Feminist Practices in Julie Shigekuni’s Invisible Gardens: A Japanese American Woman in the Twenty-First Century

Ina C Seethaler

Abstract


This article analyzes how Julie Shigekuni’s (2004) novel Invisible Gardens offers a Japanese American feminist perspective on women’s lives. The feminist themes explored include patriarchal familial relationships, the significance of mental spaces of refuge—like a garden and other ‘beyond’ spaces—and the explicit celebration of the (sexual) body as a site of women’s empowerment.

Résumé
Cet article analyse comment le roman Invisible Gardens (2004) de Julie Shigekuni offre une perspective nippo-américaine féministe sur la vie des femmes. Les thèmes féministes explorés comprennent les relations familiales patriarcales, l’importance des espaces de refuge mental —comme un jardin et autres espaces imaginaires—et la célébration explicite du corps (sexuel) comme lieu d’autonomisation des femmes.


Keywords


Asian American Literature; sexuality; gardening

Full Text:

253-263 PDF

References


Aguilar-San Juan, Karin. 1997. “Foreword: Breathing Fire, Confronting Power, and Other Necessary Acts of Resistance.” In Dragon Ladies: Asian American Feminists Breathe Fire, edited by Sonia Shah, Yuri Kochiyama, and Karin Aguilar-San Juan, ix-xi. Boston, MA: South End Press.

Asian Women United of California. 1989. Making Waves: An Anthology of Writing by and about Asian American Women. Boston, MA: Beacon.

Bow, Leslie. 2013. “Introduction: Occluded Subjects.” In Asian American Feminisms, edited by Leslie Bow. 1-16. New York, NY: Routledge.

Charlie’s Angels. 2000. Motion Picture. Directed by McG. United States: Columbia Pictures.

Chow, Esther Ngan-Ling. 1996. “The Development of Feminist Consciousness among Asian American Women.” In Race, Class, and Gender: Common Bonds, Different Voices, edited by Esther Ngan-Ling Chow, Doris Wilkinson, and Maxine Baga Zinn, 251-264. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Duncan, Patti. 2004. Tell This Silence: Asian American Women Writers and the Politics of Speech. Iowa City, IA: University of Iowa Press.

Esaki, Brett. 2013. “Multidimensional Silence, Spirituality, and the Japanese American Art of Gardening.” Journal of Asian American Studies 16 (3): 235-265.

Friday, Nancy. 1973. My Secret Garden: Women’s Sexual Fantasies. New York, NY: Trident Press.

Fugita, Stephen, and Marilyn Fernandez. 2004. Altered Lives, Enduring Community. Japanese Americans Remember Their World War II Incarceration. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press.

Hayakawa, Masao. 1973. The Garden Art of Japan. Translated by Richard L. Gage. New York, NY: Weatherhill.

Houston, Jeanne Wakatsuki. 1985. Beyond Manzanar. Santa Barbara, CA: Capra Press.

Kato, Shuichi. 1977. “A Sense of Belonging.” In Introducing Japan, edited by Paul Norbury, 94-96. Kent, UK: Paul Norbury Publications.

Kim, Elaine. 1990. “Such Opposite Creatures. Men and Women in Asian American Literature.” Michigan Quarterly Review 29 (1): 68-93.

Kingston, Maxine Hong. 1976. The Woman Warrior. New York, NY: Random House.

Lim, Shirley Geok-lin. 1989. “A Dazzling Quilt.” In The Forbidden Stitch: An Asian-American Women’s Anthology, edited by Shirley Geok-lin Lim, Mayumi Tsutakawa, and Margarita Donnelly, 10-12. Corvallis, OR: Calyx Books.

Lorde, Audre. 1984. “Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic a Power.” In Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches, 53-59. Freedom, CA: The Crossing Press.

Payback. 1999. Motion Picture. Directed by Brian Helgeland. United States: Paramount Pictures.

Shah, Sonia. 1997. “Introduction: Slaying the Dragon Lady. Toward an Asian American Feminism.” In Dragon Ladies: Asian American Feminists Breathe Fire, edited by Sonia Shah, Yuri Kochiyama, and Karin Aguilar-San Juan, xiii-xxi. Boston, MA: South End Press.

Shigekuni, Julie. 1995. A Bridge Between Us. New York, NY: Anchor Books.

____. Invisible Gardens. 2003. New York, NY: Thomas Dunne Books.

____. Unending Nora. 2008. Los Angeles, CA: Red Hen Press.

Shimizu, Celine. 2007. The Hypersexuality of Race. Performing Asian/American Women on Screen and Scene. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty. 1987. In Other Worlds. Essays in Cultural Politics. New York, NY and London, UK: Methuen.

Tan, Amy. 1989. The Joy Luck Club. New York, NY: Putnam & Sons.

Thoma, Pamela. 2001. “‘Such an Unthinkable Thing’: Asian American Transnational Feminism and the “‘Comfort Women’ of World War II Conference.’” In Legacies of the ComfortWomen of WW II, edited by Margaret Diane Stetz and Bonnie Bongwan Cho Oh, 101-

New York, NY: M.E. Sharpe.

Walker, Alice. 1974. “In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens.” In In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens, 231-243. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

Weiss, Penny. 2013. “Getting to the Roots; or, Everything I Need to Know about Radical Social Change I Learned in My Garden.” WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly 41 (3 & 4): 131-150.

Xu, Wenying. 2002. “Sticky Rice Balls or Lemon Pie: Enjoyment and Ethnic Identities in No-No Boy and Obasan.” Literature Interpretation Theory 13: 51-68.

Yamada, Mitsuye. 1983a. “Invisibility is an Unnatural Disaster: Reflections of an Asian American Woman.” In This Bridge Called My Back. Writings by Radical Women of Color, Second Edition, edited by Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa, 35-40. New York, NY: Kitchen Table, Women of Color Press.

____. 1983b. “Asian Pacific American Women and Feminism.” In This Bridge Called My Back. Writings by Radical Women of Color, Second Edition, edited by Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa, 71-75. New York, NY: Kitchen Table, Women of Color Press.

Yamamoto, Traise. 1999. Masking Selves, Making Subjects: Japanese American Women, Identity, and the Body. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Yee, Jennifer. 2009. “Ways of Knowing, Feeling, Being, and Doing: Toward an Asian American and Pacific Islander Feminist Epistemology.” Amerasia Journal 35 (2): 49-64.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Creative Commons License
Articles published in Atlantis: Critical Studies in Gender, Culture & Social Justice/Études critiques sur le genre, la culture, et la justice are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License

ISSN: 1715-0698

If the page is not displaying images and text correctly, adjust viewing to fullscreen.