cover of book

The Female as Subject: Reading and Writing in Early Modern Japan
edited by P.F. Kornicki, Mara Patessio, G. Rowley and Gaye Rowley
University of Michigan Press, 2010
Cloth: 978-1-929280-64-3 | Paper: 978-1-929280-65-0 | eISBN: 978-1-929280-75-9
Library of Congress Classification PL722.W64F46 2010
Dewey Decimal Classification 895.6093522


The Female as Subject presents 11 essays by an international group of scholars from Europe, Japan, and North America examining what women of different social classes read, what books were produced specifically for women, and the genres in which women themselves chose to write. The authors explore the different types of education women obtained and the levels of literacy they achieved, and they uncover women’s participation in the production of books, magazines, and speeches. The resulting depiction of women as readers and writers is also enhanced by thirty black-and-white illustrations.

For too long, women have been largely absent from accounts of cultural production in early modern Japan. By foregrounding women, the essays in this book enable us to rethink what we know about Japanese society during these centuries. The result is a new history of women as readers, writers, and culturally active agents.

The Female as Subject is essential reading for all students and teachers of Japan during the Edo and Meiji periods. It also provides valuable comparative data for scholars of the history of literacy and the book in East Asia.

See other books on: Books and reading | Japanese | Reading | Subject | Women in literature
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