Under the Shadow of Nationalism
Politics and Poetics of Rural Japanese Women
Publication Year: 1998
Published by: University of Hawai'i Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
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The cover of this book, Takahashi Hiroaki's Twilight, "highlights the ideological emphasis on the virtues of the traditional countryside in opposition to the urban, industrial society" (Dartnall 1996, 80). Yet, this depiction represents only half of the Story I will tell here...
1. Introduction: Japanese Nationalism and Rural Women
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While acknowledging that every word inscribed in the present text has a history of its own, I intend to focus on only a few. I single out for study “Japanese nation/nationalism,” “rural,” and “women” because I am interested in the way in which the category of “rural women” emerged in the discourse of “Japanese nationalism” at...
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Under the warm sun of early afternoon, nothing seems to move. Only once every two hours, an incoming train breaks the silence. The big sign erected by the railroad reads, “Let Us Not Scrap the Iida Line,” a testimony to a decrease in local train use and an increase in car ownership...
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"Komori" is a generic term that consists of a noun, “ko” (child), and a verb, “moru” (to protect or to take care of); Japanese use it to refer to any person, male or female, old or young, who takes care of children. In this chapter, however, I focus on the young girls, hired...
4. Factory Women
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Yes, komori grew, physically and intellectually, protesting in their songs against upper- and middle-class commentaries and observations of them. And in the next phase of their life cycle, most of them engaged in silk spinning at modern “factories,” the symbol of the...
5. The Countryside and the City 1: Yanagita Kunio and Japanese Native Ethnology
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I have argued that the silk industry was a central feature of Japanese nationalism from the very beginning of the Meiji period. Even after the 1880s, silk factory women were national subjects, while constantly being monitored for their “women’s morality” and their...
6. The Countryside and the City 2: Agrarianism among Nagano Middling Farmers
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Yanagita left thousands of books and articles on his perceptions of rural women and his vision of nation building. Did the middling farmers in Nagano also leave us their writings? In 1990, I visited Ueda Hakubutsukan (Ueda History Museum), located on the...
7. The Wartime Period
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I the previous two chapters, I argued that students of Japanese native ethnology as well as Nagano middling farmers tried to imagine a national community by identifying agrarian life as a “principle of social cohesion.” In order to do so, they relied heavily on the...
8. The Postwar “Democracy” and the Post-postwar Nationalism
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In this chapter, I will divide the postwar period into two periods. I will call the first, from 1945 to the early 1970s, the (immediate) postwar period and the second, from the early 1970s to the present, the post-postwar period. The latter, a rather cumbersome phrase, connotes...
Epilogue: A Short Critique of the Notion of Identity
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While England was still at war, Virginia Woolf tried to understand British nationalism and patriotism from the vantage point of the “daughters of educated men” in England, for whom the army, the navy, the stock exchange, the diplomatic service, the church, the press, the...
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Publication Year: 1998