Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Where is "home" for Japanese-Americans?
by Tokuda, Soichiro, Ph.D., State University of New York at Binghamton, 2013, 196; 3590779
Abstract (Summary)

This study explores the issue of Japanese internment camp in the United States and Canada during World War Two. It argues that Japanese immigrants, who were totally innocent, became historical victims and experienced camp. During World War Two, the Japanese army attacked Pearl Harbor, a territory of the United States. This incident made mainstream American and Canadian society suspicious of Japanese immigrants, who had the same ethnicity and blood as the army, the "enemies." This study is an attempt to find the voice and feelings of those who had to experience trauma in camp. As subaltern figures, all they had to do was endure and accept their fate. As immigrants, who seemed not to have English fluency, they had to accept the requirements of America or Canada in order to be allowed to live. At the same time, this study seeks to analyze how Japanese-Americans and -Canadians forged their identity after overcoming the trauma of camp and the agony of assimilation. In so doing, this dissertation considers the work of four novelists who have written about these difficult issues. Chapter 1 explains how other Asians – Koreans and Chinese – were affected by the Japanese army and how mainstream society looked at Japanese immigrants. Chapters 2 and 3 explore Joy Kogawa's Obasan and Itsuka. Naomi, the protagonist, struggles to find a sense of "home-ness." Chapter 4 examines Monica Sone's Nisei Daughter. Kazuko, the protagonist, has to experience negative aspects of the United States. Chapter 5 explores Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston's Farewell to Manzanar. Jeanne, the protagonist, has to go through painful experiences and racism up to the last section of the novel. Chapter 6 analyzes John Okada's No-No Boy. Ichiro, the protagonist, suffers self-alienation. He cannot fix his identity between his duality until he can find his "home." Chapter 7 examines the authors' intentions and asks in which direction Japanese-Americans and -Canadians can move forward in the future.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Tucker, Elizabeth
Commitee: Allen, Jeffner, Bartine, David, Strehle, Susan
School: State University of New York at Binghamton
Department: English, General Literature, and Rhetoric
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 74/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Asian American Studies, Canadian literature, American literature
Keywords: Asian-American, Chinese-American, Home, Houston, Jeanne Wakatsuki, Japan, Japanese-American, Kogawa, Joy, Korean-American, Okada, John, Sone, Monica
Publication Number: 3590779
ISBN: 9781303307577
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