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The Problem of Women in Early Modern Japan

Marcia Yonemoto (Author)


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Early modern Japan was a military-bureaucratic state governed by patriarchal and patrilineal principles and laws. During this time, however, women had considerable power to directly affect social structure, political practice, and economic production. This apparent contradiction between official norms and experienced realities lies at the heart of The Problem of Women in Early Modern Japan. Examining prescriptive literature and instructional manuals for women—as well as diaries, memoirs, and letters written by and about individual women from the late seventeenth century to the early nineteenth century—Marcia Yonemoto explores the dynamic nature of Japanese women’s lives during the early modern era.
List of Illustrations

1. Filial Piety
2. Self-Cultivation
3. Marriage
4. Motherhood
5. Succession
6. Retirement

Marcia Yonemoto is Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Colorado Boulder and author of Mapping Early Modern Japan: Space, Place, and Culture in the Tokugawa Period (1603–1868).
"Anyone who reads these 223 pages will never see medieval Japan in the same light again... this book has the potential to open a whole new scholarly field of history. ... Summing Up: Essential."—Choice
"Yonemoto’s many insights into her materials and her skillfully constructed arguments provide ample evidence that she has thought long and hard about the problem of women in early modern Japan... I urge my friends and colleagues in Japanese history to read this book, to recommend it to their students, and to incorporate into their work its message regarding the centrality of women to an understanding of history."—Monumenta Nipponica

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