Becoming modern women : love and female identity in prewar by Michiko Suzuki

By Michiko Suzuki

Providing a clean exam of ladies writers and prewar ideology, this e-book breaks new floor in its research of affection as a serious point of eastern tradition in the course of the early to mid-twentieth century. As a literary and cultural heritage of affection and feminine id, Becoming glossy Women makes a speciality of same-sex love, love marriage, and maternal love―new phrases at the moment; in doing so, it exhibits how the assumption of "woman," in the context of a colourful print tradition, used to be developed during the sleek adventure of affection. writer Michiko Suzuki's paintings enhances present scholarship on woman identities equivalent to "Modern lady" and "New Woman," and translates women's fiction together with nonfiction from a variety of media―early feminist writing, sexology books, newspapers, bestselling love treatises, local ethnology, and historiography. whereas illuminating the ways that girls used and challenged principles approximately love, Suzuki explores the ancient and ideological shifts of the interval, underscoring the wider connections among gender, modernity, and nationhood.

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Extra info for Becoming modern women : love and female identity in prewar Japanese literature and culture

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One such commentary from Fujo shinbun (Women’s newspaper), for instance, offers a typical gauge for understanding same-sex love: As a result of our studies, we can say that there are two kinds of same-sex love [dōsei no ai ]. One is a passionate form of pure friendship, whereas the other is the so-called ome relationship [ome no kankei], which is a kind of female husband-and-wife couple. The former . . is a case in which the females make a vow of sisterhood, and promise to be with each other in life or death.

This bestselling work promotes purity and innocence, but it also uses nostalgia, melancholia, and stuttering syntax to suggest alternate ways of interpreting same-sex love, as something that endures beyond the confines of school and girlhood. By highlighting the importance of same-sex love, Yoshiya eventually suggests an alternative trajectory of female development. Just as legitimate as the trajectory endorsed by modern love ideology but without requiring male participation, this process of growth is the subject of her first novel, Yaneura no nishojo (Two virgins in the attic, 1920).

Much of Yoshiya’s fiction features girls and women who are strongly attached to each other, valuing above all else their love and sisterhood. the romance of sisterhood  Although Yoshiya herself was never “out” in the current sense, for fortyseven years she lived openly with her lifelong female partner (and legal heir), Monma Chiyo. As a result, Yoshiya’s stories of same-sex love are often considered simply an extension of her own life and sexuality or an example of non-Western lesbian literature.

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