Critical work: the accidental migrants: british female migrants to Japan and creative work: Gaijin: Japan through western eyes

Burton, Susan (2018) Critical work: the accidental migrants: british female migrants to Japan and creative work: Gaijin: Japan through western eyes. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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This doctoral thesis is a study of western migrants to Japan. It examines the lives, the lifestyles, and the jobs of a varied group of westerners who choose to reside long-term in an Asian country. Through their experiences this thesis also examines aspects of modern Japanese society: history, belief, laws, business, cuisine, art, media, gender and identity. This thesis comprises two parts, both of which are extracts of longer works:

The critical research project, The Accidental Migrants: British female migrants to Japan, is a qualitative oral history research project exploring the lives and experiences of a sample set of western migrants to Japan: British women. A group of 18 British women were interviewed and the critical project examines their migration narratives in three areas: gender, migration and identity, analysing their subjective experiences as women, as foreigners (gaijin or gaikokujin) and as British citizens. The extracts contained in this thesis comprise the first three chapters of a longer study. A further two chapters can be found in the appendix.

The creative project, Gaijin: modern Japan through western eyes, is a work of cultural reportage documenting the lives and careers of a more diverse group of western migrants. It features an American who runs a Buddhist temple, a Liverpudlian who is Japan’s only professional foreign female rakugoka (comic storyteller), a British animal rights activist, the British founder of a 'Great British' baking school, an Australian singer who voices the character of a cartoon sushi on Japanese television, an American academic who uncovered Japan's biggest archaeological hoax, a British miso (fermented soybean) expert, and a Welshman who writes, produces and directs award-winning Japanese-language movies. There are also teachers, bar hostesses, wedding celebrants, singers, actors, models, and the multicultural members of Japan's oldest amateur dramatic society. The twelve chapters contained in this thesis comprise two-thirds of the completed book.

Both are works of non-fiction. They are thematically similar, exploring issues of migration and transnational identities. But because different approaches were taken within the genre of non-fiction - one critical to be read by academic peers and the other a creative style for a general readership - the completed projects emerge as distinctive but complimentary pieces of work. The differences and similarities in the genres are examined in the thesis

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Literature and Creative Writing (former - to 2011)
Depositing User: Users 11011 not found.
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2019 13:54
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2023 07:15

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