The Problem of Women in Early Modern Japan: An Interview

Were women a problem in early modern Japan? If they were, what was the nature of the problem they posed? For whom, and why? Marcia Yonemoto‘s new book explores these questions in a compelling study that brings together the public discourse on women in the Tokugawa period (including prescriptive literature, instruction manuals for women, representations of women in fiction and drama, woodblock prints, and book illustrations) and the corpus of extant prose writing by early modern women and their families (including Diaries, memoirs, letters from the late 17th through mid-19th centuries). The Problem of Women in Early Modern Japan (University of California Press, 2016) argues that Tokugawa women’s actions were significant and powerful. We talked about the book for the New Books in East Asian Studies podcast, and you can find our conversation here.