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Suffragist Women, Corrupt Officials, and Waste Control in Prewar Japan: Two Plays by Kaneko Shigeri
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 19 August 2009
Through the reading of two plays written by Kaneko Shigeri, this article examines the way in which Japanese suffragist women, who actively participated in the local governance of Tokyo in prewar Japan, joined in the production of two mutually related sets of discourses on democracy and waste control. Relying on the idea of “purity” (jôka), these women gendered the discourse of democracy along the divide of “pure” women and “impure” men, and succeeded, to a certain extent, in eliminating corrupt officials from the Tokyo prefectural and city assemblies. Yet their efforts to control waste, which was dumped on the residents of Fukagawa Ward in lowland Tokyo, largely failed, for suffragist women hardly paid attention to the intricate relationships among gender, class, and space in Greater Tokyo. This article aims to reveal the limit of the ideas of democracy and environment shared among the suffragist women in prewar Japan.
- Research Article
- The Journal of Asian Studies , Volume 68 , Issue 3 , August 2009 , pp. 805 - 834
- Copyright © The Association for Asian Studies, Inc. 2009