The Journal of Japanese Studies

 

Abstract

KEN K. ITO
Class and Gender in a Meiji Family Romance:
Kikuchi Yuho
s Chikyodai

Kikuchi Yuho’s Chikyodai (1903), which narrates a young woman’s attempt to invade an aristocratic family, reveals the interplay of Meiji ideologies of gender and social aspiration.  The essay examines this novel’s “family romance” against Meiji family ideology and the narrative properties of melodramatic fiction, a form marked by both apparent moral certitude and ideological contradiction.  Comparisons with the English domestic melodrama that served as a source reveal how Chikyodai’s motif of switched identities disturbs the stability of class and family affiliations.  The novel’s ambivalent ideology is connected to its status as a katei shosetsu, a genre of Meiji fiction aimed at women.

Volume 28, Number 2 (Summer 2002)
© 2002 Society for Japanese Studies


 

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