By Michiko Suzuki
Proposing a clean exam of ladies writers and prewar ideology, this ebook breaks new floor in its research of affection as a serious point of jap tradition in the course of the early to mid-twentieth century. As a literary and cultural background of affection and feminine identification, Becoming glossy Women specializes in 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 event of affection. writer Michiko Suzuki's paintings enhances present scholarship on woman identities resembling "Modern lady" and "New Woman," and translates women's fiction along side nonfiction from more than a few 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
While showing the incompleteness of these girls and their “temporary” love, these symbols inscribe the gaps in the fabric of the narrative; by allowing meaningful silence to break through the unblemished veneer of what is actually uttered, these textual symbols challenge readers to read beyond the surface of the text. In both narrative content and writing style, Flower Tales simultaneously uses and challenges contemporary ideas about same-sex love in youth, creating a subversive space that offers multiple ways of reading this love.
During the prewar period, same-sex love discourse became an important part of society’s understanding of young women in general, in addition to its views on the specific figure of the schoolgirl. This is not to say that female-female love suddenly became a dominant practice for all girls and women. Rather, ideas of “normal” romantic friendship and “abnormal” same-sex desire, as well as ideas about the connection between gender and sex (femininity and masculinity), helped form the concept of the young female, and even determined correct and incorrect trajectories for her process of growth and development.
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.
Becoming modern women : love and female identity in prewar Japanese literature and culture by Michiko Suzuki