Women Adrift: The Literature Of Japan's Imperial Body by Noriko J. HoriguchiWomen Adrift: The Literature Of Japan's Imperial Body by Noriko J. Horiguchi

Women Adrift: The Literature Of Japan's Imperial Body

byNoriko J. Horiguchi

Paperback | December 21, 2011

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Women’s bodies contributed to the expansion of the Japanese empire. With this bold opening, Noriko J. Horiguchi sets out in Women Adrift to show how women’s actions and representations of women’s bodies redrew the border and expanded, rather than transcended, the empire of Japan.

Discussions of empire building in Japan routinely employ the idea of kokutai—the national body—as a way of conceptualizing Japan as a nation-state. Women Adrift demonstrates how women impacted this notion, and how women’s actions affected perceptions of the national body. Horiguchi broadens the debate over Japanese women’s agency by focusing on works that move between naichi, the inner territory of the empire of Japan, and gaichi, the outer territory; specifically, she analyzes the boundary-crossing writings of three prominent female authors: Yosano Akiko (1878–1942), Tamura Toshiko (1884–1945), and Hayashi Fumiko (1904–1951). In these examples—and in Naruse Mikio’s postwar film adaptations of Hayashi’s work—Horiguchi reveals how these writers asserted their own agency by transgressing the borders of nation and gender. At the same time, we see how their work, conducted under various colonial conditions, ended up reinforcing Japanese nationalism, racialism, and imperial expansion.

In her reappraisal of the paradoxical positions of these women writers, Horiguchi complicates narratives of Japanese empire and of women’s role in its expansion.

Noriko J. Horiguchi is associate professor of Japanese literature at the University of Tennessee.
Title:Women Adrift: The Literature Of Japan's Imperial BodyFormat:PaperbackDimensions:248 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.7 inPublished:December 21, 2011Publisher:University of Minnesota PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0816669783

ISBN - 13:9780816669783


Table of Contents


Introduction: Japanese Women and Imperial Expansion

1. Japan as a Body
2. The Universal Womb
3. Resistance and Conformity
4. Behind the Guns: Yosano Akiko
5. Self-Imposed Exile: Tamura Toshiko
6. Wandering on the Periphery: Hayashi Fumiko

Conclusion: From Literary to Visual Memory of Empire


Editorial Reviews

"Noriko J. Horiguchi’s study, by focusing on the material and discursive bodies of these famous women writers, not only sheds new light on the complexity and uses of kokutai ideology, but also pushes us to rethink our assessment of their bodies of works." —Jan Bardsley, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill