What is the concept of home in "The Shoyu Kid" by Lonny Kaneko?

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The concept of home is a very important one in "The Shoyu Kid". The story centers around a group of Japanese-American boys imprisoned in an internment camp during World War II. As a result of their experiences, they abandon their ethnic identity, choosing instead to adopt the cultural norms and...

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The concept of home is a very important one in "The Shoyu Kid". The story centers around a group of Japanese-American boys imprisoned in an internment camp during World War II. As a result of their experiences, they abandon their ethnic identity, choosing instead to adopt the cultural norms and values of white America.

For instance, Hiroshi changes his name to Jackson, adopts the mannerisms of John Wayne, and shows his disapproval of traditional Japanese culture by thumbing his nose at the women of the camp when their backs are turned.

In that sense, the boys are culturally and spiritually homeless, striving hard to emulate the norms of the dominant culture, while at the same time being incarcerated by representatives of that culture.

The eponymous Shoyu Kid is himself spiritually homeless. A quiet, effeminate loner, he is in an even more difficult situation than the other boys in the camp. He has two points of departure from the dominant white culture. Not being able to come up to the standards of either traditional Japanese or modern American ideals of masculinity, he is trapped in the middle, homeless wherever he goes and whatever he does. Despised by the authorities on account of his ethnicity, and treated with contempt by the other boys for his effeminacy, the Shoyu Kid has no place to go.

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