Flowers in Salt
The Beginnings of Feminist Consciousness in Modern Japan
This is the first book to examine the changing roles of women in Japan during the four decades following the Meiji Restoration of 1868, a period of sweeping political, social, and economic change. The book concentrates on those Japanese women who were outspoken critics of their society and the roles women were assigned in it, but also assesses the contributions women made to Japan during a period of rapid modernization. The struggle of Japanese women to gain political rights, the creation of a women's reform movement, the involvement of women in the early socialistic movement, the protests of women textile workers who staged Japan's first strikes, the evolution of the women's movement into a literary movement, and a new view of Kanno Suga, an anarchist who was hanged by the Japanese government in 1911, are presented against the background of determined state intervention in the lives of women. The book concludes with a brief summary of the changing role of women in Japan since Meiji, and compares their experience with that of European and American women.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
'A classic example of the best uses of women's history. Sievers' analysis ofthe development of feminist consciousness during the Meiji era (1868-1912) brilliantly illuminates two movements in late nineteenth-century Japan: the lively growth of dissent in the struggle for justice and human rights and the increasing intrusion of the 'modernizing' Japanese state into individuals' private lives.' Barbara Molony, Signs