By Michiko Suzuki
Offering a clean exam of girls writers and prewar ideology, this publication breaks new flooring in its research of affection as a severe point of jap tradition through 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 indicates how the assumption of "woman," in the context of a colourful print tradition, was once developed during the smooth adventure of affection. writer Michiko Suzuki's paintings enhances present scholarship on woman identities reminiscent of "Modern lady" and "New Woman," and translates women's fiction at the side of nonfiction from various 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 old and ideological shifts of the interval, underscoring the wider connections among gender, modernity, and nationhood.
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Additional resources for Becoming modern women : love and female identity in prewar Japanese literature and culture
Such female ties were considered an expected outcome of a sexually segregated society; in other words, the girls were seen as simply expressing their affectionate, emotive natures and budding sexuality (unperceived by themselves) within a same-sex environment. ”17 The young virgin was typically seen as a sexual tabula rasa, without desire until first incited by a man. 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.
Maternal love became a mystical notion, an intrinsic part of female identity; it was no longer something gained through the physical experience of motherhood but rather a natural instinct that existed a priori in all females. 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.
218) Next is an example of the use of these symbols in dialogue, from a scene in “Kibara” (Yellow rose), in which Miss Katsuragi tells her student Reiko about her admiration for the poet Sappho: “Miss Reiko, Sappho was a person who gave her passionate devotion to a beautiful friend of the same sex and was betrayed . . ” Miss Katsuragi, speaking thus, had tears shining in her eyes, full of dark passion······ “······Miss Katsuragi! ······” Reiko’s faint voice shook, barely managing to speak these words with her quaking red lips like petals.