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American Hijiki

American Hijiki - personal thoughts head on by interacting...

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Alexander Muhr November 8, 2006 EASC 150 Discussion American Hijiki “American Hijiki ” is a very interesting story about a Japanese man, Toshio, who had been severely effected by World War II, in particular from the American offensive against Japan. His daughter is infatuated with everything American and when her friends from Hawaii, the Higgins, come to visit, it spawns a slew of flashbacks for Toshio. To start things off, Mr. Higgins is a retired official from the State Department, which puts him in the timeframe of WWII and his involvement with the war is definite. Toshio was deeply affected by the war due to his mother’s death from radiation and then he had to raise his sister by himself. What is interesting to see in this story is Toshio’s conflict between trying to please his daughter and him constant connection to the “old” Japan, which was intensely scarred by the Americans. He has been forced to confront his
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Unformatted text preview: personal thoughts head on by interacting with the Higgins’ and trying to quell years of animosity towards America. The old Japanese stereotype is that all older people are noble and in this situation they would be able to put things behind them and become hospitable. The contemporary take is one that does not forget about what happened to Japanese people and cannot easily brush it aside with the new wave of Americanism, which is sweeping the nation. People like Toshio brought to the forefront here who feel that they are “the only ones uncontaminated by superficial exposure to foreign countries,” and are shocked “at getting a letter from an American.” These types of feelings might be seen as oppressed because of Japan’s desire to a speedy recovery from the war, but it does not mean that they go away and this story shows us that....
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