This thesis analyzes the periodical literary magazine ShūKaku [Harvest], a Japanese-language magazine published between 1936 and 1939. The purpose of this analysis is to advance scholarship on pre-World War II Japanese American literature and to explicate the connection between early Japanese American literary aesthetics and the literary periodical format from a transnational perspective. Drawing on established scholarship about early Japanese American literature, historical background, as well as theories from a range of disciplines including transnational, Asian Americanist, and spatial studies, this thesis argues that ShūKaku served as a "space" in which Japanese American writers from different positions—including geophysical, generational, and ideological—could present, theorize, and debate different versions of "Japanese American literature." By dedicating itself to iminchi bungei [immigrant literature], a literary aesthetic movement devoted to representing Japanese American life "as it is," the magazine accommodated a range of works with diverse forms, subjects, and perspectives. Studying these diverse works over the course of the magazine's lifespan reveals not only the different ways in which Japanese Americans conceived of themselves as subjects, but also how they conceived of their own literature, and how those conceptions shifted over time in response to economic and political pressures that resonated from global to local contexts. This thesis additionally extends existing scholarship about ShūKaku by analyzing yet unexplored themes and topics present in the magazine. Part literary analysis and part translation project, this thesis joins a few other scholars in bringing early Japanese American literature into contemporary literary discourse. But many works written by Japanese Americans prior to 1942 remain understudied and undertheorized. Further research will help enrich modern understandings of Japanese American history and may illuminate new ways of reading and theorizing not only pre-World War II Japanese American literature but internment era and post-war Japanese American literature, as well.
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Bishop, Louise Kane
Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
English; Literary, Cultural and Textual Studies Track
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Campus-only Access)
Kuiper, Joshua, ""Immigrant Literature": The Transnational Aesthetic of Early Japanese American Periodical ShūKaku [Harvest]" (2023). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1596.
Restricted to the UCF community until May 2026; it will then be open access.