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Satoro Tanaka and Mrs. Hitara Importance in David Masumoto's and Pico Iyer's and Texts - Essay Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Satoro Tanaka and Mrs. Hitara importance in David Masumoto’s and Pico Iyer’s and texts Abstract David Mas Masumoto is organic peach and grape farmer who works in an 80 acre farm outside Del Rey, south of Fresno. He holds a degree in sociology from U.C Berkley and a master’s degree in community development from U.C…
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Satoro Tanaka and Mrs. Hitara Importance in David Masumotos and Pico Iyers and Texts
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"Satoro Tanaka and Mrs. Hitara Importance in David Masumoto's and Pico Iyer's and Texts"

Download file to see previous pages In Harvest Son Masumoto mentions how his interaction with a buckwheat farmer Satoro Tanaka comes to affect him profoundly, and how he develops a fondness for the farmer. Pico Iyer is a British-born, American-raised eminent writer of Indian descent who decided to settle in Japan. His essay “Our Lady of Lawson” is about his experiences in Japan as a foreigner who refuses to succumb to the pressure to indulge in native Japanese food. He talks about a convenience store he frequently visited and the effect it had on him, especially the interaction between him and the convenience store manager, Mrs. Hirata. The two stories therefore share the common theme of two foreigners analyzing two different characters in Japan. Discussion In Harvest Son, Masumoto forms a close attachment to a local buckwheat farm and its farmer, Satoro Tanaka, while in Eat, Memory: Our Lady of Lawson, Pico Iyer experiences the same emotional attachment to a local convenience store, Lawson’s, and its proprietor, Mrs. Hirata. Several similar themes run through both of these narratives, starting from the similarities between both authors. First and most important, both Masumoto and Iyer can be considered as “wild” children, belonging everywhere and nowhere at the same time. Masumoto is a Japanese-American while Iyer was born in England but has been raised in the United States of America. Masumoto has journeyed back to the land of his ancestors to reconnect with their native heritage while Iyer has chosen Japan as his country of settlement. They are considered, as Masumoto puts it, “strangers”. Iyer writes of the sense of alienation due to something as basic as his entrenched American eating habits and lack of love for Japanese food; “my housemates in Japan simply shrug and see this as ultimate confirmation -- me dragging at some lasagna in a plastic box while they gobble down dried fish -- that I belong to an alien species” (Iyer, pg.1). His love of the convenience store further serves to solidify his characterization as an outsider who refuses to fit in, even though he insists that his love for Japan is real and on a deeper level. Having lived in the country for 12 years, he should still not be typecast as an alien, yet somehow, he still is. This he attributes mostly to his refusal to conform to Japanese food and his standing firmly by convenience-store meals. It can therefore be said of both of them that they are attempting to fit into their homeland’s culture, and understand and identify with their people. Masumoto identifies with Satoro Tanaka’s buckwheat farming while Iyer points out the specific attributes and values he considers “Japanese”: It's no easier to understand Japan in Western terms than it is to eat noodles with a knife and fork. Yet it has been evident to me for some time that the crush of the anonymous world lies out in the temple-filled streets; the heart of the familiarity, the communal sense of neighborhood, the simple kindness that brought me to Japan, lies in the convenience store.(Iyer, pg.2). The convenience store, and specifically, Mrs. Hitara, or Hitara-San, as Iyer refers to her in formal Japanese, comes to embody these values: And yet, in the 12 years I've lived on and off in my mock-California suburb, the one person who has come to embody for me all ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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