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A Glimpse Into The Life Of Japanese Women

1175 words - 5 pages

It is no doubt that Winnifred Eaton; the author of “A Half Caste” is a genius when it comes to using literary masquerade in relation to her treatment of Japanese women and mixed race. She is Otono Watanna in disguise. Through her pen name, she was able to shed light on issues relating to the Japanese race, or more specifically, the Japanese Caucasian persons. Watanna has successfully raised the representation of the Japanese women as being submissive under the men authority, Western or Asiatic. Watanna portrayed this image through the interaction between the half-caste Japanese women and Western characters. This view is demonstrated through her fictional prose of “A Half Caste,” “A Contract,” and her nonfiction work “The Half Caste.”

Watanna’s self-fashioning examines the reasons of submissiveness based on the relationship between Japanese women and Western men. Most people would agree with the depiction that women of the Japanese culture are weak due to their submission to the male figures. One can relate to this based on the upbringing of Japanese women. Often time, they are given very little authority during their lifespan. As a child, they are being controlled under their parents’ dictatorship. By the time they grow become adults, their freedom and liberty is still limited, to say the least. Furthermore, bigotry is also imposed upon the half-caste race by society. If there is any matter that the Japanese are against, it would be the existence and presence of the half-caste, which is a race, mixed of Japanese and Caucasian blood. Okikusan is a half Japanese, half European geisha girl in “A Half Caste.” There is an “unreasonable dislike” that Okikusan has developed for foreigners. This is can be easily explained through the treatment that she receives from the people around her. One of the most challenging difficulties that Okikusan encounters, aside from seeing her single mother suffers, is the discrimination from her fellow Japanese. When she revealed her European features to convince Hilton, it was evident that her hair was a color of brown and the whiteness can be shown through the purity of her skin. And she was an outcast for this abnormal physical appearance. Through Okikusan’s interaction with Hilton, a foreigner who is visiting Japan, one can assume that the affiliation between the two characters is merely a master-servant relationship. Okikusan accept her role and responsibility as a Geisha of having to serve her guests through some sort of entertainment: chatting, dancing, or laughing. This is a form of submission that Okikusan has shown to Hilton. Moreover, acting against her will to make others happy can be perceived as a sign of submission. When Hilton asked if she is pretending to smile, Okikusan admitted answered “Yes.” In modern society, this would be viewed as degradation to the Japanese. One can assume that being born under the Japanese culture, Okikusan and many other girls her age are not given the opportunity witness...

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