Memories of Our Lost Hands: Searching for Feminine Spirituality and Creativity

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Overview

Hands are our creative contact point with the world. To Jungian analyst Sonoko Toyoda, they represent feminine spirituality and offer a way to achieve wholeness, in women and men alike. But in the contemporary world, many women have lost the wisdom their hands represent and now must recover the memory of them.

Through a traditional story told by the Grimm brothers and similar folk tales from around the world, Toyoda explores the ancient meaning of a woman's hands and the wound of losing them. In the details of these stories she finds common threats to feminine independence and creativity and hopeful clues for how these qualities can be regained. She considers, as well, cultural variations in the tales and how the tasks of spiritual wholeness differ for women in Japan and the West.

Turning to the biographies of two prominent women artists—Frida Kahlo and Camille Claudel—she discovers similar themes played out in two historical lives. In these women's relationships with their fathers, brothers, and lovers, she considers further the sources of spiritual wounding. In both paintings and sculptures, Toyoda examines what feminine creativity is.

For today's world, the cult of the Black Virgin in Europe and that of the Senju Kannon (bodhisattva) in Japan represent remnants of feminine spirituality. Toyoda looks at these to discover universality before considering through stories of her own analysands how clinical work can help individuals claim their own feminine spirituality.

Through her sensitive, insightful, and creative book, Toyoda evokes the memory of women's lost hands to help recover them.

Author Biography: SONOKO TOYODA is a professor of Clinical Psychology at TenriUniversity in Nara, Japan, and maintains a private practice as a Jungian psychoanalyst in Kyoto. She completed her post-graduate studies at Kyoto University in 1983 with a master's degree in clinical psychology and earned her diploma in Analytical Psychology from the C. G. Jung Institute in 1992. Toyoda is a member of the International Association for Analytical Psychology.

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Editorial Reviews

Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Ests

“I recommend to you the work of Sonoko Toyoda, who demonstrates the veracity and strength of the feminine, but not in a shrill nor stentorian tone as is often the case. Toyoda-san’s voice is filled with delicacy and strength, reverence and insight about a woman’s way with suffering and redemption.”--Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Journal of Analytical Psychology

"Toyoda's 'no blame' strategy is fascinating, as her strength in this book is in delicacy, lightness of touch, gentle irony and careful arrangements of stories and testimonies. It is protest in a soft key. She unnerves the patriarchy with the spirit of the feminine, making the system aware of something more powerful, something other."--Journal of Analytical Psychology

— David Tacey

Doctor - Clarissa Pinkola Estes
"I recommend to you the work of Sonoko Toyoda, who demonstrates the veracity and strength of the feminine, but not in a shrill nor stentorian tone as is often the case. Toyoda-san’s voice is filled with delicacy and strength, reverence and insight about a woman’s way with suffering and redemption."—Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés
Journal of Analytical Psychology - David Tacey
"Toyoda's 'no blame' strategy is fascinating, as her strength in this book is in delicacy, lightness of touch, gentle irony and careful arrangements of stories and testimonies. It is protest in a soft key. She unnerves the patriarchy with the spirit of the feminine, making the system aware of something more powerful, something other."—Journal of Analytical Psychology
Journal of Analytical Psychology

"[Toyoda''s] ''no blame'' strategy is fascinating, as her strength in this book is in delicacy, lightness of touch, gentle irony and careful arrangements of stories and testimonies. It is protest in a soft key. She unnerves the patriarchy with the spirit of the feminine, making the system aware of something more powerful, something other."--Journal of Analytical Psychology

— David Tacey

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Sonoko Toyoda is a professor of Clinical Psychology at Tenri University in Nara, Japan, and maintains a private practice as a Jungian psychoanalyst in Kyoto. She graduated in 1972 from Nagoya University with a Bachelor’s degree in French literature and completed her post-graduate at Kyoto University in 1983 with a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology. After seven years of experience at a psychiatric clinic and a psychotherapeutic enter for children, she went to Zurich, Switzerland, and earned her diploma in Analytical Psychology from the C. G. Jung Institute in 1992. Toyoda is a member of the International Association for Analytical Psychology

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