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Mimesis, Contention, and Corporeality of Otherness: Reading the Haircuts of Undocumented Immigrants’ Daughters in Japan

Mimesis, Contention, and Corporeality of Otherness: Reading the Haircuts of Undocumented... Mimesis, Contention, and Corporeality of Otherness Reading the Haircuts of Undocumented Immigrants’ Daughters in Japan Yurika Tamura In 2009 a daughter of Filipino undocumented immigrant parents in Saitama, Japan, drew national attention. In order to plead for annulment of her parents’ deportation, Noriko Calderon at the age of fi ft een became a spokeswoman for the family. Once her parents’ verdict became fi nal, Noriko cut her hair short and continued her plea in the media. In this paper I comparatively examine Noriko’s haircut and another immigrant’s daughter’s haircut in her appearance in a famous documentary and argue that the two girls’ haircuts, which are sit- uated in the Japanese immigration discourse, are both political performance and feminine mimesis. Using Luce Irigaray’s notion of feminine mimesis, which posits mimesis as a profoundly ambivalent yet subtly contentious act, this essay traces how such haircuts can reveal masculine logic of exclusion. In the process, I focus on hair as both material and symbolic surface of the body, the location of subjectivity. Locating Hair as the Corporeal Surface Hair, made of once living and now dead cells, surfaces from inside and covers the body, and it can be understood as both inside http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies uni_neb

Mimesis, Contention, and Corporeality of Otherness: Reading the Haircuts of Undocumented Immigrants’ Daughters in Japan

Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies , Volume 39 (3) – Oct 23, 2018

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Frontiers Editorial Collective.
ISSN
1536-0334

Abstract

Mimesis, Contention, and Corporeality of Otherness Reading the Haircuts of Undocumented Immigrants’ Daughters in Japan Yurika Tamura In 2009 a daughter of Filipino undocumented immigrant parents in Saitama, Japan, drew national attention. In order to plead for annulment of her parents’ deportation, Noriko Calderon at the age of fi ft een became a spokeswoman for the family. Once her parents’ verdict became fi nal, Noriko cut her hair short and continued her plea in the media. In this paper I comparatively examine Noriko’s haircut and another immigrant’s daughter’s haircut in her appearance in a famous documentary and argue that the two girls’ haircuts, which are sit- uated in the Japanese immigration discourse, are both political performance and feminine mimesis. Using Luce Irigaray’s notion of feminine mimesis, which posits mimesis as a profoundly ambivalent yet subtly contentious act, this essay traces how such haircuts can reveal masculine logic of exclusion. In the process, I focus on hair as both material and symbolic surface of the body, the location of subjectivity. Locating Hair as the Corporeal Surface Hair, made of once living and now dead cells, surfaces from inside and covers the body, and it can be understood as both inside

Journal

Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studiesuni_neb

Published: Oct 23, 2018

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