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A year later her father remarried and the remarriage resulted in a less than happy home life for the author. Anxious to be away from home, Mori moved to the United States at the age of 16 to attend college.
Some years later she received her Ph. In this, her first published work, Mori takes a critical look at Japanese culture from the perspective of a female adolescent who has undergone a traumatic loss. The war was devastating to Japan in terms of the effects on its economy, the destruction of its cities, and the incredible loss of life the Japanese sufferedcivilian casualties from aerial bombings Shizukos daughter.
The atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki wrought destruction of nightmarish proportions. In Hiroshima,people either died upon impact or succumbed to deadly radiation sickness during the aftermath, and more than 60 percent of the city itself was levelled by the bomb.
An additional 35, Japanese were killed at Nagasaki. In addition to these very concrete casualties, the war inflicted damage to the Japanese psyche. In addition to the radical demilitarization of Japan, which was expected and was similar to other postwar occupations, SCAP instituted a program of rapid democratization in the hope that this would prevent Japan from going to war in the future.
The office set out to achieve nothing less than a reformation of Japanese society: There were few aspects of the culture that SCAP did not in some degree become involved with.
SCAP also attempted to implement an almost socialist egalitarianism economically, in the hopes that this too would be a deterrent to future Japanese imperialism. Other measures along these lines were initiated and later abandoned e.
Conformism Key to an understanding of the Japanese people is their emphasis on group identity and membership. It was not only the samurai, however, who were taught to deny their individuality and selfhood in favor of the values of the group to which they belonged. Society in Tokugawa Japan ; was highly regimented, and a strict class structure based on Confucian theory was rigidly enforced.
Individuals in the society were divided into the classes of samurais, peasants, artisans, and merchants, each with its own set of values and responsibilities, and there was very little mobility among groups.
Emphasis on the importance of the group persisted beyond the feudal past.
Even though the Meiji government attempted to encourage more focus on the individual by eliminating class barriers and writing individual rights into the constitution, many Japanese still saw themselves not as individuals, but primarily as part of a collective.
The Allied post-war reforms towards democracy and egalitarianism encouraged individualism too. When adopting such reforms, many Japanese intellectuals were forced to look to Europe, the Soviet Unionand even the United States for theoretical models upon which to base their campaigns for individuals to establish a modern sense of self, these kinds of models were simply lacking in Japanese culture.
When it comes to professions, for example, Americans tend to see themselves as individuals. The average American thinks of him or herself as possessing a certain talent or skill to market to the prospective employer who is willing to pay the most for the skill.
The Japanese worker, on the other hand, sees his or her position as being with a particular company. To be a member of the Mitsubishi Organization, for instance, brings with it a sense of belonging, pride, and loyalty to the company: The group structure so prevalent in Japan is reflected in, and perhaps even reinforced by, one of the most essential Japanese social values—harmony.
Employees are expected to avoid confrontation at all costs.
Society greatly prizes skill in social interaction, called haragei, otherwise known as the art of the belly: Thus, in Japan, voices are seldom raised.
Shizuko once got into trouble because instead of bowing her head as she walked by his picture, she looked straight at it and said that he had a funny nose.
She was punished for this defiant act. After World War II, the emperor came on the radio to inform the nation that he was no longer to be worshipped, that he was only human like everyone else.
Kimura said he thought of Shizuko and how she had been proven right. Another real-life occupation policy referred to in the novel is the great land reform. In order to reduce tenancy rates, which stood at 45 percent, and redistribute agricultural property more equitably, SCAP banned absentee ownership of land and restricted the village landowners to keeping only a small parcel for themselves for subsistence farming.
The result was a virtual confiscation of property from the landowners and a redistribution of the land to former tenant farmers, who suddenly found themselves property owners.
The match would make Shizuko the financial savior of her family, but, unable to marry a man she does not love, she walks all night to the next village to break off the engagement. Many Japanese have shown themselves to be highly averse to open displays of emotion of any kind.Find all available study guides and summaries for Shizuko's Daughter by Kyoko Mori.
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The emphasis is on describing the writing style and quality, with a short plot synopsis included. An introduction to Shizuko's Daughter by Kyoko Mori. Learn about the book and the historical context in which it was written.
Shizuko's Daughter, is a deeply moving and powerful coming-of-age novel. Like many children with emotionally fragile parents, Yuki grows up strong and capable, and Shizuko has encouraged her daughter to be bold.
Above everything else, Shizuko’s Daughter allows readers to empathize with its realistic characters. I thank Mori for giving a raw perspective of depression, rather than romanticizing it like popular shows and novels do.
Each character’s situation varies, providing ways to cope with one’s personal issues/5(19). So she began by thinking about her grandmother's life, about her relationship with her grandmother, about what her mother's life might have been like, and finally about what her own life would have been like if she'd done things just a little differently.
It was from these considerations that Shizuko's Daughter .