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Document Type

Open Access

Degree Program

Japanese

Degree Type

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Year Degree Awarded

2010

Month Degree Awarded

May

Keywords

Postwar Okinawa, Okinawan Literature, Memory Studies, Religion of Okinawa

Abstract

In this thesis, using Ōshiro Tatsuhiro’s “Meiro” (Maze, 1991) and Nakandakari Hatsu’s “Hahatachi onnatachi” (Mothers/Women, 1984) as primary sources, I have pursued two main questions about postwar Okinawan literature: the question of how memory is transmitted, along gender lines, about a traumatic past through the generations and the question of yuta operating as transmitters, mediators, and anchors of cultural identity under the threat of foreign influence.

Both “Maze” and “Mothers/Women” address the issue of postwar Okinawan identity in the face of an influx of new ideas and practices by portraying Okinawan women’s struggle to find their identity. These two stories reveal the link between women’s spirituality and the construction of Okinawan postwar identity. In doing so, they demonstrate how the Okinawan religious view of women as spiritual and religious figures have inspired Okinawan authors to construct narratives of postwar Okinawan society and Okinawan people’s lives therein.

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Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Bargen, Doris G