Transnational Women's Activism: The United States, Japan, and Japanese Immigrant Communities in California, 1859-1920

Transnational Women's Activism: The United States, Japan, and Japanese Immigrant Communities in California, 1859-1920

by Rumi Yasutake, Paul Burkett
     
 

ISBN-10: 0814797032

ISBN-13: 9780814797037

Pub. Date: 08/01/2004

Publisher: New York University Press

Following landmark trade agreements between Japan and the United States in the 1850s, Tokyo began importing a unique American commodity: Western social activism. As Japan sought to secure its future as a commercial power and American women pursued avenues of political expression, Protestant church-women and, later, members of the Women's Christian Temperance

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Overview

Following landmark trade agreements between Japan and the United States in the 1850s, Tokyo began importing a unique American commodity: Western social activism. As Japan sought to secure its future as a commercial power and American women pursued avenues of political expression, Protestant church-women and, later, members of the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) traveled to the Asian coast to promote Christian teachings and women's social activism.

Rumi Yasutake reveals in Transnational Women's Activism that the resulting American, Japanese, and first generation Japanese-American women's movements came to affect more than alcohol or even religion. While the WCTU employed the language of evangelism and Victorian family values, its members were tactfully expedient in accommodating their traditional causes to suffrage and other feminist goals, in addition to the various political currents flowing through Japan and the United States at the turn of the nineteenth century.

Exploring such issues as gender struggles in the American Protestant church and bourgeois Japanese women's attitudes towards the "pleasure class" of geishas and prostitutes, Yasutake illuminates the motivations and experiences of American missionaries, U.S. WCTU workers, and their Japanese protégés. The diverse machinations of WCTU activism offer a compelling lesson in the complexities of cultural imperialism.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780814797037
Publisher:
New York University Press
Publication date:
08/01/2004
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
187
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

1Tilling the ground : American Protestant foreign missionary women in early Meiji Japan, 1869-18909
2Sprouting a feminist consciousness : Japanese women's WCTU activism in Tokyo, 1886-189437
3Managing WCTU activism : the Japanese way in late Meiji Japan, 1890-191377
4Beyond Japan to California : Issei Christian activism in northern California, 1870s-1920105

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