“Tokyo, 1947”: Cultural Retrospection and the Westernization of Postwar Japan in Lynne Kutsukake’s The Translation of Love

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Title: “Tokyo, 1947”: Cultural Retrospection and the Westernization of Postwar Japan in Lynne Kutsukake’s The Translation of Love
Authors: Cisneros, Pamela
Date: 2021
Abstract: As one of the first novels to offer an alternative depiction of postwar Japan, Canadian writer Lynne Kutsukake’s novel The Translation of Love follows five protagonists. These characters experience life in a postwar Tokyo while shaped by their own experience of World War II’s cultural memory. Japanese nationals and the Japanese community abroad in the U.S. and Canada are the work’s central focus. Japan’s occupation by American forces overhauled its traditional way of life for Westernization and inevitable identity clashes. Amid these sociopolitical and cultural changes, I first provide a historical overview of pre-and post-World War II to supplement the narrative’s brief references to the era before providing a literary analysis through postcolonial and feminist theory. The second chapter applies the theories of Homi K. Bhabha’s third space, Sander Gilman’s stereotyping, and Edward Said’s Other to explore how Tokyo’s transformation into a hybridised space gives way to racial prejudice. In the final chapter, the feminist thought of Luce Irigaray’s approach to women’s roles in patriarchy, along with Laura Mulvey’s reflections on the male gaze, highlight Japanese women’s contact with gender disparity as they learn how to act and be perceived as modern women. This project serves as an early contribution to discussions on Kutsukake’s work to illustrate its function as a critical response to a tumultuous period in Japan’s history in which the U.S. and Canada also make their presence known.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/42769
CollectionLangues et littératures modernes - Mémoires // Modern Languages and Literatures - Research Papers
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