In the last episode, we talked about the coming of the West and the way it impacted Japanese literature.
This time we’re talking about women as they take up a prominent position in the story of Japanese literature for the first time in almost 1000 years.
Special focus on Ichiyō Higuchi and her best-beloved story “Takekurabe”.
Please note that this episode mistakenly attributes quotes from Higuchi’s diary to translator Melek Ortabasi. The translations are by Kyoko Omori.
In the Shade of the Spring Leaves by Robert Lyons Danly. Includes translations of 9 of Higuchi’s stories, including “Child’s Play”, translated by Robert Lyons Danly
The Modern Murasaki edited by Rebecca Copeland and Melek Ortabasi. Includes a chapter about Ichiyō Higuchi and translated excerpts from her diary
Modern Japanese Literature: From 1868 to the Present Day edited by Donald Keene. Includes “Growing Up,” translated by Edward Seidensticker
More to Read
Daughters of the Samurai: A Journey from East to West and Back by Janice P. Nimura. An historical account of five Japanese girls sent to study in the United States in the 1870s.
Find Out More
“Deep Tokyo: Ichiyo Higuchi” from Pei-Pei Channel. A video tour of Tokyo sites related to Higuchi’s life.
“Where Are the Women Writers? The Missing Literature of Japan’s Edo Period” @ CUPBlog.org. A translator’s reflection on why so little women’s writing from the Edo Period is available to English-language readers.
“Tori-no-Ichi Fair: Experiencing Asakusa’s Amazing Festival! @ Live Japan. More information about how the Otori Festival is celebrated today.
The History of Japan Podcast, hosted by Isaac Meyer
Understanding Japan: A Cultural History by Professor Mark J. Ravina. Produced by The Great Courses, 2015.
- 17: The Meiji Restoration
Mitsutani, Margaret. “Higuchi Ichiyō: A Literature of Her Own” in Comparative Literature Studies, 1985.
Sakaki Atsuko. “Sliding Doors: Women in the Heterosocial Literary Field of Early Modern Japan” in US-Japan Women’s Journal, 1999.