Photo of the Week: Mari Kotani

Laurie says:

Mari Kotani from Women of Japan with her text.



I have long belonged to an alien nation of women.

Being a woman has given me negative status, making me feel very uncomfortable.
This is the reason why on entering my own late twenties I, a typical female alien, decided to leave my nasty home country and look for America.

However, without accepting femininity a woman like me could not have led my own life. Indeed, staying in the United States carried me into the discovery of feminist reality, in which being a woman gained a crucial significance. But simultaneously, being forced into an English-speaking world, I came to rediscover myself as another kind of alien, that is, an alien called Japanese.

Coming back home, I found my reality radically changed; at that point, I noticed myself metamorphosed into a brand new alien, who cannot help but reconsider the nature of femininity and the essence of Japan. Staying abroad provided me with a lucid perspective of Japanese woman. Still I keep feeling uncomfortable with being Japanese and being woman, while insistently exploring into the nodal point between Japaneseness and womanliness.

Herein lies the paradox of a postmodern alien: feeling uncomfortable with one’s reality, she or he feels most comfortable with science fiction. Yes, now I am very happy to disclose myself to be primarily a native of science fiction wonderland.

translation by the author
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女性であることを受け入れることは、生きることすべてをさすのだ。渡米体験は女性であることが少しもネガティブな違和感にはならないフェミニズム世 界の発見ではあったけれど、母国語ではない英語にいつも苦しめられているわたしは、いつでも日本人という名前のエイリアンになってしまった。
旅行から帰ってみると、世界は変わっていた。いや、世界を見るわたしの目は、女性とはなにか、日本とは何かを探求するエイリアンのそれだった。海外 体験は、日本人女性の視点を明確にしてしまったのだ。日本人であることにも女性にも違和感を感じつづけながら、両者の結節点を探求すること。それがエイリ アンの関心事だ。