By Laura Miller, Jan Bardsley
Are undesirable women casualties of patriarchy, an important evil, or visionary pioneers? via tracing the idea that of the undesirable woman in Japan as a fabricated from particular cultural assumptions and old settings, undesirable ladies of Japan maps new roads and previous detours in revealing a disorderly politics of gender. The essays discover deviancy in richly varied media. Mountain witches, murderers, functionality artists, cartoonists, schoolgirls, and consumers long gone wild are all a part of the terrain.
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Little is known about the social and political structures of Japan prior to these historical records, and what little is known is the subject of intense debate. Nevertheless, significant evidence suggests that a shamanic queen named Pimiko ruled an early federation on the Japanese islands. ”6 Unmarried, she kept one thousand women attendants and only one man in her service. He was responsible for bringing her food and drink and serving as her medium of communication with the outside world. The location or even veracity of this early federation is hotly contested.
There are also Noh play accounts of the yamamba, such as the fifteenth-century Yamamba, whose authorship is unknown, and Adachigahara (The Adachi Moor) which is also known as Kurozuka (Black Tomb) and Itokuri (Spinning Thread). The paraphrase in this chapter is from Adachigahara. 18. Hayao Kawai, The Japanese Psyche: Major Motifs in the Fairy Tales of Japan. , 1996). 19. Meera Viswanathan, “In Pursuit of Yamamba: The Question of Female Resistance,” in The Woman’s Hand: Gender and Theory in Japanese Women’s Writing, ed.
And so the archetype of female evil becomes a self-perpetuating prophesy. Feminists have long resisted the constellation of archetypes for this very reason. Not only do archetypes perpetuate either/or categories that contain women in binaries of good/bad; male/female; conscious/unconscious, but they tend to elide the distinction between woman as reality and woman as concept. 21 Woman loses 24 REBECCA COPELAND her determinability and becomes the archetype that contains her. Archetypes, it is important to note, are premised—not on actual nature but on nature perceived.
Bad Girls of Japan by Laura Miller, Jan Bardsley