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Perfumed Sleeves and Tangled HairBody, Woman, and Desire in Medieval Japanese Narratives$
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Rajyashree Pandey

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780824853549

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824853549.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Perfumed Sleeves and Tangled Hair

Rajyashree Pandey

University of Hawai'i Press

The introduction charts the intellectual journey of the author who increasingly came to recognize that both in her own work and that of other scholars working on medieval Japanese texts, there was a tendency to use categories such as body, woman, agency, desire, and gender as if they were ahistorical and universal. The introduction spells out the kinds of anachronistic readings that emerge when these categories are brought to bear on medieval texts, and foreshadows how the book envisages re-reading these terms such that they are consonant with the Buddhist episteme within which they are produced. The introduction also provides a brief description of the plan of the book and the content of each chapter.

Keywords:   Tale of Genji, genre, Buddhism, sex, sexuality, ‘secular,’ ‘religious.’

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