Telling Lives by Ronald P. LoftusIn this fascinating collection of translations, Telling Lives looks at the self-writing of five Japanese women who came of age during the decades leading up to World War II. Following an introduction that situates women's self-writing against the backdrop of Japan during the 1920s and 1930s, Loftus takes up the autobiographies of Oku Mumeo, a leader of the prewar women's movement, and Takai Toshio, a textile worker who later became a well-known labor activist. Next is the moving story of Nishi Kyoko, whose Reminiscences tells of her life as a young woman who escapes the oppression of her family and establishes her financial independence. Nishi's narrative precedes a detailed look at the autobiography of Sata Ineko. Sata's Between the Lines of My Personal Chronology recounts her years as a member of a proletarian arts circle and her struggle to become a writer. The collection ends with the Marxist Fukunaga Misao's frank and explosive text Memoirs of a Female Communist, which is examined as a manifesto condemning the male chauvinism of the prewar Japanese Communist Party.
Constructing Subjectivities by Noboru TomonariConstructing Subjectivities addresses the relationship between memory and modernity and its relevance to Japanese autobiographical texts. Tomonari construes autobiographies as embodying memory in modernity, and regards the conditions of modernity as having determined, in part, the shape of autobiographical texts. At the same time, however, he argues that Japanese autobiographies were not simply bound to the cultural and social norms of the time, but rather that the texts themselves were among the main agents of fostering Japanese modernity. The autobiographies he discusses served to initiate certain societal transitions and took part in the remaking of social norms and conventions. According to Constructing Subjectivities, mnemonic texts were crucial to the construction of modern ideological discourses such as those on the self, the family, entrepreneurship, the roles of women, and the nation. The study of this discursive process enables us to understand how the Japanese themselves tried to control the form of modernity that materialized in Japan. Because autobiography constructed and embodied collective memory at this time, analyzing the discursive process is also crucial to understanding both contemporary Japan and the self-perception of the Japanese people.
Women on the verge Japanese women, Western dreams by Karen KelskyOver the past few decades, many young Japanese women have emerged as Japan's most enthusiastic "internationalists," investing in study or work abroad, or in romance with Western men as opportunities to circumvent what they consider their country's oppressive corporate and family structures. Drawing on a rich supply of autobiographical narratives, as well as literary and cultural texts, Karen Kelsky situates this phenomenon against a backdrop of profound social change in Japan and within an intricate network of larger global forces. In exploring the promises, limitations, and contradictions of these "occidental longings," Women on the Verge exposes the racial and erotic politics of transnational mobility. Kelsky shows how female cosmopolitanism recontextualizes the well-known Western male romance with the Orient: Japanese women are now the agents, narrating their own desires for the "modern" West in ways that seem to defy Japanese nationalism as well as long-standing relations of power not only between men and women but between Japan and the West. While transnational movement is not available to all Japanese women, Kelsky shows that the desire for the foreign permeates many Japanese women's lives. She also reveals how this feminine allegiance to the West--and particularly to white men--can impose its own unanticipated hegemonies of race, sexuality, and capital. Combining ethnography and literary analysis, and bridging anthropology and cultural studies, Women on the Verge will also appeal to students and scholars of Japan studies, feminism, and global culture.
Call Number: eBook
Women in Japanese History
Women and Public Life in Early Meiji Japan by Mara Patessio
Scream from the Shadows by Setsu ShigematsuMore than forty years ago a women's liberation movement called ūman ribu was born in Japan amid conditions of radicalism, violence, and imperialist aggression. Setsu Shigematsu's book is the first to present a sustained history of ūman ribu's formation, its political philosophy, and its contributions to feminist politics across and beyond Japan. Through an in-depth analysis of ūman ribu, Shigematsu furthers our understanding of Japan's gender-based modernity and imperialism and expands our perspective on transnational liberation and feminist movements worldwide. In Scream from the Shadows, Shigematsu engages with political philosophy while also contextualizing the movement in relation to the Japanese left and New Left as well as the anti-Vietnam War and radical student movements. She examines the controversial figure Tanaka Mitsu, ūman ribu's most influential activist, and the movement's internal dynamics. Shigematsu highlights ūman ribu's distinctive approach to the relationship of women--and women's liberation--to violence: specifically, the movement's embrace of violent women who were often at the margins of society and its recognition of women's complicity in violence against other women. Scream from the Shadows provides a powerful case study of a complex and contradictory movement with a radical vision of women's liberation. It offers a unique opportunity to reflect on the blind spots within our contemporary and dominant views of feminism across their liberal, marxist, radical, Euro-American, postcolonial, and racial boundaries.
