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In TransitThe Formation of a Colonial East Asian Cultural Sphere$
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Faye Yuan Kleeman

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780824838607

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824838607.001.0001

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Colonial Women and the Primitive

Colonial Women and the Primitive

Masugi Shizue and Sakaguchi Reiko

Chapter:
(p.157) 5 Colonial Women and the Primitive
Source:
In Transit
Author(s):

Faye Yuan Kleeman

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824838607.003.0005

This chapter examines how personal choices forged paths for two Japanese women writers of the colonial period in the transaction of knowledge and artistry: Masugi Shizue (1910–1965) and Sakaguchi Reiko (1914–2007). The works of Shizue and Reiko explore the cultural and racial assumptions made concerning the metropole and the colonies in terms of class, gender, and the unequal access to modernity, as well as the role played by sexual and maternal bodies in the colonial assimilative discourse. They articulated their complicated relationship with the colony of Taiwan through their biological connections: blood lineage, skin color, and motherhood. The subject matter of their writings foregrounds feminine and maternal bodies and questions the uneasy relationship between gender and nation. This chapter first provides an overview of modernism and colonial interaction in modern Japanese literature before discussing the lives and works of Shizue and Reiko, along with the civilizing mission as a core ideal in the construction of Japanese imperialism.

Keywords:   women writers, Masugi Shizue, Sakaguchi Reiko, gender, modernity, Taiwan, modernism, Japanese literature, civilizing mission, Japanese imperialism

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