Yuka Kajihara

Our Anniversary

I want to draw your attention to the fact that the LMMRG is celebrating its tenth anniversary this summer. Jason and Yuka and I started the initial discussion list at the University of Toronto shortly after the Message in a Bottle conference at UPEI in June 1998. A decade later, with a membership of thirty-eight people from around the world, the discussion list continues to go strong, and we’re very pleased with the virtual community of scholars and researchers that has developed. And with the new LMMRG website, launched in 2006, we continue to explore new ways to disseminate research.

But with this milestone comes a significant change: Jason and Yuka are now stepping down as co-chairs of the LMMRG, after a decade of service. Jason is leaving to devote all his energies on a number of research projects in early childhood education at Ryerson University, and Yuka, Osborne Collections Assistant at the Toronto Public Library, will now join the advisory board. I want to thank Jason and Yuka publicly for everything they’ve done (and will continue to do) for this community, which would not exist without their tenacity and hard work. I also look forward to the next ten years of scholarly research.

Anne-Mania Goes Global

Anne-mania goes global; Canada’s most famous literary export is being feted around the world

The Japanese, on the other hand, emphasize Annes almost mystical worship of nature and Montgomerys lyrical descriptions of the Island because those aspects of the novel tie in with Shinto—the native religion of Japan, which includes a belief in spirits associated with a particular place.

There are other reasons Anne appeals to Japanese fans.
The Japanese translation was published in 1952, when the horrors of the Second World War were still fresh and there were many orphans.

Anne also provides a complex model of femininity that resonates for Japanese women, according to Irene Gammel, author of Looking for Anne: How Lucy Maud Montgomery Dreamed Up a Literary Classic. “Anne is tempestuous, she has outbursts. Yet at the same time she is a good girl.”

Constrained by traditional gender roles, Anne’s mostly female Japanese fans appreciate the way Montgomery’s heroine “negotiates with people living in a narrow minded community which reminds them of their own society,” notes Japanese-born, Toronto-based Yuka Kajihara, a founding member of the L.M. Montgomery Research Group.