Japanese-American literature
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