Second Generation Daughter
"Even with all the mental anguish and struggle, an elemental instinct bound us to this soil. Here we were born; here we wanted to live. We had tasted of its freedom and learned of its brave hopes for democracy. It was too late, much too late for us to turn back.” Monica Sone’s Nisei Daughter is a compelling story of the life of a Japanese American growing up and discovering who she is in the World War II era United States. “Nisei”, meaning, “second generation”, is a Japanese term used to specify the children born to Japanese people in a new country (who are called Issei). Monica Sone was born an American Citizen, but her parents –as well as other Issei– were not deemed to be American citizens until post World War II. This essentially important difference between Issei and Nisei seemingly forced an ultimatum to Nisei people; to be Japanese or to be American. Nisei were often criticized by their families for their absent role of Japanese customary behavior, and were criticized by Americans because they weren’t able to assimilate into American lifestyle. Nisei Daughter is a story about a Japanese American girl constructing her own self-identity in an environment where there is much confusion amongst Nesei people who are torn between two cultures.
[ 1 ]. Monica Sone, Nisei Daughter (Canada: McClelland and Stewart Limited, 1953), 124 [ 2 ]. Wikipedia, Nisei (Published from Wikipedia at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nisei ,2013), Article Introduction