Women of the Mito Domain: Recollections of Samurai Family Life

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“The book is a treasure house of immensely informative material. . . . An important addition to the small body of English-language works on the conditions of late Tokugawa society, told at a very human level.”—Comparative Studies in Society and History
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The book is a treasure house of immensely informative material. . . . An important addition to the small body of English-language works on the conditions of late Tokugawa society, told at a very human level."—Comparative Studies in Society and History
Based on the recollections of her mother, other relatives, and family records, Yamakawa describes everyday life in a samurai household in the last years of the Tokugawa period (1857-1872) in Japan. The translation consists of two parts. The core is a complete translation of (1943), which describes dress, grooming, food, dwellings, amusement, marriage and divorce. The second part includes chapters from (1974), which covers topics such as the economics of Bushi life, stipends, concubines, abortion, infanticide, and the fate of a runaway daughter. Yamakawa (1890-1980) was a prominent socialist and feminist who published widely in these fields. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804731492
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2002
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 228
  • Sales rank: 1,088,845
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Yamakawa Kikue (1890-1980) was a prominent socialist and feminist who published widely in these fields. The present volume was written in 1943 and is supplemented by excerpts from her later writings.
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Table of Contents

Maps vii
Introduction ix
Women of the Mito Domain
Preface 3
The Routine of the School 6
The Days of a Housewife 15
Learning One's Letters 24
At Needlework School 31
Dress 39
Grooming 49
Food 56
Dwellings 62
Amusements 72
Cousins and Aunts 86
Marriage and Divorce 101
The Turmoil of '64 116
Time of Trial 128
The Restoration and Women 140
Notes on Late-Tokugawa Mito
Translator's Note 148
Stipends, Office Salaries, and Allowances 149
The Economics of Bushi Life 156
Begrudging One Drop of Oil 156
Stinginess, Frugality, and Decadence 165
Concubines, Abortion, and Infanticide 169
A Sacrificial Victim 169
Abortion and Infanticide 171
A Match Arranged by the Lord 175
The Fate of a Runaway Daughter 181
Genealogies 190
Measurements and Currency 192
Index 193
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