Hiratsuka Raichō and Early Japanese Feminism


Author: Hiroko Tomida
This work on Hiratsuka Raichō at last fully assesses her key role in the history of the Japanese women's movement. It provides a full and contextual analysis of the life (1886-1971) and work of this leading Japanese feminist, all in the light of the changes affecting women in Japan. At the same time the author compares her working with similar historical shifts and movements in western countries, notably Great Britain and the United States. International comparisons at the level of personal biography and associated ideas are made, to see the influence of Western feminists on Hiratsuka's feminism. Hiratsuka is compared with other Japanese feminists, whereby her pivotal role in the history of the Japanese women's movement becomes clear. With extensive footnotes for further reference - and research -, a number of appendices, a detailed bilingual glossary and bibliography; a true reference on an important subject.

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Hiroko Tomida, Ph.D. (2001), Sheffield University, is a Research Fellow at Edinburgh University. She has taught at Seijō and Sheffield Universities. Her publications include Fame and Feminism in Twentieth-Century Britain (1989) and Japanese Writing on Women's History (1996).
"…a waterhed in the research field on Chinese secret societies in general and the Triads in particular, because it lays the foundation for scholars to use a sociological perspective to explore a topic which has previously been investigated solely by East Asian historians." – Hua-Lun Huang, in: Crime, Law & Social Change, 2004 "As Tomida convincingly argues, Hiratsuka was undoubtedly one of the most influential figures in shaping the history of the Japanese women's movement. The author certainly succeeds in filling the gap between a limited number of Hiratsuka studies in Western languages and numerous works in Japanese by providing this well-researched biography in English … a welcome addition to classrooms both in women's studies and Japanese history." – Sumiko Otsubo, in: Journal of Japanese Studies, 2005 "…fills an important gap … carefully researched and abundant in information, with a number of appendices and a detailed bilingual glossary, serves as a useful English introduction to this eminent figure of the Japanese women's movement." – Andrew Germer, in: Monumenta Nipponica "Tomida has done extensive research, both archival and oral, and her presentation is graceful and clear ... this is also a book about the history of women in 20th century Japan; the appendixes, glossary, and bibliography alone make this book indispensable for this rapidly growing field. Summing up: Essential." – R.B. Lyman, in: Choice, 2004
Scholars in the field of Japanese studies, history, sociology, women's studies and comparative literature and gender studies.