Travels in Manchuria and Mongolia: A Feminist Poet from Japan Encounters Prewar China

Synopsis

Yosano Akiko (1878-1942) was one of Japan's greatest poets and translators from classical Japanese. Her output was extraordinary, including twenty volumes of poetry and the most popular translation of the ancient classic The Tale of Genji into modern Japanese. The mother of eleven children, she was a prominent feminist and frequent contributor to Japan's first feminist journal of creative writing, Seito (Blue stocking). In 1928 at a highpoint of Sino-Japanese tensions, Yosano was invited by the South Manchurian Railway Company to travel around areas with a prominent Japanese presence in China's northeast. This volume, translated for the first time into English, is her account of that journey. Though a portrait of China and the Chinese, the chronicle is most revealing as a portrait of modern Japanese representations of China -- and as a study of Yosano herself.

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