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The Prison Memoirs of a Japanese Woman (Foremother Legacies Series) [Paperback]

Kaneko Fumiko , Jean Inglis
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

April 1997 0873328027 978-0873328029 1ST
Kaneko Fumiko (1903-1926) wrote this memoir while in prison after being convicted of plotting to assassinate the Japanese emperor. Despite an early life of misery, deprivation, and hardship, she grew up to be a strong and independent young woman. When she moved to Tokyo in 1920, she gravitated to left-wing groups and eventually joined with the Korean nihilist Pak Yeol to form a two-person nihilist organization. Two days after the Great Tokyo Earthquake, in a general wave of anti-leftist and anti-Korean hysteria, the authorities arrested the pair and charged them with high treason. Defiant to the end (she hanged herself in prison on July 23, 1926), Kaneko Fumiko wrote this memoir as an indictment of the society that oppressed her, the family that abused and neglected her, and the imperial system that drove her to her death.

Frequently Bought Together

The Prison Memoirs of a Japanese Woman (Foremother Legacies Series) + The Soil: A Portrait of Rural Life in Meiji Japan (Voices from Asia) + Haruko's World: A Japanese Farm Woman and Her Community
Price for all three: $72.12

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Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Japanese --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

  • Series: Foremother Legacies Series
  • Paperback: 226 pages
  • Publisher: M E Sharpe Inc; 1ST edition (April 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0873328027
  • ISBN-13: 978-0873328029
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #722,469 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
I originally had to read this book for a Japanese History class, and found it incredible. In the 1930's it was standard practice to take a written confession from prisoners before execution, but this one stood out and has survived to the present day for its insight and honesty. This is a person who, after unthinkable suffering acheived not only complete self-realization but the ability to communicate it to others. It's also facinating because, despite so much spilt ink about understanding the conservative Japanese psyche, this is one of the only non-fiction works which effectively and honestly tackles communal mentality and social hierarcy without over-complicating the issue. But beyond that, it is an incredible story not unlike a true-to-life Japanese version of Ellison's Invisible Man. It is a crime that this book is not well known.
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