All translations are the author’s unless otherwise noted.
1 This research is based on fieldwork in Waikiki, Hawai¡i in 1991 on the ‘‘yellow
cabs’’ phenomenon and in Tokyo in 1993 and 1994 among sixty Japanese women
(as well as forty others surveyed through questionnaires) who had internationalist
experience through study abroad, work abroad, or employment in foreign-a≈liate
firms or nongovernmental organizations such as the United Nations. The majority
of these women were single, between twenty and forty-five, and bilingual to some
degree. About 70 percent had study-abroad experience ranging from six months to
four years. Most had been or were currently romantically involved with a white
Western man. My fieldwork included sites of Japanese female–foreign male
romantic encounters, including Roppongi nightspots, conversation lounges,
‘‘friendship parties,’’ and ‘‘international dating services,’’ where I also interviewed
Japanese and foreign men.
2 I thank Anne Allison for suggesting the term ‘‘Occidental longing.’’
3 Women’s internationalist narratives are resolutely heterosexual in nature. Just as
Japan is embodied in the Western imaginary by the Japanese woman, the West in
women’s discourses is embodied by the white man, and international intimacy is
imagined as a union of the two. Although there are queer trajectories of desire in
operation between Japan and the West, these were not enunciated in women’s
internationalism. For the lone exception, in which lesbian sexuality is mentioned
only to be ridiculed, see Kida (1998, 136–39). For work on queer desire operating
between Japan and Western countries, see Hanawa (1996); Treat (1994, 1999);
McLelland (2000).
4 It is perhaps ironic that Japanese women claim to be ‘‘marginal’’ given the domi-
nance of the Japanese woman as signifier of a feminized Japan in Western eyes
(which I discuss in chapters 1 and 3). Nevertheless, as I show, women’s centrality to
an external image of Japan does not negate their own insistence on their ‘‘internal’’
5 Lynn Stephen, personal communication, February 22, 1999.
6 Kyoko Mori is particularly important in this regard as a writer who almost perfectly
balances the conventions of the Japanese-language genre of women’s interna-
tionalist writing with a larger English-language field of women’s postcolonial
bildungsroman in the West. See in particular Mori (1997). My gratitude goes to
Kimura Naoko for bringing the works of Kyoko Mori to my attention.
Previous Page Next Page