Honors Program

University Honors

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Scott Honeycutt

Thesis Professor Department

Literature and Language

Thesis Reader(s)

Junko Tezuka Arnold


The concept of honor has developed over several centuries on the island nation of Japan. Due to this institutionalized growth, honor is something to be explored for how it has shaped and how it continues to mold contemporary Japanese culture. One way to examine Japanese honor is through the primary lens of Young Adult literature. By examining representations of Japanese honor in Young Adult literature, readers can learn how honor developed Japanese culture. Furthermore, readers can discern what aspects of honor in Japanese culture should be scrutinized. Through this scrutiny, readers will be able to discover how honor may be applied to contemporary society. The following texts will be explored in this thesis: Pamela S. Turner’s novel, Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune (2016), Shigeru Mizuki’s manga, Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths (1991), the joint novels of So Far From the Bamboo Grove (1986) by Yoko Kawashima Watkins, and Year of Impossible Goodbyes (1991) by Sook Nyul Choi, and finally the memoir Farewell to Manzanar (1973) by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston. Each of these books provides a key narrative view of honor in its relation to people at various points of Japanese culture. The conclusion of this thesis will argue that the developments discovered about Japanese honor can be learned from and applied to modern society outside of Japan.


East Tennessee State University

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
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