Afterword: AND some NOT SO BAD

  • Miriam Silverberg


We now know that notwithstanding the stellar example of Abe Sada bad can mean rightfully vengeful wronged women (the warp and weft of legends), unconventional make-up, and for the Japanese consumer in Paris—just bad shopping. In other words, not only can Japanese girls continue to change class just as they have under every imperial reign, some persist in what we in the bourgeois west have termed “unladylike” behavior, thereby breaking the gender line. Witness the cultured daughters of Tokugawa era entrepreneurs, or more recently, Empress Michiko rendered wraithlike (ghostly from years of monitoring by the Imperial Household Ministry, we must presume). Moreover, we have learned that not only sex can be altered; sex and race can change and must be added to the options available to the postmodern girl who would dare to be bad in late capitalist Japan.1


Late Capitalist Japanese Girl Good Girl Japanese Consumer Communist Manifesto 
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  1. 10.
    For an intriguing, in-depth study see Helene Bowen Raddeker, Treacherous Women of Imperial Japan: Patriarchal Fictions, Patriarchal Fantasies (New York: Routledge, 1997). Kaneko Fumiko’s prison memoir has been translated as The Prison Memoirs of a Japanese Woman. See the introduction by Mikiso Hane (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1991).Google Scholar
  2. 11.
    Hélène Cixous and Catherine Clément, “The Newly Born Woman,” trans. Betsy Wing, Theory and History of Literature, Vol. 24 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1986).Google Scholar

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© Laura Miller and Jan Bardsley 2005

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  • Miriam Silverberg

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