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Cultural CuriosityThirteen Stories about the Search for Chinese Roots$
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Josephine Khu

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780520223400

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520223400.001.0001

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In My Father's Shadow

In My Father's Shadow

(p.187) In My Father's Shadow
Cultural Curiosity

William Shang

University of California Press

William Shang was born in Tokyo when his father, Shang Zhen, was already 70 years old. His father acted as a senior adviser to the Chinese diplomatic mission in Tokyo, a position he officially held until he passed away. William's household consisted of his father, his Japanese mother, his two older sisters, his father's personal secretary, the personal secretary's mistress, and his father's Chinese mistress, Hamama. William recounts how Hamama made personal attacks on him and his sisters, and how she hoarded the gifts from guests that were originally for the children. He later learned of Hamama's sad childhood that influenced her personality. William narrates several stories of his complicated family and how his father raised and treated his children, particularly his father's expectations of him. He then details the predicaments he faced and the realizations he obtained as he tried to search out his roots and his identity.

Keywords:   William Shang, Tokyo, Japan, China, Shang Zhen, Hamama, mistress, identity

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