Becoming Modern Women: Love and Female Identity in Prewar by Michiko Suzuki

By Michiko Suzuki

Proposing a clean exam of girls writers and prewar ideology, this booklet breaks new flooring in its research of affection as a severe element of jap tradition throughout the early to mid-twentieth century. As a literary and cultural historical past of affection and feminine identification, turning into smooth ladies specializes in same-sex love, love marriage, and maternal love—new phrases at the moment; in doing so, it indicates how the assumption of "woman," in the context of a colourful print tradition, was once developed in the course of the smooth event of affection. writer Michiko Suzuki's paintings enhances present scholarship on woman identities reminiscent of "Modern woman" and "New Woman," and translates women's fiction at the side of nonfiction from a variety of 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 ancient and ideological shifts of the interval, underscoring the wider connections among gender, modernity, and nationhood.

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The 1920s were marked by the popularization of love marriage discourse through landmark works such as Kuriyagawa Hakuson’s (1880–1923) Kindai no ren’ai kan (Views of love in the modern era, 1921), and by a number of public scandals, ranging from love suicides to high-profile extramarital romances.  introduction Chapter Five, “Miyamoto Yuriko and the Nobuko Narratives,” focuses on Miyamoto’s canonical work, Nobuko. I offer a new way to approach this text, by examining both the 1924–1926 serialization and the standard 1928 book edition in light of contemporary ideas about love, marriage, and divorce.

Same-sex love  Bluestocking Discourse Not only was 1911 a watershed year for the proliferation of discourses about female same-sex love in the media, but it also witnessed the establishment of the Bluestocking Society. The members, many of whom had been students at Japan Women’s University, wrote for Bluestocking. Not surprisingly, for some of these New Women, same-sex love was a part of the search for the modern female self. Member Tamura Toshiko (1884–1945), for example, explored such relationships in a number of stories.

Chapter Six, “Maternal Love,” looks at how feminist and nationalist discourses converged during the 1930s to articulate a new model of female self rooted in motherhood and maternal love. These topics were of considerable interest for the general public. 55 Within modern love ideology, the attainment of maternal love and the identity of a mother had always been crucial for the fruition of romantic love, but during the mid-1920s to 1930s there was a profound shift in Hiratsuka’s understanding of love and womanhood, as well as in the thought of feminist Takamure Itsue (1894–1964), who considered herself Hiratsuka’s disciple.

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