IN JAPANESE WOMEN’S
By Monica Kline (Fall 2003)
The following selected list of resources on Japanese Women’s History was created in an effort to painlessly locate materials on Japanese women other than the few “mainstream” writers, feminists, and other figures whose names often appear in general Japanese dictionaries. Besides scattered materials in the Reference section of Starr, there are a great number of resources relating to Japanese (as well as Korean and Chinese) women, feminism, gender studies, etc. in the HQ1075-1765 section of the 100 level. It is worth browsing through this section to see the varieties of research being produced in both Japanese and English on Japanese women’s history and women’s studies. For other sources in Japanese women’s studies, see Julie Rousseau’s project entitled, “Women’s Studies,” Part III of BIB Chapter 21.
OFFSITE HQ1762.J46 1994
The interdisciplinary essays in this two-volume collection look at a variety of changes in cultural and social gender roles within different historical periods in Japan, and strive to illustrate that gender is not isolated from the rest of historical studies. Volume 1 is entitled “Religion and Customs/ The Body and Sexuality” and Volume 2 is entitled “The Self and Expression/ Work and Life.” 30 of the original 41 essays were subsequently selected, translated into English, and published by Wakita Haruko, Anne Bouchy, Ueno Chizuko as “Gender and Japanese History” (Osaka University Press, 1999. RES HQ1762 .J46 1999g).<>
Kôno Nobuko and Tsurumi Kazuko, eds. Onna to otoko no jikû: Nihon joseishi saikô. Fujiwara Shoten, 1995.
EA HQ1762.O585 1995
Subtitled in English as “TimeSpace of Gender: Redefining Japanese Women's History,” each volume of this 6 volume work consists of 15 or so chapters individually written by historians, scholars, and professors of women’s history. Chronologically analyzes the history of Japanese women from primitive times to the 21st century. Keywords are written for the reader’s convenience below the body of writing in each chapter; useful indexes organized by places, people, and things. The supplement consists of a valuable chronology of Japanese women’s history.<>
Shashin kaiga shûsei: Nihon no onna-tachi. Nihon Tosho Center, 1996.
HQ1762.S518 1996 (Volumes 1, 3, 4 missing)
A caption below each of the black and white photographs and pictures in this 6 volume pictorial collection indicates the year and a short explanation of the issues and conditions faced by Japanese women at the time. Encompasses themes of lifestyle, work, education, generations, individuals, and crossing boundaries.
Nihon joseishi ronshû. Sôgô Joseishi Kenkyûkai. Yoshikawa Kôbunkan, 1997.
EA HQ1762.N544 1997 (Volumes 2, 3, 5, 7, 9 are missing)
Comprehensive 10-volume collection of essays of women’s history from ancient times to the present written by scholars and professors of major universities. Each volume consists of one topic of which there are 20 or so lengthy essays. Topics include: viewing women’s history; politics; the home; marriage; religion; livelihood and employment; culture; education and thought; sex and the body; and movements.<>
RES HQ1762.R43 1991
Collection of 13 chronologically-organized multidisciplinary essays by Japan specialists, divided into 2 parts: “Women and Family: 1600-1868” and “The Modern Discourse on Family, Gender, and Work: 1868-1945.” Analysis of the evolution of female roles and feminine identity in Japan over the past 350 years through historically-based discussions of gender/sex, womanhood/motherhood, male/female, and masculinity/femininity.<>
Kumiko Fujimura-Fanselow and Kameda Atsuko, eds. Japanese Women: New Perspectives on the Past, Present, and Future. New York: The Feminist Press, 1995.
RES HQ1762.J38 1995
28 translated essays by Japanese women scholars who seek to inform Americans about current issues and research in Japanese women/gender studies and the current status of women in Japan. Divided into 5 sections: cultural and historical perspectives of women’s place; education; marriage, family, and sexuality; workplace; and asserting new powers in the future. Includes a selective bibliography of English-language works since 1980 and an appendix of significant dates in the recent history of Japanese women.
