SCHOLARSHIPDOC2.pdf - Yara Chabchoul Professor Alpert LIT 135 FY43 Q&A#11 Julie Otsuka ​The Buddha in the Attic Q1 Similar to “First Night” and

SCHOLARSHIPDOC2.pdf - Yara Chabchoul Professor Alpert LIT...

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Yara Chabchoul 12-04-18 Professor Alpert LIT 135 FY43 Q&A #11 Julie Otsuka The Buddha in the Attic Q1. Similar to “First Night” and “Babies”, “Last Days” is a single section without breaks, although each one is longer than the last and involves more diversity. Why do you think Otsuka did this? Are the reasons similar or different? Can you point to anything specific that captures your attention? In a way, it is easy to compare “First Night”, “Babies” and “Last Days” to each other because once again, Otsuka portrays a single event that has been experienced by all the people she is describing. So even though they all had individual experiences, it was of one thing shared by the Japanese people. In “Last Days”, the Japanese are leaving their homes in groups and are described to be “wearing white numbered identification tags” (Otsuka, 2011, p. 105). This caught my attention because it was clear that the US government had already labeled the Japanese families, meaning there was no way they would ever be returning back to the homes they became accustomed to and the land where they raised their children. Maybe the reason why each chapter has been longer than the last is to emphasize how the journey of the Japanese has only been getting more difficult to endure and it just never stops. Q2.These last chapters are different as they are not from the Japanese immigrants’ point of view. Who is telling us this information? What are the cities like now that the Japanese are gone? How dramatic are these changes? (pp. 115-116)
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These last chapters are from the perspective of the white Americans after the Japanese had left their towns. This is given away because the chapter begins with the emphasis “the Japanese disappeared from our town” (Otsuka, 2011, p. 115). The reader can swiftly infer who is speaking and who is being spoken about from the way the phrase is worded. Japanese businesses could not run without their owners, so “the Yamato hotel has become the paradise” (Otsuka, 2011, p. 115). This applies for other shops that were owned by Japanese and have now been flipped to American-owned shops. These changes are dramatic enough to make the Americans long for the Japanese as they peek into their shops though it is clear that “there is nothing to be seen” (Otsuka, 2011, p. 116). The Japanese are no longer there and the Americans seem more emotionally attached to them than we could have predicted.
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  • Fall '19
  • japan, Japanese diaspora, Japanese people

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