By Michiko Suzuki
Providing a clean exam of ladies writers and prewar ideology, this publication breaks new flooring in its research of affection as a severe point of jap tradition throughout the early to mid-twentieth century. As a literary and cultural heritage of affection and feminine identification, 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 built during the smooth adventure of affection. writer Michiko Suzuki's paintings enhances present scholarship on woman identities akin to "Modern woman" and "New Woman," and translates women's fiction along with nonfiction from quite a number media―early feminist writing, sexology books, newspapers, bestselling love treatises, local ethnology, and historiography. whereas illuminating the ways that ladies used and challenged principles approximately love, Suzuki explores the historic and ideological shifts of the interval, underscoring the wider connections among gender, modernity, and nationhood.
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Additional info for Becoming modern women : love and female identity in prewar Japanese literature and culture
By stressing the normality of this love, Yoshiya argues for its value. In a 1923 essay titled “Dōsei o aisuru saiwai” (The happiness of loving one of the same sex), she suggests that it is an invaluable experience that enables proper female development: At this time, the girl experiences an extremely close romantic friendship [yūai] during her schooldays, and this develops into a huge force. . What a pure and dear episode this is in a girl’s life! . When this romantic friendship occurs between an older girl and a younger one, or between a teacher and her student, it is extremely positive in terms of educational value, and its worth is immeasurable.
The idea that the pursuit of modern identity as a process would ultimately lead to the superceding of linearity, to the discovery of a mythic self existing outside of time, radically altered the understanding of both women and nation, and indeed the very concept of progress, in the years immediately preceding the Pacific War. In Chapter Seven, “Okamoto Kanoko and the Mythic Mother,” I examine Okamoto’s works through notions of maternal love and modern love ideology. I particularly focus on Shōjō ruten (Wheel of life, 1939), one of her introduction longest novels, as a validation of woman as an integral part of Japanese history and national identity.
20 same-sex love Sexologists also explained this love in terms of the human developmental process, highlighting youth as a transitional state of not yet full maturity. ” He notes that many of those who practice such love later enter into normal married life. These adolescent relationships are “platonic, and there is no sexual contact [nikutaiteki kōshō] . . 22 Sexological discourse was, in a sense, able to legitimize adolescent same-sex love as a kind of rehearsal for entry into adulthood, that is, heterosexuality and motherhood.