by Mizuko Ito
WuDunn describes an old saying: A man is in heaven when he has an American house, a British salary, a Chinese cook and a Japanese wife. My mother, a Japanese wife herself, often joked that she wanted a Japanese wife too.
WuDunn describes an old saying: A man is in heaven when he has an American house, a British salary, a Chinese cook and a Japanese wife. My mother, a Japanese wife herself, often joked that she wanted a Japanese wife too. Who wouldn't? When reading Karen Ma's book, a famous line from the movie M Butterfly also came to mind, delivered by a Beijing opera star, explaining why women's roles are played by men. "Only a man knows how a woman is supposed to act." The image of a Japanese wife as a loyal, selfless, and doll-like servant is just that, a stereotype based on the fantasies of men rather than the realities of women.
Ma's book is a provocative effort at revising these stereotypes of Japanese women, a rare, detailed look at the romantic nexus of many chanpon lives. Based on extensive first-hand research, Ma describes dynamics around intercultural relationships between Japanese and Western men and women, particularly the mismatched expectations arising for stereotypes on both sides of the cultural divide. WuDunn describes Ma's book as "a breezy book, brimming with anecdotes, that aims to debunk the Western view of Japanese women and explore problems in romances between Westerners and Japanese." The book's focus is on relationships between Western men and Japanese women, but also addresses relationships between Japanese men and Western women.
The Modern Madame Butterfly:
Fantasy and Reality in Japanese Cross-Cultural Relationships
By Karen Ma
Publisher: Charles E. Tuttle Co., Inc.
Posted by Mizuko Ito at 2001年09月18日 09:32