Episode 331 – In the Beginning, Woman was the Sun, Part 3

This week we wrap this series up with a look at the changes in the feminist movement during the US Occupation of Japan, and with a look at the postwar careers of Ichikawa Fusae and Hiratsuka Raicho.


Kobayashi, Yoshie. A Path Toward Gender Equality: State Feminism in Japan

Huffman, James L. Modern Japan: An Encyclopedia of History, Culture, and Nationalism.

Ichikawa, Fusae and Yoko Nuita. “Fusae Ichikawa: Japanese Women Suffragist.” Frontiers: A Journal of Women’s Studies 3, No. 3 (Autumn, 1978).

Molony, Barbara. “From ‘Mothers of Humanity’ to ‘Assisting the Emperor’: Gendered Rhetoric and Belonging in the Wartime Rhetoric of Japanese Feminist Ichikawa Fusae.” Pacific Historical Review 80, No. 1(February, 2011).

Craig, Teruko, trans. In the Beginning, Woman was the Sun: The Autobiography of Hiratsuka Raicho. 

Unseen Japan is a fantastic resource for more approachable material on Japanese culture and history. Here are two fantastic pieces on Hiratsuka Raicho and Ichikawa Fusae.


Hiratsuka Raicho and Okumura Hiroshi. I didn’t spend much time on their relationship because it’s not that central to her activist work, but hey — sounds like they had a good thing going.
The current HQ of the New Japan Women’s Association, which Hiratsuka Raicho helped found, in Tokyo.
Hiratsuka Raicho during the final years of her life, which were largely consumed with the writing and editing of her autobiography.
Ichikawa Fusae on the campaign trail. I’m not certain, but I believe this is from her final election campaign in 1980 (which she won handily).
Ichikawa Fusae upon winning election to the same House of Councilors which had blocked so many of her reforms.