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Overseas-Chinese Women and Education (华侨妇女与教育)

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A Case Study of an Overseas-Chinese Women’s Association in Yokohama’s Chinatown (以横滨华侨妇女会为个案研究)

image of Journal of Chinese Overseas

Traditionally, Chinese women were seen as homemakers. They were expected to stay home and to take care of their children while their husbands were out at work. The overseas Chinese in Japan were no exception. Most of the first generation who followed their husbands to Japan were housewives. Although a number of women helped out in the family business alongside their husbands, overseas-Chinese women were positioned as “stay-home mothers” and “helping wives.” This research aims to question and reposition the perception of overseas Chinese women in Japan. I utilized fieldwork, primary and secondary textual sources, and oral-history interviews to study the representation of overseas-Chinese women in Yokohama’s Chinatown. Analysis of my fieldwork materials and life stories of the overseas-Chinese women allows me to argue that the second and third generations of overseas-Chinese women in Yokohama were no ordinary housewives but pioneers in supporting overseas-Chinese education. I explored how members of a women’s Association founded and managed education services and cultural activities in the Yokohama’s Chinatown community. This research is the first English-language project that investigates the relationship between overseas-Chinese women and education. It fills in the gaps in existing literature by highlighting the role of overseas-Chinese women, the history of overseas-Chinese education, and the relationship between ethnic-Chinese identity formation and the input of overseas-Chinese women in Yokohama’s Chinatown.传统中国妇女被一向视为主妇,以在家中照顾孩子扶助丈夫为业。在日华侨妇女也并无例外: 不少跟随丈夫来日的第一代华侨妇女一般都是家庭主妇。 虽然仍一有小部分华侨妇女与丈夫一同打理家庭生意,总的来说,第一代华侨妇女被塑造为「留家母亲」及「协助丈夫的妻子」的形象。 此研究旨在提出及重新检视在日华侨妇女的角色。 笔者以亲身考察与口述历史访问的方法,以一手及二手资料佐证,探讨日本横滨中华街的华侨妇女之情况。 透过实地考察和华侨妇女们的真实故事,笔者发现第二及第三代华侨妇女经已不在单单担任持家的主妇及母亲的角色,更是推动在日华侨教育的先锋。 此研究将深入探讨横滨一华侨妇女团体成立及发展华侨教育及文化活动的历史,为首个以英文撰写有关在日华侨妇女与华侨教育发展的学术论文。,旨在填补现时学述上有关华侨研究的空隙,包括华侨妇女角色、在日华侨教育之历史及在日华侨民族认同华侨教育的关系。This article is in English.

Affiliations: 1: The Chinese University of Hong Kong


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