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City Girls: The Nisei Social World in Los Angeles, 1920-1950

City Girls: The Nisei Social World in Los Angeles, 1920-1950

Matsumoto, Valerie J.

£22.99  £31.60

1 available

Book Details:
Publisher:OUP USA ISBN:9780199752249 Published Date:5th June 2014 Dimensions:160 X 239 X 38 mm Weight:0.5445 kilograms Pages:312 Binding:Hardcover Illustrations:34 illus. Condition:New Notes:New MInt copy in stock for immediate dispatch from the UK

Short Description

A study of the ethnocultural youth organizations formed by teenage Nisei girls in the greater Los Angeles area and the endurance of this world of female friendship and comradery from the Jazz Age through internment through the postwar period.

Full Description

Even before internment, Japanese largely lived in separate cultural communities from their West Coast neighbors. The first-generation American children, the Nisei, were American citizens, spoke English, and were integrated in public schools, yet were also socially isolated in many ways from their peers and subject to racism. Their daughters especially found rapport in a flourishing network of ethnocultural youth organizations. Until now, these groups have remained hidden from the historical record, both because they were girls' groups and because evidence of them was considered largely ephemeral. In her second book, Valerie Matsumoto has recreated this hidden world of female friendship and comradery, tracing it from the Jazz age through internment to the postwar period. Matsumoto argues that these groups were more than just social outlets for Nisei teenage girls. Rather, she shows how they were critical networks during the wartime upheavals of Japanese Americans. Young Nisei women helped their families navigate internment and, more importantly, recreated communities when they returned to their homes in the immediate postwar period. This book will be a considerable contribution to our understanding of Japanese life in America, youth culture, ethnic history, urban history, and Western history. Matsumoto has interviewed and gained the trust of many (now old) women who were part of these girls' clubs.


City girls indeed! A determined, spunky, hard-working, fun-loving group of women who endure hardship but also just wanted to have fun. Valerie Matsumoto brings their lively world to life through vivid and sympathetic prose. The Nisei women were simultaneously so American and so non-American, familiar and surprising. A wonderful recovery of history! * Gordon H. Chang, Stanford University *
City Girls raises a number of important questions about community mobilization and empowerment that resonate with current affairs and concerns ... Matsumoto's newest book provides a solid foundation for future scholars to build upon as we continue to examine the far-reaching implications of sisterhood. * The Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth *