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The Other Women's LibGender and Body in Japanese Women's Fiction$
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Julia C. Bullock

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780824833879

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824833879.001.0001

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Party Crashers and Poison Pens

Party Crashers and Poison Pens

Women Writers in the Age of High Economic Growth

(p.13) Chapter 1 Party Crashers and Poison Pens
The Other Women's Lib

Julia C. Bullock

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter contextualizes the work of women writers such as Kōno Taeko, Takahashi Takako, and Kurahashi Yumiko against the historical backdrop that framed their literature. In particular, it considers the production of hegemonic ideologies of gender and the ways in which the women's fictional narratives sought to resist such dominant paradigms. Drawing on Michel Foucault's notion of “biopower,” the chapter explains how a gendered division of labor that rhetorically confined women to the private sphere as housewives and mothers, vis-á-vis their husbands' public role of salarymen, diffused itself through various institutions to become the dominant paradigm of femininity. It also explores how social and political transformations in Japan during the 1960s produced oppressively narrow ideologies of gender, which in turn motivated Kōno, Takahashi, and Kurahashi to write against such trends, producing a counter-hegemonic discourse described as feminist.

Keywords:   women writers, Kōno Taeko, Takahashi Takako, Kurahashi Yumiko, gender, Japan, biopower, labor division, femininity, women's fiction

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