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Reflections on the Way to the Gallows: Rebel Women in Prewar Japan Reprint Edition

6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0520084216
ISBN-10: 0520084217
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Profoundly moving. . . . Readers mining this material, interacting directly with the authors, cannot help but reassess the historically static, stereotypical image of 'Japanese Woman' familiar to us all. . . . We see women who were complex, real people." -- Barbara Molony, Journal of Asian Studies

"Through these translations Mikiso Hane has reunited women with a historical political tradition, showing us how vital a part of that prewar protest they were." -- Women's Review of Books

"[Hane] uses biographies and memoirs to tell the stories of 13 Japanese women who joined left-wing groups to fight . . . injustices and remained steadfast despite hunger, homelessness, torture and imprisonment." -- Elizabeth Hanson, New York Times Book Review

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Japanese --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Rebel Women in Prewar Japan
  • Paperback: 340 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; Reprint edition (October 6, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520084217
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520084216
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #282,541 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Chimonsho on April 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book explores paths to the modern world that Japan did not take, at least not until after 1945 under US occupation. "Reflections" is a logical extension of Hane's groundbreaking "Peasants, Rebels & Outcastes," which stands on its own in showing the darker aspects of the post-1868 Japanese "miracle." Here he presents arresting (sic) memoirs and other writings by progressive women, mostly from the 1920s and 1930s. They include feminists, journalists, trade unionists, socialists, anarchists and other activists and dissenters---in sum, major elements of any flourishing civil society. Taken together their stories reveal the extent of nonconformist opinion in prewar Japan, and the vigorous struggle against militarism and the oppressive patriarchy of post-Meiji Japan. As the title suggests, these spirited women lost out in the short run (though few were actually executed), as did all Japan and much of Asia, where aggressive imperialism---first European, then Japanese---led to the catastrophe of the Pacific War. If only such dissenters had had greater influence....In the middle run, Japan currently enjoys a rather more open, if still far from ideal, civic culture. As for the future---well, who knows? In the words of JM Keynes, in the long run we're all dead anyway.
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Format: Paperback
Let me start off by saying I used this collection as a resource for a senior thesis paper I wrote in my undergraduate study. That being said, I feel this book is a treasure-trove of material about Japanese women (although, admittedly, not the average Japanese woman). It is often hard to find out what regular people thought of themselves, and it is therefore through the lens of radicals such as these women, in which we find our auto-biographical information. I found a lot of interesting insights into anti-imperialistic views of the Japanese in this work as well. I do feel like works such as these are extremely important, as those who did not live during the time-period so often take the general-view of "This is how these people thought at time X." This is proof to the contrary. This is a fabulous collection. See also Bernstein's Recreating Japanese Women (though from an entirely different type of woman). Also note that the translator is Japanese, which I know can of huge importance to selecting translations.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Z.A. Mrefu on November 7, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mikiso Hane's book is probably one of the most cited works on early-20th century Japanese feminism available in the English language. And with good reason! The stories of women like Kanno Sugako and Kaneko Fumiko are simultaneously tragic and inspiring. These anarchist women were heroic rebels who died for their principles. All feminists and revolutionaries today can learn something from their stories. I cannot recommend this book enough.
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