Valerie Matsumoto’s “Desperately Seeking “Deirdre”: Gender Roles, Multicultural Relations, and Nisei Women Writers of the 1930s,” focuses on the writings of Deirde, a second-generation Japanese American advice columnist. But as the abstract of this piece suggests, Matsumoto was not so much interested in the advice Deirde was giving her readers as much as she was interested in the questions her readers were asking the “Dear Abby” of their community in the mid-1930s to early 1940s. What were they asking about? From Deidre’s columns, what were some of the concerns of the Japanese-American community during 1935-1941? While it is of extreme importance to study the experience of the Japanese-Americans during World War II, Matsumoto argues that it is also of importance to study the pre-war lives of Japanese-Americans. Why? What did these concerns reveal about the Japanese-American experience in the United States during this time period?
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