Tonomura Hitomi, Anne Walthall, and Wakita Haruko, eds. Women and Class in Japanese History. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 1999.
RES HQ1762.W625 1999
Series of 14 essays, the majority of which were written by Japanese scholars (many of whom also wrote essays in Jendaa no nihonshi, which complements this collection well), translated into English. Provides a good introduction to the gendering of mobilization, occupations, class differences, bodies, domains, associations, roles, and experiences from the pre-modern to the modern period. Includes a bibliographical essay of major titles in study of women’s history in Japan with an emphasis on the postwar period and new perspectives in women’s history.
Nihon joseishi jiten: jinbutsu chûshin, episôdo de tsuzuru. Sanseidô, 1984.
Though organized by proper name (150 women in all, including legendary figures), this acts much more like a women’s historical dictionary than a biographical dictionary. Names are grouped together by time period (Nara period to the early 1980s) and discussed in terms of their contemporary significance in order to give meaning to women’s history that has been hidden for so long. Footnotes are provided within entries to explain difficult concepts.<>
Nihon joseishi jiten. Joseishi Jiten Hensh¯u Iinkai. Shin Jinbutsu Ôraisha, 1994.
REF HQ1762.N54 1994
1284 entries of the customs, traditions, clothing, employment, beliefs, sexuality, love, events, and activities of Japanese women (and foreign women with a strong connection to Japan) from ancient times to post-war, including many less-known figures. Each entry is signed by a scholar in Japanese history. Includes an appendix of further reading in women’s studies (books and essays only).<>
Inoue Teruko, ed. Iwanami joseigaku jiten. Iwanami Shoten, 2002.
REF HQ1180.I93 2002
While entries are not entirely limited to Japan, this is an extremely useful, compact resource for those conducting research in the fields of Japanese feminism/women’s studies as well as contextualizing the study of women’s issues globally within a Japanese perspective. Places particular emphasis on recent research in women’s studies and gender, the definition and explanation of new vocabulary which has grown out of women’s studies, and the re-defining and re-explaining of existing vocabulary from the viewpoints of women’s studies and feminism. Includes historical contexts of a term and often provides the most important scholars and/or titles to turn to for further reading. Cross referencing; indexes in Japanese and English; many entries contain an English sub-heading. 858 entries including conventions, laws, terms, scholars, writers, health issues, and so on of the modern period. Includes a fairly extensive appendix of URL’s of important sites relating to women’s studies and feminism.
Gendai Nihon josei jinmeiroku. Nichigai Associates, 1996.
REF CT3730.G46 1996
This volume was designed in order to demonstrate the wide horizons of women in the current Japanese environment in terms of career, lifestyle, and so on that could not have been fathomed just three decades ago. 16,200 Japanese (and some foreign) women who were alive as of March, 1996, divided by profession into 10 categories. Majority of entries are comprised of women writers, critics, scholars, educators, journalists, religious persons, artists, musicians, and performers, as well as economists, business women, managers, politicians, scientists, doctors, and engineers. Each entry includes birth date and place, profession, educational history, accomplishments, interests, hobbies, prizes, memberships, career history, contact information, and date of entry submission.
Shintei gendai Nihon josei jinmeiroku. Nichigai Associates, 2001.
REF CT3730.G46 2001
Revised edition of the previously listed biographical dictionary, containing 18,012 names. All entries were updated from 1997 to 2000 (submission updates cited at the end of each entry). The ten profession-categories from the 1st edition have been divided into 100 subcategories which allow one relatively fast access to all the major individuals in a particular discipline. New categories were added, such as writers of children’s literature, announcers, etc. Also, home pages added to contact information if available.<>
Kin gendai Nihon josei jinmei jiten. Domesu Shuppan, 2001.
