The Journal of Japanese Studies



A Comparative Study of Tenkō: Sata Ineko and Miyamoto Yuriko

How can we account for the very different reactions to political oppression of two prominent women writers in the proletarian literature movement in Japan? Scholars have dismissed Sata Ineko’s tenkō as a practical response to quotidian demands while casting Miyamoto Yuriko’s courageous refusal to compromise as enabled by her husband’s example. In this essay, I attempt to go beyond explanations that rely on the differences between their personal lives and material conditions, focusing instead on their understandings of class identity, gender, and authorship. These issues affected not only their behavior under political persecution but their literary style, subject matter, and authorial voice.

Volume 36, Number 1 (Winter 2010)
© 2010 Society for Japanese Studies

Marie Anchordoguy and Kevin M. Doak, Coeditors     Martha L. Walsh, Managing Editor
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