Recreating Japanese Women, 1600-1945
Preface This multidisciplinary collection of studies based on original research by Japan specialists focuses on the definition of Japanese women's roles over the last three hundred and fifty years, from the Tokugawa era to the end of the Second World War. Contributors to the volume have drawn on a rich and varied body of primary source materials, including poetry, folklore, oral history, religious teachings, screenplays, government publications, newspapers, and popular magazines, to describe
... nes, to describe the various forces and agents of change in the construction of Japanese women and to explore the gap between the feminine ideal and the reality of women's lives in that country. Organized chronologically and centered specifically on the cultural construction of gender, the thirteen chapters constitute a history of the evolution of female roles and feminine identity in Japan. Our book originated in a three-hour panel on Japanese women's history held at the annual meeting of the Western Conference of the Association for Asian Studies in Park City, Utah, in the fall of 1986. The common themes that emerged from that panel encouraged us to expand and elaborate on our research at the following year's meeting in Tucson, Arizona. By the time we left Park City, we had already discussed putting out a book centered on changing definitions of Japanese womanhood, and we even had a tentative title: Recreating Japanese Women.