First edition, first printing of the "first novel by a Japanese American woman" (Wenying Xu) set in the United States.
Very good in very good jacket.
"If only she could understand the dreams he dared to dream..."
UPON THEIR SHOULDERS chronicles the life of Taro Sumida, a Japanese immigrant to Hawai'i in search of the American dream. Visceral descriptions of Sumida working in sugarcane fields build to the triumph of owning his own land and home, only to be imprisoned during World War II. Fiction had a later start in Japanese American literature, behind poetry – including English-language adaptations of traditional Japanese forms like haiku and tanka – and autobiography. UPON THEIR SHOULDERS holds an important place in the development of Japanese American fiction. THE AMERICAN DIARY OF A JAPANESE GIRL, the first novel by a Japanese American author, was published in 1902 under a woman's pen name, but was actually written by Yone Noguchi; and the Issei Japanese American author Etsu Inagaki Sugimoto published a novel set in Japan in 1932, A DAUGHTER OF THE NARIKIN. Ota was a second-generation (Nisei) Japanese American born in Hawai'i; this book, published by a vanity press, had a small print run and limited distribution: it is quite scarce on the market today.
Read more: Xu, Historical Dictionary of Asian American Literature and Theater.
New York: Exposition Press, (1951). 8.5'' x 5.25''. Original blue cloth lettered in bright blue. In original unclipped ($3.00) blue pictorial dust jacket. Foreword by Miles E. Carey. Some toning to text block, bit of rubbing to spine head. Jacket with a few chips about.5'' deep at spine ends and corners, tape repairs on verso, spot of abrasion to rear panel.
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