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.
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