By Rebecca L. Copeland
Such a lot jap literary historians have advised that the Meiji interval (1868-1912) was once without girls writers yet for the bright exception of Higuchi Ichiyo (1872-1896). Rebecca Copeland demanding situations this declare by way of studying in attention-grabbing element the lives and literary careers of 3 of Ichiyo's friends, every one consultant of the variety and ingenuity of the interval: Miyake Kaho (1868-1944), Wakamatsu Shizuko (1864-1896), and Shimizu Shikin (1868-1933). In a gently researched advent, Copeland establishes the context for the improvement of woman literary expression. She follows this with chapters on all of the girls into account. Interspersed all through are excerpts from works below dialogue, so much by no means ahead of translated, providing an invluable window into this forgotten international of women's writing.
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Extra resources for Lost Leaves: Women Writers of Meiji Japan
In this task he will be entirely free from the hampering influence of parents, which, according to the Jogaku, is the principal obstacle to modern female education in Japan. [JZ 303 (February 6, 1892):1] For girls with parents, however, the desire for advanced education against the family’s wishes could have disastrous results. Otis Cary, quoting from Naruse Jinzo¯ ’s biography of Paul Sawayama, A Modern Paul in Japan (1893), relays the following tragic anecdote: Jogaku Zasshi and the Woman Writer 17 Four girls who were eager to obtain an education resolved that they would either do this or die in the attempt.
If you have the leisure to criticize us with that fancy writing brush of yours, then your time would be better served sewing dust cloths. ”87 Usurai had made too much of herself and of her own ideas. 88 It was unseemly for such women to take themselves so seriously. Their writing was to be regarded as “housewife art” (okusama gei), as it was termed by five men who coauthored a 1908 article in the literary journal Shincho¯ (New Tide): “It is half for self-amusement that women write fiction (sho¯setsu).
63 In his effort to distinguish Japanese traditions from what he saw as the overwhelming invasion of the Chinese, Motoori Norinaga had turned to the age-old dichotomy of Japanese heart versus Chinese intellect. Consequently, he had raised the mono no aware of classical literature—particularly that of The Tale of Genji—as the single most significant literary value in the Japanese tradition. He recognized the aesthetic concepts of poetic sensitivity, private emotion, and quiet spirituality as distinctly native traits, prized by all Japanese writers, male and female.
Lost Leaves: Women Writers of Meiji Japan by Rebecca L. Copeland