REF CT3730.K56 2001
Very good biographical dictionary of 1309 influential women from Meiji to 2001 (though some major names in contemporary women’s studies are noticeably absent). Includes writers, feminists, athletes, politicians, professors, performers, artists, educators, journalists, athletes, scholars, poets, and so on. Each entry includes a basic biography and references with full citations. Includes an appendix of major Japanese-language reference materials (mainly postwar) grouped by category.
Fujin mondai bunken mokuroku: tosho no bu. Kokuritsu Kokkai Toshokan, 1980.
REF Z7961.K64 1980
Subtitled in English as “Bibliography on Women’s Problems in Japan,” this three-volume annotated bibliographical resource, though growing considerably out-of-date contains nearly 10,000 titles per volume. Volume 1 corresponds to Meiji, volume 2 to Taisho and pre-war Showa, and volume 3 to post-war Showa until 1975. Some of the entries include table of contents and/or a summary.
Nihon no josei: dokusho annai, denki hen. Nichigai Associates, 1995.
Z3308.W65 N54 1995
Subtitled in English as “Guide to Famous Japanese Biographies: Women in Japanese History,” this convenient resource guide includes 3300 postwar titles (all with full citations and often summary and/or table of contents) corresponding to 822 women. Includes politicians, activists, actresses, writers, performers, and so on who were prominent in ancient times to those who are prominent today.<>
Nihon josei jinmei sôsakuin. Nihon Jinmei Jôhô Kenkyûkai. Nihon Tosho Center, 2002.
REF CT3730.N497 2002
An index of resources for further research of 34,000 Japanese (including some foreign) women from the pre-modern to the modern period. This list updates those sources included in the Nihon josei jinmei jiten, also published by the Nihon Tosho Center (see entry by Julie Rousseau). This index includes 5 times as many entries and includes women who are currently active in their profession. In the beginning of the index, complete bibliographical information and a short description are provided for each of the references that are cited in the individual entries. Prominent figures such as Murasaki Shikibu contain as many as 43 references. Also includes a short biography of 2800 women who have died between Heisei 1-14 near the end.
Kristina Ruth Huber. Women in Japanese Society: An Annotated Bibliography of Selected English Language Materials. New York: Greenwood Press, 1992.
REF Z7964.J3 H82 1992
Intended for undergraduates and teachers of undergraduates, this annotated bibliography contains 2311 titles broken down into useful sections and sub-sections relating to women in private and public spheres, women as artists, performers, and writers, and so on. Titles are drawn from English-language materials written in the 19th and 20th centuries, and Japanese-language sources written between 1841 and 1990 that have been translated into English. Each entry includes a biography, works (if applicable, with the original title in Japanese), and citations.
Zenkoku soshiki josei dantai meibo: furoku zenkoku no josei kankei shisetsu. Ichikawa Fusae Kinenkai Shuppanbu, 1996.
REF HQ1761.Z46 1996
This is a terrific directory containing 107 national women’s organizations and organizations where women comprise a large number of members, as of June 1996. In Part 1, entries are indexed into categories with a main index also at the back, and each includes the name of the organization (also translated into English), representative’s name, contact information, date established, major activities, goals, current year’s activities, budget, number of members, international associates, and slogan. In Part 2, there is a list of officials’ names and their contact information, for each of the 107 organizations previously listed. Also includes a supplementary listing of 793 women’s educational and training centers (organized by prefecture).
Josei hakusho. Nihon Fujin Dantai Rengôkai. Horopu Shuppan, 2000~.
HQ 1761. J672 (last 4 years shelved in Starr, earlier issues in Offsite)
Similar to Fujin hakusho (see Julie Rousseau), this is an annual publication of statistics related to the current state of women in Japan. Each year contains a new theme; for example the 2002 issue was entitled “Employment and Women, War and Women,” stemming from the September 11th incident in NY.<>
Josei no deetabukku: sei, karada kara seiji sanka made. Yûhikaku, 1991.
