In her political treatise,
Hitori kangae (Solitary Thoughts, 1818), Tadano Makuzu (1763-1825) presents her observations and critiques of the intellectual and socio-political landscapes of the late Tokugawa period (1600-1868). It is especially the (samurai) woman’s perspective that makes Makuzu’s treatise such a rich source of, often implicit, information on contemporary society.
The biographical details of Makuzu’s life and family are given social and historical context in terms of her self-conscious status as a samurai woman. Through close analysis of Makuzu’s philosophical and autobiographical writings, Dr. Gramlich-Oka reveals Makuzu to have been a natural product of the variety of intellectual schools and circles of her time. In extending Makuzu’s unique critique of the intellectual’s lack of concern with women to contemporary intellectual history, the author carves a new path in incorporating gender into intellectual history and biography writing.
Bettina Gramlich-Oka, Ph.D. (2006) in Japanese Studies, University of Tübingen, Germany, is Research Scholar at Institute for Japanese Studies, University of Tübingen, and Visiting Fellow at Freeman Center for East Asian Studies, Wesleyan University, Connecticut.
All those interested in Women Studies, Intellectual History, the History of Tokugawa Japan, Literary Studies of Tokugawa Japan, as well as Economic History of Tokugawa Japan.