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Hisaye Yamamoto’s Silence-Voice Interplay in Japanese American Imprisonment Camps

Authors
  • Petruş, Raluca-Andreea
Type
Published Article
Journal
Gender Studies
Publisher
Sciendo
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2023
Volume
22
Issue
1
Pages
38–53
Identifiers
DOI: 10.2478/genst-2023-0033
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

Within times of war and U.S.-state-imposed guilt, Japanese American female characters in “The Legends of Miss Sasagawara” experience repeated status changes throughout World War II and the Japanese American imprisonment camps. The tense conflictual relations between U.S. authorities and the Nikkei (Japanese diaspora in the United States) echo within the intra-Nikkei communities held in camps: branded as enemies by the state, Nikkei individuals re-segregate within camps, leading to a fractured communication and tribalist attitudes. The present paper investigates the silence-voice interplay of female characters in confinement narratives, as depicted by Hisaye Yamamoto in her literary rendering of the Japanese American imprisonment camps phenomenon. The historical context of the 1940s ruptures the communication inside the Nikkei community, especially concerning the female character Miss Mari Sasagawara, leading to misunderstandings, tribalism, and (self-)isolation.

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