Part 1 of this book is a data file which consists of 2 page explanations, including statistics, figures, and charts about topics such as Japanese women and marriage, the body, employment, society, education, male/female roles, and mass media. Part 2 is a chronology of women’s history from 1945-1990 organized by political organizations; economics, labor, and the workplace; family, gender, and lifestyle; and education and culture.
Joseigaku kiinanbaa.Yûhikaku, 2000.
HQ1762. J69225 2000
How do Japanese women match up to their male counterparts in various categories? Each page is headed with a number or percentage in large bold type and is followed by a description with text and charts. Contains a useful index, is compact, and looks like a fun alternative to scanning through pages and pages of statistics.
With an impressive list of scholars in Japanese women’s studies on its editorial staff and an equally stimulating list of essays each month, the U.S.-Japan Women’s Journal should be one of the first resources to utilize when seeking current discourse in the realm of Japanese women’s history and women’s studies. The “English Supplement” is a unique characteristic which does not exist in any other field and is the direct translation of its Japanese counterpart, the Nichibei Josei Jaanaru (EA HQ1104.N5). The goal of the journal is to exchange scholarship on women and gender between Japan, the U.S., and other countries. Essays of considerable length ranging from those of a pre-modern genre to issues and debates in contemporary Japan are discussed in any given issue, and a wide variety of disciplines such as literature, history, film, and feminist discourse are similarly utilized. The original title in Japanese is provided in the supplement; likewise the translated title in English is provided in the Japanese version. Both the English and Japanese versions are generated biannually.
Table of Contents for past issues (1991 to 2002) are accessible online at http://www.nii.ac.jp/sokuho/articles/VAA10876871.html.
Though you may have to search a bit longer to find articles related to your specific topic, it is a good idea to browse through the following journals as well: Positions, Japan Forum, Journal of Japanese Studies, Monumenta Nipponica, and the Japanese Journal of Religious Studies. The most recent issues of these journals are available in Starr and all are accessible as E-Journals through the Starr Library homepage.
IV. Specific Topics:
This section is also a selected bibliography of works, and does not endeavor to be exhaustive by any means. Nearly all the English-language books that follow could be especially useful as reading for undergraduates as well as being useful for graduate students to peruse based on their research topics.
Gendai josei bungaku jiten: tsuketari gendai josei bungaku ryakunenhyô. Tôkyôdô Shuppan, 1990.
REF PL725.G45 1990
This dictionary is comprised of nearly 1000 women writers of Meiji, Taisho, Showa, and Heisei. Includes fairly simple biographies including the writer’s career history, prizes awarded, her major works (often with plot summaries), and her “bungaku sekai.” At the end, there is a chronology of modern Japanese women’s literature (1868-1988) alongside men’s literature and trends in society and literature.
Gendai josei sakka 150 nin: dokusho annai, sakuhin hen. Nichigai Associates, 1997.
EA and EA REF Z3308.L5 G47 1997
This handy, compact, up-to-date resource is sub-titled in English as “Guide to Japanese Literary Works: 150 Women Writer’s Works” and consists of 8056 titles from the 1970s, 80s, and 90s of 150 living and deceased writers. Includes novelists, poets, tanka poets, haiku poets, essayists, and playwrights. Each entry includes name of writer and title of work (s) often with contents, table of contents, and/or different editions.
Gendai josei sakka kenkyû jiten. Kanae Shobô, 2001.
For each of these 33 post-war women writers who are still actively writing today, this dictionary includes a biography and a lengthy summary of their works and reception (ranging from 5 to 20 pages). The biographical portion of the entry includes information about her childhood, educational history, major works and prizes. Each story includes a synopsis and critical analysis. Useful indexes by writer and by major works at the end. Though only 33 women are covered in this dictionary, it is extremely useful to learn what issues contemporary Japanese women writers are writing about.
Chieko I. Mulhern, ed. Japanese Women Writers: A Bio-Critical Sourcebook. CT: Greenwood Press, 1994.
