Utsukushii Kurashi no Techō

Utsukushii kurashi no Techō [Handbook for Life], September 1948

“American Life and Japanese Life” Dr. Shiho Sakanishi was a librarian at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. before her forced repatriation to Japan in June 1942. In this article, she analyzed the comic strip, Blondie, based on her experience living in the U.S. To her, Blondie epitomized American suburban middle-class life. The Japanese, she thought, idealized the daily life portrayed in Blondie because of the material prosperity portrayed there. She wrote,

Blondie, who has a family of four with three dogs and no maid, must always be tired. But she has a radio, refrigerator, heater, phone, stove, coffee maker, toaster, electric clothes washer, and vacuum cleaner [which makes her life so much easier]. . . . They also have access to hot water 24 hours a day. They live like millionaires from our [Japanese] perspective.