"Sandwiches and/or sushi?" : second generation Japanese Canadian women and The New Canadian, 1938-1949




Camelon, Stephanie Jean Marie

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This thesis examines the writings of second generation Japanese Canadian women in the newspaper, The New Canadian between 1938 and 1949. Nisei women lived in a dual world containing different messages of appropriate female behaviour. Although there were similarities between Japanese and North American notions of womanhood, female Nisei writers advocated acculturation to the dominant society. In The New Canadian three major themes emerge from their writings that centre around social acceptance. The first theme is prescriptions of masculinity and femininity. They openly advocated popular North American gender roles, deportment, etiquette and courting customs. The second theme concerns the Issei-Nisei relationship and the conflicts that arose over different notions of femininity. The third examines how Nisei women responded to Anglo-Canadian prejudice, by denouncing racism and advocating acculturation to mainstream society. These articles offer one image of how some Nisei women actively defined themselves, their male counterparts and their future roles. These female voices suggest the deep seeded ambivalent feelings many Nisei women had about their dual identity, their Issei parents, and their status in Canadian society. The women in The New Canadian offered one solution to this uncertainty--acculturation.



Japanese Canadian, prescriptions of masculinity and femininity., Issei-Nisei relationship, Nisei women