REF PL725.J37 1994
Finding a particular writer may be hit-or-miss with this book, since only 58 prominent writers are included from the 9th century to the present, however entries are of substantial length and provide the reader with the literary climate of the writer’s time. The target audience is certainly an English-speaking one given that these writers were chosen only if they are of great interest to Western scholars and general readers, and if their works are available in English. Most of the writers are poets and novelists, but there are also premodern diarists, TV scriptwriters, movie scenario writers, and modern dramatists included as well. The bio-critical entries are comprised of the writer’s life, career, major works, translated works, and bibliography (including critical writings about her). The chronology and bibliography are not likely of much use.
Paul Gordon Schalow and Janet A. Walker, eds. The Woman’s Hand: Gender and Theory in Japanese Women’s Writing. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1996.
RES PL725.W67 1996
The 13 papers that comprise this book were originally presented at the Rutgers University Conference on Japanese Women Writers in 1993. Stimulating essays discuss issues such as gender and criticism, concepts and origins of women’s literature, female resistance through writing, cultural meanings of “woman,” and power and gender. A selected English-language bibliography of Japanese women’s writing includes English translations of modern Japanese fiction and classical works, bibliographies, collections, journal articles (1980-1995), and book reviews (1980-1995).
Ericson, Joan E. Be a Woman: Hayashi Fumiko and Modern Japanese Women’s Literature. Hawaii: University of Hawaii Press, 1997.
RES PL829.A8 Z63 1997
Historically analyzes the characteristics of women’s writing and the placement of women (writers) within the modern literary canon by utilizing the writing of Hayashi Fumiko and other important female figures who laid the foundations for women’s writing in Japan. A great book for discussion of the terms “joryû bungaku” and “joryû sakka,” as these women writers remained outside the literary mainstream and separated from general (i.e. men’s) literature. Good bibliography of works by/related to Hayashi Fumiko, and related to Japanese women’s literature, history, and feminism, in English and Japanese. Includes a translation of two of Hayashi’s short stories, Hôrôki and Suisen.
Copeland, Rebecca L. Lost Leaves: Women Writers of Meiji Japan. Hawaii, University of Hawaii Press, 2000.
Examines 3 less-known women writers (of women’s magazines, translations, and novels) vis-à-vis their contemporary, Higuchi Ichiyô, and female (literary) expression at the end of the 19th century in an effort to understand the way women are received and presented at the end of the 20th century. Lost Leaves speaks less of joryû bungaku and more of explicit male and female spheres within which the women writer struggled to be taken seriously and struggled to create a literature of her own without being isolated from the category of Japanese literature.
Janet Hunter, ed. Japanese Women Working. New York: Routledge, 1993.
Little has been written in English on women’s work in Japan and the 10 essays in this edited volume provide a good insight into the subject. All essayists have contributed numerous other essays in the field and utilize both Japanese and English sources. Discusses female domestic servants, textile factory workers, the motherhood protection debate, women as bosses, equal employment opportunities, and professional housewives.
Anne E. Imamura, ed. Re-Imaging Japanese Women. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996.
RES HQ1762.R45 1996
This project emerged from discussions at AAS conferences and seeks to “shatter” a number of stereotypes about Japanese women. Takes off where Bernstein’s, Recreating Japanese Women: 1600-1945, ends (1945-1990s). 13 essays including well-known scholars in the field and great topics, all about contemporary Japanese women. Topics include women, state, and media, nurturing and motherhood, gender, the literary world, household, traditional arts, women legislators, bar hostesses, and career management.
Ogasawara Yuko, Office Ladies and Salaried Men, Power, Gender, and Work in Japanese Companies. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998.
HD6073.M392 J36 1998
What are the tasks assigned to the OL? How does the treatment of men and women in large Japanese companies differ? What tactics do OL’s employ to resist the “phenomenon” of men’s individuality versus women’s namelessness in the workplace? Why are women inclined to leave their jobs before they can acquire better positions? A great book for undergraduates, Ogasawara explores the power relations between men and women, and female office workers and their male co-workers and bosses.
