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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Reading Yamada Eimi Spies, Alwyn


The Japanese novelist Yamada Eimi has published many controversial and popular books. As she herself lives openly and controversially in the same way that she writes, Yamada Eimi the person is often confused with the narrators of her stories. This essay is not only a reading of her texts, but also an analysis of how "Yamada Eimi," the author, is embedded into these texts and then consumed by the reader. Starting first with two examples of diametrically opposed readings by the North American critics Richard Okada and Kuwahara Yasue, I then outline my reading which falls somewhere in between Okada's and Kuwahara's. Several Japanese readings of Yamada's writings indicate that Yamada creates her own world with its own value system and then draws the readers into this system. In Chapter One, a close reading of three of Yamada's works shows that this system is an aesthetic code that defines the behaviour, dress and attitude of the female characters in the stories. Chapter Two then shows how this code is communicated to the readers. The homosocial "sister" relationships that allow this communication are also part of how the readers are drawn in. In Chapter Thriee I combine the aesthetic code with the "sister structure" to illustrate how the reader is also included in a sister relationship with Yamada Eimi.. Back full circle, I then show how different readings of the same texts become possible.

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