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The Only Woman in the Room: A Memoir of Japan, Human Rights, and the Arts by [Gordon, Beate Sirota]
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The Only Woman in the Room: A Memoir of Japan, Human Rights, and the Arts Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Review

"Gordon's personal story will enlighten all who question the importance of women's presence in the corridors of power."--Gloria Steinem

." . . A woman with the courage to match her convictions."--Yoko Ono

"A prime example of truth being stranger and at the same time more coherent than fiction. . . . Spellbinding."--Yehudi Menuhin

"Brimming with wisdom, sophistication and energy."--Hanae Mori

"The story of a remarkable life. . . . Fascinating."--YoYo Ma

"Gordon provides an evocative portrait, carefully and tenderly recording the evanescent world of her parents in privileged, prewar, expatriate Tokyo society on the eve of its demise as well as giving us a glimpse of the newly emerging and hopeful order of democratic, postwar Japan."--Linda Isako Angst "The Journal of Asian Studies "

"A warm, colorful, haunting, and thoroughly entertaining memoir of an enviably rich and adventure-filled life. What a story!"--Dick Cavett

"Gordon's death has unearthed her legacy promoting gender equality for all women. Let's hope it stays in the light."--Cristine Russell "The Atlantic "

"Five Stars. [Sirota-Gordon's] remarkable memoir details . . . how as a young woman she rose to meet the challenge of reshaping a country from scratch. . . . The real heart of the book is the week of Sirota Gordon's work on the Constitution. . . . This chapter forms the crux of the memoir and her life, and I reread it multiple times, fascinated by the insider's view of writing the Constitution and at the accomplishment and determination of a 22-year-old. Today, Sirota Gordon's historic effort on the Constitution is particularly poignant, as lawmakers continue to debate Article 9 and the peace clause. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe enrages pacifists with his mandate to 'seek a more active role' in collective self-defense. Other lawmakers, buoyed by Article 9's candidacy for the Nobel Peace Prize, insist on supporting Japan as a peaceful nation. Despite its timely importance, however, the memoir does not carry a political agenda. The reverberations of that one week in February 1946 when Sirota Gordon worked on the Constitution echo throughout the work, and make you wonder: If a 22-year-old young woman, cultured and pampered so much that she did not know how to make her own bed at 15 years old, can overcome political pressure and 20-hour work days in that frenzied week to create a constitution that ensured rights for women and education, then perhaps each of us, too, has the potential to push for peace."--Kris Kosaka"Japan Times" (06/14/2014)

"Honest, plain and straightforward--written not by a professional author but an extremely well-bred, cultured woman who had forged a career for herself in a time when women--even in America--were expected to marry, have babies and sink themselves in domestic bliss. Or just sink. . . . Though her tone is consistently soft and modest, her voice is clearly her own--and when it's time to stand up for the Japanese and their rights, she apparently didn't give an inch. What an ally the Japanese had in Beate. . . . Beate wasn't a saint nor interested in being one. Without meaning to, she came pretty close. Her prose is never condescending, nor does it brim with self-congratulations as in the case of many memoirs. . . . What culminates from her memoirs is her selflessness. Helping others, being fair, and maintaining a striking modesty in spite of her many accomplishments were the defining factors of Beate's life."--Kaori Shoji "Japan Subculture Research Center "

Five Stars. [Sirota-Gordon s] remarkable memoir details . . . how as a young woman she rose to meet the challenge of reshaping a country from scratch. . . . The real heart of the book is the week of Sirota Gordon s work on the Constitution. . . . This chapter forms the crux of the memoir and her life, and I reread it multiple times, fascinated by the insider s view of writing the Constitution and at the accomplishment and determination of a 22-year-old. Today, Sirota Gordon s historic effort on the Constitution is particularly poignant, as lawmakers continue to debate Article 9 and the peace clause. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe enrages pacifists with his mandate to seek a more active role in collective self-defense. Other lawmakers, buoyed by Article 9 s candidacy for the Nobel Peace Prize, insist on supporting Japan as a peaceful nation. Despite its timely importance, however, the memoir does not carry a political agenda. The reverberations of that one week in February 1946 when Sirota Gordon worked on the Constitution echo throughout the work, and make you wonder: If a 22-year-old young woman, cultured and pampered so much that she did not know how to make her own bed at 15 years old, can overcome political pressure and 20-hour work days in that frenzied week to create a constitution that ensured rights for women and education, then perhaps each of us, too, has the potential to push for peace. --Kris Kosaka"Japan Times" (06/14/2014)"

Honest, plain and straightforward written not by a professional author but an extremely well-bred, cultured woman who had forged a career for herself in a time when women even in America were expected to marry, have babies and sink themselves in domestic bliss. Or just sink. . . . Though her tone is consistently soft and modest, her voice is clearly her own and when it s time to stand up for the Japanese and their rights, she apparently didn t give an inch. What an ally the Japanese had in Beate. . . . Beate wasn t a saint nor interested in being one. Without meaning to, she came pretty close. Her prose is never condescending, nor does it brim with self-congratulations as in the case of many memoirs. . . . What culminates from her memoirs is her selflessness. Helping others, being fair, and maintaining a striking modesty in spite of her many accomplishments were the defining factors of Beate s life. --Kaori Shoji "Japan Subculture Research Center ""

Gordon s personal story will enlighten all who question the importance of women s presence in the corridors of power. --Gloria Steinem"

Gordon s death has unearthed her legacy promoting gender equality for all women. Let s hope it stays in the light. --Cristine Russell "The Atlantic ""

A warm, colorful, haunting, and thoroughly entertaining memoir of an enviably rich and adventure-filled life. What a story! --Dick Cavett"

. . . A woman with the courage to match her convictions. --Yoko Ono"

A prime example of truth being stranger and at the same time more coherent than fiction. . . . Spellbinding. --Yehudi Menuhin"

Brimming with wisdom, sophistication and energy. --Hanae Mori"

The story of a remarkable life. . . . Fascinating. --YoYo Ma"

Gordon provides an evocative portrait, carefully and tenderly recording the evanescent world of her parents in privileged, prewar, expatriate Tokyo society on the eve of its demise as well as giving us a glimpse of the newly emerging and hopeful order of democratic, postwar Japan. --Linda Isako Angst "The Journal of Asian Studies ""

About the Author

Beate Sirota Gordon (1923-2012) was an Austrian-born American performing arts presenter and women's rights advocate. Following her work on the Japanese constitution and stints at various magazines in New York, Gordon devoted her life to bringing the arts of Asia to the United States.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 20139 KB
  • Print Length: 176 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 022613251X
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press (11 April 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00J0U6J6A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,146,260 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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