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Hosokawa Gracia
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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 6:36 pm    Post subject: Carmen's Articles on Japanese History/Suite 101 Reply with quote
Historical Women in Kamakura to Sengoku

This was published today, "Two Courageous Women from Samurai Clans" at

Some of the facts in this article appeared in the bios of Kakusan and Tenshu on Samurai Wiki, which I wrote last year.

For Suite 101, I'll continue to write from my perspective of the lives of women from Kamakura through Sengoku. My focus will not be on samurai wars, yet they will be in the background of my articles.

Yoroshiku onegai shimasu,

Carmen Sterba
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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thanks for providing this link.
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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Here's a link to an article on Suite 101 dealing with "Historical Ninja Vs. Fantasy Ninja". Much like the 47 Ronin, the truth is slowly beginning to be put out there for the edification of the general public.

The article was written by our forum member "Hosokawa Gracia" (Carmen Sterba), who will be doing a semi-weekly column about Japanese history and culture for the site. Congrats to her!
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PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 3:51 pm    Post subject: The Most Formidable Woman in Japanese History Reply with quote
Thanks Tornadoes. Here's the most recent article, "The Most Formidable Woman in Japanese History"

This is an original article on the life of Hojo Masako who had the fortitude and leadership skills to administer the Kamakura bakufu behind-the-scenes after Minamoto Yoritomo died in 1199. She continued to be "a power to reckon with" until her death in 1225.

I'd be interested to know if any of you think that any other woman was more powerful than Masako in the Kamakura to Sengoku period.

I'd like to thank Tatsunoshi for his advice on two of my first three articles on Suite101 Online Magazine.

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Hosokawa Gracia
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
"THE CHRISTIAN CENTURY' IN JAPAN" is up on Suite101.com

The Christian Century in Japan

Your comments are welcome!

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Here's my fifth article. This time it's about the Sarashina Diary.
It's not as famous as The Diary of Izumi Shikibu, but I prefer it.

Diary of a Thirteen-year-old in Heian Japan

Carmen[/url]
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Well, this is the kind of subject I know best: Japanese poetry. Did I hear an groan?

The Title is "Two Celebrities in the Land of Poets"

Two Celebrities in the Land of Poets

Monk Saigyo is my favorite historical person and poet in Heian and though I think Basho deserved to be the most famous of all Japanese poets, he had a lot of pretense and self-promotion going on with his priestly robes when he wasn't a priest, a reputation as a hermit when he lived in Edo, and as a wanderer when his main travels were in the very last years of his life.

I think the people who followed Forrest Gump when he kept running, were looking for a Basho like guru.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
The background for my 7th article is Meiji.

Bi-cultural Educator Tsuda Umeko and Her Vision

Educators and present or former "foreign students" may
relate to Tsuda Umeko.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Next is the modern Meiji writer, Higuchi Ichiyo who revealed the underside of Tokyo by writing about the people who populated the slums next to "The Pleasure Quarters" of Yoshiwara.

Modern Realism: The Voice of Higuchi Ichiyo


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
My most recent article is about Meiji Translator and Writer, Wakamatsu Shizuko from a samurai family. Her father fought with Aizu against the imperial forces in the Meiji Restoration, was captured and imprisoned. Aizu-Wakamatsu is in Fukushima.


Wakamatsu Shizuko: From Samurai Orphan to Modern Meiji Woman

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I got back this week from the North American Haiku conference in Seattle,
where I was a judge, a panelist and a reader. Then, I sat down to write
an article on modern English-language haiku that seldom adheres to
17 syllables of 5-7-5 (without mentioning pseudo haiku that adheres
to nothing but cramming a statement into 5-7-5 syllables).


The Lopsided Image of English-language Haiku

Cheers,

Carmen

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Well, I'm back in Sengoku jidai again. This time my article is on the real Hosokawa Gracia. The Inspirational and Controversial Hosokawa Gracia

I've also separately written a Book Review on Miura Ayako's Lady Gracia: A Samurai Wife's Love, Strife and Faith, which is translated by Susan Tsumura.
When that appears, I'll send the URL.

Carmen
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
My 12th article is on Takayama Ukon. Next, I plan to write on Hosokawa Fujitaka,
and then write a book review on a trilogy written by an SA member.