Robin M. LeBlanc. Bicycle Citizens: The Political World of the Japanese Housewife. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999.
RES HQ1236.5.J3 L43 1999
This is the only book to explore the relationship between politics and the daily lives of non-elite and Japanese homemakers in the postwar era. LeBlanc resists an essentializing of female gender roles and woman’s maternal instincts, a view that can hinder a woman’s social capacities. From volunteers to politicians, the women interviewed by LeBlanc who are represented here have both avoided and embraced politics in their struggle to escape the social stigma of a housewife. Also good for undergraduates.
Nihon josei undô shiryô shûsei. Fuji Shuppan, 1995.
OFFSITE HQ1762.N55 1993
Chronological compilation of newspaper and magazine articles related to the Japanese women’s movement/women’s activities from 1881 to 1945. Volumes 1-3 deal with thought and politics, volumes 4-7 with lifestyle and labor, volumes 8-9 with human rights, and volume 10 with war. Each volume contains an index of subjects, within which articles are organized chronologically by event, issue, convention, etc. Supplemental volume includes a good biographical dictionary of figures in the women’s movement from those listed in volumes 1-10; an index to volumes 1-10; an index of names, organizations, and compilers from the 10 volumes; and the table of contents for the 10 volumes.
Ueno Chizuko, Inoue Teruko, and Ehara Yumiko, eds. Nihon no feminizumu. Iwanami Shoten, 1994.
HQ1762 .N56 1994
An anthology of the most powerful original writings in Japanese feminist theory from the 1970s until the 1990s reproduced in these 8 volumes with the general theme of “women’s experience.” Each volume explores a different theme, within which essays are sub-divided. Themes are: (1) Liberation and Feminism, (2) Feminist Theory, (3) Gender Roles, (4) Power, (5) Motherhood, (6) Sexuality, (7) Expression and Media, and (8) Men’s Studies.
Josei, fujin mondai no hon: zen jôhô: 1945-1994. Nichigai Associates, 1996.
REF Z7964.J3 J67 1996
Subtitled in English as “Complete List of Japanese Books of Feminist Issues: 1945-1994,” this list of 26,282 titles, though not annotated, is very useful. Divided into 15 sections, including: women’s studies, women’s history, law, lifestyle, education, the body, work, and essays/articles related to women, and further divided into many sub-sections for easy searching. Often includes a short summary of the work.
Josei, fujin mondai no hon: zen jôhô: 1995-1998. Nichigai Associates, 1999.
REF Z7964.J3 J672 1999
Same as the above, with 10 sections and 8589 titles covering the years 1995 to 1998.
Sharon L. Sievers. Flowers in Salt: The Beginnings of Feminist Consciousness in Modern Japan. Stanford: University of California Press, 1983.
RES HQ1763 .S57 1983
This book stems from a cross-cultural examination of feminism in Japan compared with notions of women, marriage, equality, family, and education in America and Europe at the same time. Each chapter takes a chronological step forward in women’s experience as they progressively moved toward formal recognition of women’s rights and away from dependence on men. Provides a good history of feminism from the 1860s through to early Taisho, including the early Meiji debate, Popular Rights Movement, textile workers, Socialist women, and women writers.
Sandra Buckley, ed. Broken Silence: Voices of Japanese Feminism. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997.
RES HQ1762.B76 1996
Contains substantially lengthy profiles of 10 famous “serious feminist theorists” who participated in individual interviews with Buckley; proves there are Japanese feminists. Each provoking chapter contains a picture of the individual followed by a biography, contents of the interview (conducted and translated by Buckley), a selection from one of her essays (again translated by Buckley), and a selected list of her works. Also contains a chronology of significant events in the history of Japanese women (1868-1991) and a list of feminist and related women’s organizations (as of 1993) including the organization’s contact information, activities, and publications.