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Introduction & Overview of Aftermath by Mary Yukari Waters

Mary Yukari Waters
This Study Guide consists of approximately 22 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Aftermath.
This section contains 227 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
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Aftermath Summary & Study Guide Description

Aftermath Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains For Further Reading on Aftermath by Mary Yukari Waters.


Mary Yukari Waters's "Aftermath" was first published in the journal Manoa in 2001 and is found in her first short story collection, The Laws of Evening, published by Scribner in 2003. The short story was also included in the anthology The Best American Short Stories 2002. As of 2005, The Laws of Evening remains Waters's only published book.

Like most of the stories in The Laws of Evening, "Aftermath" focuses on the life of an individual trying to cope with dramatic change in Japan after the end of World War II. The story's main character Makiko is a young Japanese widow, whose husband was killed while fighting American forces during the war. Following Japan's surrender to the Allied forces, Makiko struggles to raise their seven-year-old son Toshi in the years right after World War II, as the United States occupies Japan and subsidizes its recovery from the war. Makiko tries to instill traditional Japanese values and habits in Toshi, as he inevitably takes in the influences of American culture and Japan modernizes. Makiko also grapples with her memories of the pre-war period and how Japan then contrasts with the more complex and difficult world she lives in now. In addition to exploring the tension between tradition and change, the story focuses on themes of loss, memory, and grief and how individuals come to terms with those phenomena.

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This section contains 227 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Aftermath Study Guide
Aftermath from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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