Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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p. v

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-viii

It is impossible to thank all the people who should receive thanks for a project of this length. Personally and professionally, I’ve benefited from the guidance and support of far too many to acknowledge here. I only hope that they will see their imprint in my work and feel that it does them justice. ...

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Note on Citation Format

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p. ix

For works originally published in Japanese, both the Japanese-language title and an English translation of the title are provided the first time a work is cited here. For subsequent citations, I employ the English-language title only. For subsequent citations, I employ the English-language title only....

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INTRODUCTION Bad Wives and Worse Mothers? Rewriting Feminity in Postwar Japan

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pp. 1-12

“Woman-hating.” That title just leapt right off the page. I was more puzzled than offended because the essay in question was by a woman writer whose work I admired for her portrayal of bold, independent, and bravely eccentric female protagonists—women who challenged the status quo, ...

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CHAPTER 1 Party Crashers and Poison Pens: Women Writers in the Age of High Economic Growth

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pp. 13-52

The 1960s witnessed the debuts of a succession of women writers of fiction whose subversive heroines and controversial themes posed a profound and disturbing challenge to cherished ideals of femininity and “feminine” writing. The decade began with the publication of Kurahashi Yumiko’s “Partei” (Parutai, 1960), ...

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CHAPTER 2 The Masculine Gaze as Disciplinary Mechanism

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pp. 53-76

It is striking how many Japanese expressions related to interpersonal communication employ the word “eye.” In a culture that so prizes wordless communication, apparently the “eyes” have it. Children are admonished to behave lest others look at them with the whites of their eyes. ...

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CHAPTER 3 Feminist Misogyny? or How I Learned to Hate My Body

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pp. 77-96

In chapter 2, we saw the importance of the masculine gaze in disciplining women to behave as “appropriately” feminine subjects. While such discipline implies a negative form of reinforcement of gender norms, it is nevertheless clear that in other stories, the desire for positive validation by the men in one’s life ...

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CHAPTER 4 Odd Bodies

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pp. 97-126

As noted in the previous two chapters, women in the texts we have analyzed so far can be said to be held accountable to norms of femininity, whether they identify with such constructions or not, based solely on the fact that they inhabit female bodies. ...

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CHAPTER 5 The Body of the Other Woman

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pp. 127-152

In previous chapters, we have explored the ways Kōno, Takahashi, and Kurahashi used literature as a means of exposing, critiquing, and then subverting binary models of gender that sought to confine women within restrictive stereotypes of femininity. ...

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CONCLUSION Power, Violence, and Language in the Age of High Economic Growth

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pp. 153-168

Gender, as envisioned by the Japanese women writers of fiction addressed in this study, is a form of power that disciplines bodies to produce certain types of behaviors and desires that are seen as advantageous to national and societal goals. ...

Notes

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pp. 169-184

Works Cited

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pp. 185-192

Index

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pp. 193-199