MADAME BUTTERFLY: Japonisme, Puccini, and the Search for the Real Cho-Cho-San, by Jan van Rij. Berkeley: Stone Bridge Press, 2001, 192 pp., 24 b/w photos, drawings, map, $24.95 (casebound).

Giacomo Puccini’s “Madame Butterfly” has become more than just a pretty piece of music. It has turned into something of a popular icon for East-West relations. Poor faithful Cho-Cho-san, left behind by faithless Lt. Pinkerton, doing away with herself while Little Trouble, fruit of their union, all oblivious, waves the American flag.

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