Constructing Subjectivities: Autobiographies in Modern Japan (Google eBook)

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Lexington Books, 2008 - History - 215 pages
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Constructing Subjectivities addresses the relationship between memory and modernity and its relevance to Japanese autobiographical texts. Tomonari construes autobiographies as embodying memory in modernity, and regards the conditions of modernity as having determined, in part, the shape of autobiographical texts. At the same time, however, he argues that Japanese autobiographies were not simply bound to the cultural and social norms of the time, but rather that the texts themselves were among the main agents of fostering Japanese modernity. The autobiographies he discusses served to initiate certain societal transitions and took part in the remaking of social norms and conventions. According to Constructing Subjectivities, mnemonic texts were crucial to the construction of modern ideological discourses such as those on the self, the family, entrepreneurship, the roles of women, and the nation. The study of this discursive process enables us to understand how the Japanese themselves tried to control the form of modernity that materialized in Japan. Because autobiography constructed and embodied collective memory at this time, analyzing the discursive process is also crucial to understanding both contemporary Japan and the self-perception of the Japanese people.
  

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Contents

Autobiographical Reflections in the Late Tokugawa Period Lives in Commerce
1
The Shared Virtue
3
Virtue as an Ideology
5
Moral Responsibility
9
Memory as Resource
11
Trading on Ones Own
12
The Joys of an Entrepreneur
16
Virtue Discounted
17
SelfTransformation through Activism
90
Memory Evoked by Memory
93
The Final Days of the Capitalist Class
97
Depicting the Upper Middle Class
99
Changes in the Socialist Movement
103
Katayama Sens Path to Socialism
108
Katayama as the PeasantProletariat
112
The Emergence of the Proletariat
116

Outside Yet Inside
20
The Consolation of Memory
25
Autobiographies In Between
26
Creating Modern Managers The Uses of Memory by Fukuzawa Yukichi and Shibusawa Eiichi
37
Management Intellectuals Economy and Autobiography
40
Sharing Memory
42
Better than the Bureaucrats
45
The New Business Elite
47
Overcoming Seishö Government Protégés
52
A Choice of Ones Own
54
Later Autobiographies by Shibusawa
57
The Entrepreneurial Self
62
Improving Commercial Education
64
Creating and Nurturing Managers
66
Worker Contentions
70
Social Marginality and the Menji Entrepreneur Autobiographies
72
SelfNarration as Propaganda Autobiographies by Anarchists and Socialists in the 1920s
83
Leaning toward the left
85
The Conversion of a Rebel
86
Autobiographies of Counterhegemony
119
Working Mothers Autobiographies by Japanese Women in the 1950s
127
Being a Wife and a Mother
130
Departing from a Mothers Way
133
Yamakawa Kikue as Wife and Mother
138
Ishigaki Ayakos Search for Memory
142
Positioning Women as Mothers
148
Balancing Work and Child Care
155
An Accidental Career Woman
156
SelfDevelopment through Work
159
An Activist with a Child
165
Career over Housework?
168
PartTime Women and the Gendered Division of Labor
172
Working Mothers and Autobiography
175
Conclusion
189
Bibliography
197
Index
209
About the Author
215
Copyright

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Page xviii - ... third space' which enables other positions to emerge. This third space displaces the histories that constitute it and sets up new structures of authority, new political initiatives, which are inadequately understood through received wisdom...

About the author (2008)

Noboru Tomonari is assistant professor in the department of Asian languages and literatures at Carleton College, Minnesota.

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