What historical facts are evidenced in Mori's Shizuko's Daughter?

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One historical event evidenced in Shizuko's Daughter is the movement for the liberation of women from traditional Japanese roles that confined women to the place of wife and mother and, especially for the most traditional, to clothing that confined women equally narrowly as social roles did. During the United Nations Decade for Women, which spanned 1975 to 1985, laws change in Japan that gave at least nomial rights to Japanese women. This theoretical liberation is evidenced in the social violations Yuki repeatedly either accidentally or willfully commits. One example is continuing to wear colorful clothing--designed and made by her mother--following her mother's unfortunate and tramatizing death. When told to wear something of a more suitable color and gravity, Yuki goes to her closet to breathe in the scent of the colors to "drown out the wailing chant [of mourning] with their brilliance."

Another example that evidences the historical event of the liberation of Japanese women--confirmed by Japan's new laws in the 1970s--is when Hanae gathers Yuki's clothes up to take the socially unsuitable garments away from Yuki. Yuki violates cultural mores and social by yelling at Hanae and expressing her true feelings: "You pretend that we're all happy together. I don't pretend. I hate you." A third example is her intentional smashing of the communal sake bowl as an overt sign of protest at her father's marriage to his second wife, Yuki's new (unwanted) step-mother. She also carries a picture of her father and mother on their wedding day as a sign of her right to express herself regarding her father's marriage.

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Shizuko's Daughter

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