Women\u2019s bodies contributed to the expansion of the Japanese empire. With this bold opening, Noriko J. Horiguchi sets out in Women Adrift to show how women\u2019s actions and representations of women\u2019s bodies redrew the border and expanded, rather than transcended, the empire of Japan.Discussions of empire building in Japan routinely employ the idea of kokutai-the national body-as a way of conceptualizing Japan as a nation-state. Women Adrift demonstrates how women impacted this notion, and how women\u2019s actions affected perceptions of the national body. Horiguchi broadens the debate over Japanese women\u2019s agency by focusing on works that move between naichi, the inner territory of the empire of Japan, and gaichi, the outer territory; specifically, she analyzes the boundary-crossing writings of three prominent female authors: Yosano Akiko (1878-1942), Tamura Toshiko (1884-1945), and Hayashi Fumiko (1904-1951). In these examples-and in Naruse Mikio\u2019s postwar film adaptations of Hayashi\u2019s work-Horiguchi reveals how these writers asserted their own agency by transgressing the borders of nation and gender. At the same time, we see how their work, conducted under various colonial conditions, ended up reinforcing Japanese nationalism, racialism, and imperial expansion.In her reappraisal of the paradoxical positions of these women writers, Horiguchi complicates narratives of Japanese empire and of women\u2019s role in its expansion.
Noriko J. Horiguchi is associate professor of Japanese literature at the University of Tennessee.
Contents Acknowledgments Introduction: Japanese Women and Imperial Expansion 1. Japan as a Body 2. The Universal Womb 3. Resistance and Conformity 4. Behind the Guns: Yosano Akiko 5. Self-Imposed Exile: Tamura Toshiko 6. Wandering on the Periphery: Hayashi Fumiko Conclusion: From Literary to Visual Memory of Empire Notes Bibliography Index