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Japanese-Occupied Shanghai, 1942-1946: The Making of a Novel
Start Date: 10/24/2016Start Time: 4:30 PM
End Date: 10/24/2016End Time: 6:00 PM

Event Description:
Swarthmore alum, Keiko Itoh '74, will discuss her recently published book, My Shanghai, 1942-1946 (2015, Renaissance Books). Her novel recounts the war experiences of a young, London-educated Japanese housewife, who initially settles into a comfortable existence in Japanese-occupied Shanghai. As war progresses, and Japan tightens its control within China, however, tensions mount, relationships unravel, and allegiances are questioned. It is not long before the protagonist awakens to the meaning and implications of occupation for both her international friends and for Japanese civilians.

Although written as fiction, the book is based on historical research on the Pacific War, with a significant portion relating the activities of the Quakers in Shanghai. Itoh's book is also partly biographical – the author taking inspiration from her mother’s own war experiences in China – My Shanghai, 1942-46 provides a fascinating insight into the Asia Pacific War as never told before, that is through the eyes of a young Japanese woman caught between her Christian values and loyalty to her country.

Keiko Itoh, a London-based writer and interpreter, was born in Kobe, Japan. After obtaining her BA from Swarthmore College and MA from Yale University, she worked at the United Nations in NY, and then at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the World Bank in London. In mid-career, she decided to return to university to research the historical context of her unusually international family. Her first book, The Japanese Community in Pre-war Britain: From Integration to Disintegration (Curzon Press 2001) is a social history of the Japanese community in London to which her grandfather and mother belonged.
Location Information:
*Swarthmore College - Kohlberg
Room: Kohlberg, Scheuer Room
Contact Information:
Name: Anna Everetts
Phone: (610) 328-7750
Keiko Itoh '74
Event Sponsors
Asian Studies, the Chinese and Japanese Sections of Modern Languages, Department of History, and the Advancement Office
Open To
The Public

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