Premium Essay

Kathleen Tamagawa Racial Perspective

Submitted By
Words 629
Pages 3
A Biracial Perspective
Initially published in 1932, Kathleen Tamagawa’s developing memoir is a delicate and reflective look into personal and social complications of growing up as a biracial person in the early twentieth century. She was born in 1893 to a Japanese father and an American mother with Irish origin and raised in Chicago as well as Japan. Kathleen contemplates on the struggle she experienced blending into either parent’s native culture.
She recounts how in America her idiosyncrasies and qualities was viewed as quintessentially Japanese. Furthermore, she was regarded as ‘the yellow menace’ or a ‘Japanese doll’. Her brothers-in-law even referred to her as a Jap who spoke with a Chicago accent. In spite of being tall, she is seen as ‘the little Japanese lady’. Later on when her family moved to Japan there she was perceived as a Yankee hence remaining a stranger in that country too. As a grown woman, she moved to America as the wife of an American diplomat. Nevertheless, she still had trouble feeling a sense of belonging …show more content…
It is of particular importance to note the era in which Tamagawa was raised was one where racial intolerance was the norm, and biracial families were all the more confused. For any child growing up biracial everything was torture with incredibly slim chances of ever feeling a sense of belonging, pride and identity. Reading her memoir, one sees why she had such a deep-rooted, passionate hatred for interracial marriages. As a result, she passionately reveals in her writing that she does not approve of Eurasian marriages or international ones for that matter. However, her blunt refusal of international and Eurasian marriages in addition to her embrace of absorption into the white American culture does not sit well with modern readers of her work who value multiracial, hyphenated and models of transnational

Similar Documents