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Japanese and American Perceptions of Each Other and Themselves: An analysis of Japanese fiction occurring during World War Two and the postwar period

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Title: Japanese and American Perceptions of Each Other and Themselves: An analysis of Japanese fiction occurring during World War Two and the postwar period
Authors: Nakamoto, James
Advisor: Cohn, Joel
Issue Date: 15 Jan 2014
Publisher: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract: Certain beliefs, preconceptions, and stereotypes of Japanese and Americans influence their views of each other and themselves. However, these preconceptions are not fixed. A particular catalyst, such as a first meeting, can either dispel long-held beliefs or modify them. A brief encounter might also lead to the creation of stereotypes where none had existed before. One of the more pronounced changes in Japanese and American views of each other occurred between World War Two and the postwar era. During this time, Japan's role in the world changed from that of an Asian military power to an occupied nation. This political change along with a greater American presence in Japan provided two important catalysts that shaped and reshaped the thought of Japanese and Americans. The creation, modification and even reinforcement of Japanese and American perceptions of each other and themselves are found in a wide range of Japanese stories that take place during World War Two and the American military occupation. In his essays on Ireland, Oscar Wilde "questioned the assumption that just because the English are one thing, the Irish must be the opposite" (Wilde and the English Question, Kiberd, p. 13). This notion that people of different societies share very little in common is widely employed in Japanese literature. Rather than comparing similarities, Japanese and foreign characters often focus heavily on the differences between themselves.
Pages/Duration: 25 pages
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/32252
Rights: All UHM Honors Projects are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections:Honors Projects for East Asian Languages and Literature



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