Well, this is my first posting. I can not think of anything to say at this moment. So I will post my old journal written on 1-1-2008.
Today is January 1, 2008.
Today I watched special New Year’s program (KTSF 26 is the primary Asian TV channel in SF Bay Area.) It was slightly fictionalized version of female poet, feminist, and pacifist Akiko Yosano (1878-1942). Even though it was fictionalized, I can see background of political movements. Not just intellectuals, many ordinary citizens fought for equality and opposing all forms of hierarchical control. Many of them jailed. The Great Treason Trial was one example.
Many women took action for women’s right such as female workers’ conditions in textile factories, candid discussion of female sexuality, abortion, women to joining political organizations and holding or attending political meetings, and voting right etc.
Other famous female writer Raicho Hiratsuka founded literary society Seito (BlueStockings) in 1911– Japan’s first all-women literary magazine. Akiko Yosano and among others were contributors.
Raicho (her pen name meaning a type of bird lives on Japan Alps or Thunderbird) wrote following as opening paragraph:
In the beginning, woman was the sun,
An authentic person.
Today, she is the moon,
Living through others,
Reflecting the brilliance of others . . .
And now, BlueStokings, a journal created for the first time with the brains and hands of today’s Japanese women, raises its voice.
The central motif of the essay, linking woman with the sun, refers to ancient Japanese mythology wherein the supreme Shinto deity was Sun Goddess Amaterasu, female rulers took the throne. Somewhere along the line, however, patriarchal rule replaced the earlier matriarchy, and woman was relegated to a second-class position, her talents forgotten. “She lives by the strength of others, she shines by the light of others and her pale moon face is as wan as an invalid’s”. Raicho enjoins women to recover their primeval strength.