Monday, May 23, 2016

the last book I ever read (Susan Southard's Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear War, excerpt one)

from Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear War by Susan Southard:

Fifteen-year-old Do-oh Mineko was, in her own words, a bit of a “wild child.” Her boisterous energy and strong competitiveness worried her mother, who warned Do-oh that the gods were watching her and would become angry if she didn’t demonstrate more feminine behaviors. “But I couldn’t see the gods, so I thought that maybe they didn’t exist,” Do-oh explained. “In Japanese, we have a word wanpaku [impertinent]. That was me.”

Do-oh’s family followed traditional Japanese gender roles, giving higher esteem and priority to men and boys. Her father, who had served in Manchuria, now worked as a high-level employee at Mitsubishi Shipyard. At home, he was a strict authoritarian who demanded absolute obedience from his children, including two hours of study a night. At dinner, he sat at a separate table in the front of the room, and even during the most dire wartime deprivation, he was given an extra serving of food. Do-oh thought men were pretty lucky.

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