This book traces the development of feminist consciousness in Japan from 1871 to 1941. Taeko Shibahara uncovers some fascinating histories as she examines how middle-class women navigated between domestic and international influences to form ideologies and strategies for reform. They negotiated a humanitarian space as Japan expanded its nationalist, militarist, imperialist, and patriarchal power. Focusing on these women's political awakening and activism, Shibahara shows how Japanese feminists channeled and adapted ideas selected from international movements and from interactions with mainly American social activists. Japanese Women and the Transnational Feminist Movement before World War II also connects the development of international contacts with the particular contributions of Ichikawa Fusae to the suffrage movement, Ishimoto Shidzue to the birth control movement, and Gauntlett Tsune to the peace movement by touching on issues of poverty, prostitution, and temperance. The result provides a window through which to view the Japanese women's rights movement with a broader perspective.
Taeko Shibahara is an independent scholar who teaches part time at Doshisha University and Ryukoku University. She is a co-translator of Ellen Carol DuBois and Lynn Dumenil's Through Women's Eyes: An American History with Documents.
Acknowledgments Abbreviations Chronology Introduction 1 Laying the Foundations for an International Feminist Perspective: Challenging the Discourses of Civilization Women's Situation in Modernizing Japan Christian Social Activism and the Notion of the Women's Rights Movement Social Questions and Socialist Women 2 "Carrying with Her New Ideals and a New Outlook": The Development of Cross-cultural Contacts, 1902-1930 Awakening International Feminist Discourse and the IWSA, 1902-1920 Different Perceptions about Women's Roles in Society: The IWSA Dialogue with Japanese Educators Propagating Western Knowledge about Women's Social Activism in the 1910s The Problem of Unity in the Women's Rights Movement in Early 1920s Japan From Social Reform Work to the Unified Suffrage Movement The First Pan-Pacific Women's Conference in Honolulu in 1928 3 Generating a Feminist Movement through Peace Activism, 1915-1941 No Peace without Equality The Buildup to the Foundation of the Women's Peace Association in Japan In Japanese Women's Own Image Women Pacifists in International Politics Expanding Spaces for Peace Activism Combining a Nuanced Strategy with a Middle Way 4 From Private to Public: Ishimoto Shidzue and the Birth Control Movement up to 1941 Ishimoto Shidzue and the Development of Feminist Consciousness Ishimoto's Encounter with the Discourse of the Birth Control Movement From the Private to the Public Ishimoto Shidzue in America, 1924 Linking Birth Control with Suffrage Broadening Feminist Consciousness 5 Using Their Initiative at Home and Beyond: Suffragists' Wartime Activism, 1931-1941 The Women's Rights Movement in the Aftermath of the Manchurian Incident Women's Initiative in Wartime Social Activism during the Second Sino-Japanese War Writing for Japanese Women The Gap between American and Japanese Women Widens The Suspension of Suffragist Activism Conclusion Epilogue: Postwar Continuity Appendix A: Notable People Appendix B: Notable Organizations Notes Bibliography Index