Acting Like a Woman in Modern Japan: Theater, Gender, and by Ayako Kano (auth.)

By Ayako Kano (auth.)

Weaving jointly cautious readings of performs and experiences, memoirs and interviews, biographies and significant essays, appearing Like a lady in sleek Japan strains the emergence of the 1st new release of recent actresses in Japan, a state during which male actors had lengthy ruled the general public degree. What emerges is a colourful and complicated photograph of recent eastern gender, theater, and nationhood. utilizing the lives and careers of 2 dominant actresses from the Meiji period, Kano finds the fantasies, fears, and influence that ladies on level created in Japan because it entered the 20 th century.

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16 Another solution is for actresses to learn to disguise their shortness. Just as onnagata have learned through long study and training how to disguise their tall physiques, actresses should be able to create the illusion of height, too. 17 But this kind of emphasis on architecture and artistic illusion over physical features was a minority viewpoint. " 18 22 ACTING LIKE A WOMAN An even more serious blow against actresses, as described by the antiactress faction, is that Japanese women's mental and psychological capacities are insufficient for the difficult task of acting.

46 MODERN FORMATIONS OF GENDER AND PERFORMANCE 29 Thus, what became hegemonic was the idea that the gendered division of labor is grounded in scientifically observable sexual difference. The question of whether or not there "really exists" biological sexual difference between men and women has always been embroiled in gender ideology. Biological research is not free from cultural bias, and the language of biology reproduces cultural assumptions about gender. " Biological sexual difference became aligned with other kinds of difference, but then it was seen as the natural basis for treating women as a category of bodies that are different from and inferior to male bodies.

48 The new government after 1868 ostensibly "leveled" the class hierarchy, unifying the general populace into one class of "common people" (heimin). At the same time, the government started issuing various laws and pronouncements that addressed women in all classes, differentiating them from men. 49 This is of course not to suggest that class hierarchies ceased to exist and to powerfully shape people's experiences; nonetheless, it is significant that in the Meiji period, legal, political, educational, and other discourses installed a category of woman that would cut across class differentiations.

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