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Gender and Globalization in Asia and the PacificMethod, Practice, Theory$
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Kathy E. Ferguson and Monique Mironesco

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780824831592

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824831592.001.0001

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Gaze Upon Sakura

Gaze Upon Sakura

Imaging Japanese Americans on Japanese TV

Chapter:
(p.101) Chapter 6 Gaze Upon Sakura
Source:
Gender and Globalization in Asia and the Pacific
Author(s):

Christine R. Yano

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824831592.003.0006

This chapter explores the representation of Asian American females in Asian media (particularly in contrast to American portrayals), and the processes and images of their representation. It addresses these issues through one case study: a 2002 Japanese soap opera, Sakura, whose main character is a young female Nikkei (person with Japanese ancestry but no Japanese citizenship/nationality) from Hawai‘i. In this drama the main character, Elizabeth Sakura Matsushita, travels to Japan, where she spends one year teaching English at a private middle school in the countryside. In the process, she proves herself “more Japanese than Japanese.” In analyzing this drama, this chapter considers what this portrayal of a young female Nikkei intends; how gender ineluctably shapes the portrait; and how Nikkei, as prodigal Japanese, become exemplars of what Japan has lost.

Keywords:   Asian American females, Asian media, American media, Sakura, Nikkei, prodigal Japanese, Japanese soap opera

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