My Narrow Isle
THIS life story of a Japanese woman who was educated at Wellesley, and returned to her native country to take up the hard struggle of a modern woman in a society where the scales are heavily weighted in favor of the old and traditional way of life, possesses the quiet charm of a well-written novel against an exotic background. If the mother-in-law in all countries sometimes represents a delicate problem in family relations, a Japanese mother-in-law, as Mrs. Mishima shows, can be little short of a tragedy, backed as she is by the immemorial weight of a family system that sacrifices the young to the old and the woman to the man. Mrs. Mishima gives a picture, both faithful and fascinating, of the life of the everyday Japanese, of problems of education and marriage and employment and social relations. For understandable reasons she is silent on politics. But at the end she recalls Chinese friends whom she knew at Wellesley and expresses a hope that ‘this Far Eastern corner of the globe will be made a happier place for any human being to live in.’ W. H. C.