Women of the Mito Domain by Yamakawa Kikuwe"The early socialist feminist Yamakawa Kikue (1890-1980) captures in her writings the world of women of a low-ranking samurai family in the mid-1800s. The author focuses on the unremarked lives of women confined to the domestic sphere and, in her persistent concern for the small, concrete details of daily existence, offers insights into the outlook, manners, and customs of samurai society not found in more conventional historical works. The result is a penetrating account of the myriad concerns of women's lives: food, clothing, housing, household finances, the education and discipline of children, marriage and divorce, abortion and infanticide, and the restrictions and demands placed on people by virtue of their rank in society." "Based on the recollections of the author's mother and other family records, the vivid picture of the material life and daily routine of a samurai household provided by Women of the Mito Domain is set against the backdrop of the political strife embroiling Mito in the last years of the Tokugawa period. Full, nevertheless, of affectionate humor, Yamakawa's portrait of her forebears speaks with warmth and immediacy to the reader of another culture and time."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Japanese Women by Gordon Daniels (Volume Editor); Hiroko Tomida (Volume Editor)For the first time, many of the world s leading scholars in the field of Japanese women s history met in Edinburgh in 2003 and presented papers addressing the themes of Pioneering Women in Japan and General Issues in Japanese Women s History . This volume, containing most of the papers, which have been specially edited and revised for publication, together with an in-depth contextual Introduction by Dr Hiroko Tomida and Dr Gordon Daniels, is the outcome. By definition, therefore, the volume contains some of the most recent findings in this field in Japan, Australia, the United States and the UK, and introduces new approaches to studying Japanese women s history. In addition, it contains a special contribution on Ichikawa Fusae by Professor Barbara Molony.
Recreating Japanese Women, 1600-1945 by Gail Lee Bernstein (Editor)In thirteen wide-ranging essays, scholars and students of Asian and women's studies will find a vivid exploration of how female roles and feminine identity have evolved over 350 years, from the Tokugawa era to the end of World War II. Starting from the premise that gender is not a biological given, but is socially constructed and culturally transmitted, the authors describe the forces of change in the construction of female gender and explore the gap between the ideal of womanhood and the reality of Japanese women's lives. Most of all, the contributors speak to the diversity that has characterized women's experience in Japan. This is an imaginative, pioneering work, offering an interdisciplinary approach that will encourage a reconsideration of the paradigms of women's history, hitherto rooted in the Western experience.
Bartle Library Stacks (HQ1765.T64 B85 1995 )
Subjects: Women -- Japan -- Tokyo -- Case studies; Middle class women -- Japan -- Tokyo -- Case studies; Families -- Japan -- Tokyo -- Case studies; Middle class families -- Japan -- Tokyo -- Case studies; Japan -- Social conditions -- 1945
Bartle Library Stacks (DS731.J3 K87 1999 )
Subjects: Kuramoto, Kazuko, 1927-; Japanese -- China -- Manchuria -- Biography; Women -- China -- Manchuria -- Biography; Agricultural colonies -- China -- Manchuria; World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal narratives, Japanese; Manchuria (China) -- Biography; Manchuria (China) -- History -- 1931-1945; Japan -- History -- 1945
Sarashina Diary by Sonja Arntzen (Translator); Moriyuki ItoA thousand years ago, a young Japanese girl embarked on a journey from the wild East Country to the capital. She began a diary that she would continue to write for the next forty years and compile later in life, bringing lasting prestige to her family. Some aspects of the author's life and text seem curiously modern. She married at age thirty-three and identified herself as a reader and writer more than as a wife and mother. Enthralled by romantic fiction, she wrote extensively about the disillusioning blows that reality can deal to fantasy. The Sarashina Diary is a portrait of the writer as reader and an exploration of the power of reading to shape one's expectations and aspirations. As a person and an author, this writer presages the medieval era in Japan with her deep concern for Buddhist belief and practice. Her narrative's main thread follows a trajectory from youthful infatuation with romantic fantasy to the disillusionment of age and concern for the afterlife; yet, at the same time, many passages erase the dichotomy between literary illusion and spiritual truth. This new translation captures the lyrical richness of the original text while revealing its subtle structure and ironic meaning. The introduction highlights the poetry in the Sarashina Diary and the juxtaposition of poetic passages and narrative prose, which brings meta-meanings into play. The translators' commentary offers insight into the author's family and world, as well as the fascinating textual legacy of her work.