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Introduction

  • Laura Miller
  • Jan Bardsley

Abstract

In 2001, during a night of carousing, an all-girl biker gang engaged a rival girl-gang in a brawl. Skirmishes of this sort are not particularly noteworthy but this one was different. Before the score was settled one of the gangs attacked the other with Molotov cocktails.1 Needless to say, as Molotov tossing is against the law in Japan, all the women, ranging from early teens to early twenties, were arrested. “[We’d seen] this TV show where a helmeted student hurled a Molotov cocktail at police and thought it would be a good weapon in our fights.” When asked about the fight, Tanaka Tomoko, gang member and beautician, gave this explanation to the police.

Keywords

Japanese Woman Gang Member Performance Artist Woman Writer Luxury Brand 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 2.
    For analysis of the Modern Girl, see Barbara Sato, The New Japanese Woman: Modernity, Media, and Women in Interwar Japan (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2003),CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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  3. 3.
    Lucy R. Lippard, From the Center: Essays on Women’s Art (New York: Dutton, 1976), 125.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    In Bitches, Bimbos, and Ballbreakers: The Guerrilla Girls’ Illustrated Guide to Female Stereotypes (Penguin Books, 2003) the Guerilla Girls deconstruct and reclaim English labels used pejoratively against women. Kittredge Cherry wrote about Japanese words that reveal cultural attitudes, which he called “instructive words,” for a Japanese feminist journal. His collection was later published as a book that describes how gender-based expectations and assumptions are coded in the Japanese lexicon. Kittredge Cherry, Womansword: What Japanese Words Say About Women (Tokyo: Kodansha International, 1987).Google Scholar
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    A point made many years ago by Jane Flax, “Women Do Theory,” Quest 5, no. 1 (1979): 20–26.Google Scholar
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  11. 8.
    Lila Abu-Lughod, “The Romance of Resistance,” American Ethnologist 17, no. 1 (1990): 53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    G.G. Rowley also notes how the furor over this issue was framed in terms of virtuous middle-class women wishing to rescue the fallen woman, a framework that ignored Japanese and American men’s patronage of the system. G.G. Rowley, “Prostitutes Against the Prostitution Prevention Act of 1956,” U.S.-Japan Women’s Journal English Supplement 23 (2002): 39–56.Google Scholar
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    Rebecca L. Copeland, Lost Leaves: Women Writers of Meiji Japan (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2000), 222–223.Google Scholar
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    Debbie Stoller, “Feminists Fatale,” in The Bust Guide to the New Girl Order, ed. Marcelle Karp and Debbie Stoller (New York: Penguin Books, 1999), 45.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Laura Miller and Jan Bardsley 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura Miller
  • Jan Bardsley

There are no affiliations available

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