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Rewriting Medieval Japanese WomenPolitics, Personality, and Literary Production in the Life of Nun Abutsu$
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Christina Laffin

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780824835651

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824835651.001.0001

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Nun Abutsu and Women’s Writing in Medieval Japan

Nun Abutsu and Women’s Writing in Medieval Japan

(p.1) Chapter 1 Nun Abutsu and Women’s Writing in Medieval Japan
Rewriting Medieval Japanese Women

Christina Laffin

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter first sets out the book's purpose, which is to trace the life and works of an extraordinary thirteenth-century woman who is known today as Nun Abutsu. By mapping the career of Abutsu and analyzing her writings within the historical contexts in which they were produced, this study delineates the limits of what was possible for well-positioned and talented women of medieval Japan. The remainder of the chapter discusses of Abutsu's life and works; institutional transformations during the medieval era that altered the social status of women; and the thirteenth-century court-based system of rank and title and its relation to an aristocratic woman's origins, her post at court, and her affiliation with influential courtiers. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.

Keywords:   Japanese noblewomen, Nun Abutsu, medieval women, women writers, medieval Japan

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