"All is not Skittles and Beer in the Land of the Cherry Blossom:" Women Travel Writers and American Imperial Influence in Meiji Japan, 1890-1910

Files

dunn_thesis.pdf

Citation

Dunn, Alexandra, “"All is not Skittles and Beer in the Land of the Cherry Blossom:" Women Travel Writers and American Imperial Influence in Meiji Japan, 1890-1910,” Scholar@Simmons, accessed December 4, 2020, https://beatleyweb.simmons.edu/scholar/items/show/139.

Title

"All is not Skittles and Beer in the Land of the Cherry Blossom:" Women Travel Writers and American Imperial Influence in Meiji Japan, 1890-1910

Creator

Dunn, Alexandra

Date

2018

Description

The scholarly narrative concerned with women travel writers is a broad and diverse field, yet there is little research into non-missionary American women who traveled to Japan post its opening in 1854. Scholars have instead focused upon the male writers or the female British writers like Isabella Bird. However, as my sources attest, there is a distinct difference between American and British writers as the American women I studied carried the idea of American exceptionalism throughout their works. This thesis will argue that, despite what some of these women may have intended, they viewed Japan through the lens of American imperialism. By treating Japan as an exotic tourist location, they maintained the subordinate position of a rapidly Westernizing Japan while also establishing themselves as voices of authority in the United States. This thesis will further argue that these women used Japan’s subordinate position to elevate their own gendered positions to become authorities on Japan and its status in the “civilized” world. Through the use of published works such as diaries, culture studies, guidebooks, and travel narratives, I will show the complexity of engagement that these women had with Japan and the Japanese.

Publisher

Simmons College (Boston, Mass.)

Format

1 PDF (80 Pages)

Language

English

Type

Masters Theses

Collection