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Title: The new woman of Meiji Japan : a study of the sociology of the new woman through literary expression
Authors: Neo, Charmaine Kai Ling
Keywords: Humanities::History
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Nanyang Technological University
Source: Neo, C. K. L. (2021). The new woman of Meiji Japan : a study of the sociology of the new woman through literary expression. Final Year Project (FYP), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Abstract: This is a study of the sociology of the New Woman through literary expression during Meiji period (1868 -1912). The Meiji period saw an influx of Western ideas that classified it as an age of “civilisation and enlightenment” (bunmei kaika). The Meiji imperial government sought to transform Japan into a modern state, and gender construction became a crucial aspect of that reform. Women became the main targets of reform, and the state dictated the ideal traditional roles for their Japanese women to become “good wives and wise mothers” (ryosai kenbo). The New Woman is an individual who contravenes the traditional norms of their ascribed gender roles as “good wives and wise mothers” (ryosai kenbo) in Japanese society. For this study, I will draw on online archives of official government records, popular magazines, and look at feminist historiographies such as essays and autobiographies of famous women who pioneered the New Woman phenomenon in Meiji Japan. The goal of this study is to expound on debates and conversations of Japanese womanhood that were highly influenced by the cultural and historical contexts of patriarchal Japanese society. This ingrained patriarchy perpetuated the gender inequality that subjected the New Woman to gender inequality in education, the New Woman’s hostile portrayal in the media, and the Meiji government’s restrictive laws on female sexuality.
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SoH Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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