Download Full Text (1.8 MB)
Originally published in Tokyo in 1903, Hanakatsura (literally “garland of flowers”) features a biographical sketch of the activist and author Kishida Toshiko (Baroness Nakajima) plus four short stories by Japanese women writers of the Meiji era:
Akebonozome: A Cloth Dyed in Rainbow Colors, by Kaho Miyake
Ōtsugomori: The Last Day of the Year, by Ichiyo Higuchi
Onisenbiki: The Thousand Devils, by Usurai Kitada (Mrs. Kajita)
Shinobine, by Otsuka Kusuo
Compiled and translated by Tei Fujiu, four memorable and affecting stories depict women experiencing the frustrations of traditional family roles within an emergent commercial society at the turn of the century. The men seem preoccupied with buying and selling votes, fighting foreign wars, ignoring their families, or going out on the town; and they are fully capable of rejecting a bride for her looks or just letting a new wife walk away. Meanwhile, young female characters cope with overall shabbiness, lost samurai dignity, orphanhood, servitude, poverty, indebtedness, jealous sisters, stepmothers, and mothers-in-law, and the combined challenges of being blind, ugly, alone, and empathetic.
ISBN 978-1-60962-273-2 ebook
Meiji, women writers, Japan, short stories, Kishida Toshiko (Baroness Nakajima)
East Asian Languages and Societies | Fiction | Japanese Studies | Women's Studies
Fujiu, Tei (trans.); Miyake, Kaho; Higuchi, Ichiyo; Kitada, Usurai; Kusuo, Otsuka; and Royster, Paul (ed.), "Hanakatsura: The Works of Famous Literary Women in Japan" (2022). Zea E-Books Collection. 133.