The Journal of Japanese Studies

 

Abstract

LAURA NENZI
Portents and Politics:
Two Women Activists on the Verge of the Meiji Restoration

This essay examines the deployment of revelations and prophetic dreams in the writings of two female political activists of the bakumatsu period, Kurosawa Tokiko and Nomura Bōtō. As a rhetorical device, the supernatural enabled Kurosawa and Nomura to foster their affiliation with the loyalists, to envision order, and to justify their actions. As a weapon and as a shield, it offered a sense of entitlement and the illusion of invulnerability. Studies of bakumatsu ideology often emphasize its rational qualities; these two case studies, however, shed new light on the multifaceted expressions of political activism on the verge of the Meiji Restoration.

Volume 38, Number 1 (Winter 2012)
2012 Society for Japanese Studies


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