Keiko Itoh

Helen Roxburgh “Do the Write Thing” TimeOut Shanghai March 2017, pp.6-8

3月14日に、Keiko Itohという日本人作家*2トークがあるのだ。
彼女は最近My Shanghai 1942-1946という彼女の母親の経験をモデルにした小説を上梓している。作者が語るところによれば、

It is the story of a young Western-educated Christian Japanese wife and mother who lives in Japanese-occupied Shanghai, initially in privileged comfort among an international social set. However, as war progresses and Japanese control tightens, she witenesses mounting hardships among her Western and Chinese friends, and feels caught between loyalty to her country and to her personal values. The theme is a young woman's moral navigation through a turbulent world, and the novel, written in diary form, revolves around the dramas of everyday life and personal relationships. (p.8)

Looking into my own family background has been the starting point of all my historical research. My mother was born in London in 1921, left as an infant, but returned again to spend her teenage years there. My grandfather was a banker and had been stationed in many different countries, icluding Britain. My first book, The Japanese Community in Pre-War Britain: From Integration to Disintegration, is a social history of the community, which included my grandfather and mother. Since my family's next move was to Shanghai, my initial intention was to do a study of the Japanese commnunity in Shanghai during the war. But the community was very big and most Japanese lived in Hongkou*3-not the social milieu of my parents*4. In the end I focused on a much narrower Japanese communty and ended-up writing a novel. (…) (ibid.)