Takayama Ukon and His Personal Quest as a Christian and Samurai

Carmen
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I usually write short biographies, this article is more like a short non-fiction story. I hope you like it.

Hosokawa Yusai and the Armistice for the Sake of Poetry

Carmen
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Here's my book review of Lian Hearn's Tales of The Otori.

The Otori Trilogy and Its Sequel and Prequel by Lian Hearn

Comments please.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Now we return to the Meiji Era. The next bio is on Masaoka Shiki. Each historical person who I have written on was born in a samurai family. Shiki is famous for reforming Japanese poetry after the appearance of Western Literature in Meiji.

Masaoka Shiki the Misunderstood Reformer, Critic and Poet


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
This is my first book review for Suite 101. Eugenia Kim's first novel takes place in Korea during the 35-year Japanese rule. Eugenia's inspiration for this historical novel was her mother's life before she immigrated to America.

Book Review: "The Calligrapher's Daughter" by Eugenia Kim


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:11 am    Post subject: Tsuda Umeko's Letters Reply with quote
This is my second article on Tsuda Umeko. This time it is about the letters she wrote to her host mother in America. She wrote monthly for 30 some years and her letters reveal much about the Meiji Era. The book is The Attic Letters: Ume Tsuda's Correspondence to Her American Mother, edited by Yoshiko Furuki and her colleagues at Tsuda College in Tokyo.

Tsuda Umeko's Letters to Her American Host Mother

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I've written two articles in the last week. The first is a historical novel written by Lisa See. Chinese and Japanese history collide in Shanghai Girls and changes the lives of two girls who escape the invasion in Shanghai by the Japanese in 1937 and escape to Los Angeles Chinatown.

Beautiful and Flawed Heroines in Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
The second article this week is a book review of Julie Otsuka's, The Buddha in the Attic. Otsuka had a sparse and blunt style in this 2011 novel. She uses the collective "we" of Japanese "Picture Brides" as the narrators who went to America alone to meet their their husbands for the first time. This is an American immigrant story that ends with their relocation to internment camps.


The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Chang-rae Lee's novel The Surrendered follows three main characters, Joy, Hector and Sylvie as they live in Korea or America. Sylvie is a damaged soul who witnessed her parents death by the hands of invading troops from Japan when her family lived in Manchuria. She meets Hector and June at an orphanage in Korea years later. Though she is never able to overcome her past, as the novel progresses, June and Hector take a risk to avoid their mundane lives, when they go to Solferino, Italy to find their son, Nicholas.

Chang-rae Lee was on the shortlist for The Nobel Prize for Literature in 2011. He is a novelist to watch!


Who are The Surrendered in Chang-rae Lee's Novel?

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
My book review below is on Native Speaker, an award-winning psychological novel by American novelist Chang-rae Lee. One of the subplots of this novel is the effects on the older generation of Koreans who survived Japanese annexation, two wars in Korea, and then immigrated to America. It is written from the viewpoint of a second generation Asian-American.

American Novelist Chang-rae Lee's First Novel, Native Speaker

Native Speaker is highly recommended!

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
A young samurai escaped by ship from Japan before it was allowed. That would be like a young adventurer joining a trip to the moon without any training or invitation. Joseph Hardy Niijima, better known as Niijima Jo returned from America as a respected educator and founded a college. The story of his wife Yamamoto Yae will be depicted in an NHK Drama "Yae no Sakura" in 2013.

Outstanding Christian Educator Joseph Hardy Niijima

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Jamie Ford's novel, The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, takes place in the International District of Seattle where Chinatown and Japantown intersects.

During Ford's presentation at my college, he made a minimalist statement about the plot by stating that "bitter" stands for the Japanese Internment and the "sweet" symbolizes the love story.

It is written from the viewpoint of a Chinese 6th grader who is separated from his Japanese classmate. The sweet attachment of Henry Lee and Keiko Okabe was partially inspired by the love story of Ford's grandfather.

The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet in 30 Languages

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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Kyung-sook Shin is a popular novelist in South Korea. Please Look After Mom is the first of her novels to be translated into English. It won the 2012 Man Asian Literary Prize.

The connection with Japan is tenuous, but the story reminded me of mothers in Japan during the Pacific war and how much they suffered for their children, especially my mother-in-law, Masako Yanaka from Ibaragi. The stoic mom character in this novel is universal, Asian and Korean rolled into one.

Please Look After Mom

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