IJLLL 2016 Vol.2(2): 79-85 ISSN: 2382-6282
DOI: 10.18178/IJLLL.2016.2.2.71

The Transformation of the Images of Japanese Women in America (Selected Literature from 1853 to 1953)

Li Ni
Abstract—From Cho Cho san in Madame Butterfly (1898) to Sayuri in the modern bestseller Memoirs of a Geisha (1997), the image of Japanese woman in America seemingly has always been that geisha girl – beautiful, gentle, obedient and child-like woman. This stereotype roots deeply among the American readers and perfectly embodies the Oriental fantasy the Americans have toward Japanese women. However, is it true that the image of Japanese woman in America has always been that geisha girl without any change? In pursuit of the answer, this paper unveils the Japanese women’s images through literature from 1853 to 1953 to trace the transformation of it in the Americans’ view. Besides focusing on the changing process, this paper also aims to justify the relationship between national power and national gender-images of an oriental country in the context of wars against western countries.

Index Terms—American literature, images, Japanese women, orientalism.

Li Ni is with International Christian University, Japan (e-mail: izni_n@126.com).

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Cite:Li Ni, "The Transformation of the Images of Japanese Women in America (Selected Literature from 1853 to 1953)," International Journal of Languages, Literature and Linguistics vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 79-85, 2016.

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