Asia House Talk: Itoh’s debut novel, My Shanghai 1942-46

In 1942 Shanghai was a melting pot. The Chinese city, then occupied by the Japanese, had populations of British, French, Russians, German nationals and Jewish refugees all mixing in the same circles. It was a time of huge shortages and great fear, but one woman, a British-educated, young Christian Japanese woman, made it sound an overwhelming positive experience.

Drawing on family memories and extensive historical research, her daughter, Keiko Itoh, sets out to find out why in her debut novel, My Shanghai, 1942-46.

Join Itoh for a thoroughly researched, personal talk on her discoveries as wartorn Shanghai is brought to life.

A former press officer at the World Bank, Keiko Itoh has a PhD in history from the LSE (on the Japanese community in London in the 1920s & 1930s of which her family were part).

My Shanghai, 1942-46

It is 1942. Shanghai after Pearl Harbor. Newly-arrived Eiko Kishimoto, a 20-year-old, London-educated Japanese housewife, settles into a privileged existence in the French Concession as a member of the community of the Occupying Power. Initially, her days are filled with high society lunches and dinners, race course and night club visits and open-air summer concerts, amidst an ebullient and remarkably cosmopolitan society that makes up Shanghai.

But all is by no means what it seems. As war progresses, and Japan tightens its control within China, tensions mount, relationships unravel, and allegiances are questioned. It is not long before Eiko awakens to the meaning and implications of occupation for both her international friends and for Japanese civilians. Even her settled domestic life, with a growing family and close proximity to her beloved older sister, is threatened as Japan’s war efforts become more desperate and degenerate.

Join Itoh for a thoroughly researched, personal talk on her discoveries as wartorn Shanghai is brought to life.

Date: May 10, 2016
Time: 12:30 – 13:30
Venue: Asia House
63 New Cavendish Street, London, W1G 7LP
(Visited 12 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

*