By Ayako Kano (auth.)
Weaving jointly cautious readings of performs and experiences, memoirs and interviews, biographies and demanding essays, performing Like a lady in glossy Japan strains the emergence of the 1st new release of recent actresses in Japan, a country during which male actors had lengthy ruled the general public degree. What emerges is a colourful and complicated photo of recent eastern gender, theater, and nationhood. utilizing the lives and careers of 2 dominant actresses from the Meiji period, Kano unearths the fantasies, fears, and impression that girls on level created in Japan because it entered the 20th century.
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Additional resources for Acting Like a Woman in Modern Japan: Theater, Gender, and Nationalism
This new norm of heterosexuality both assumed and constituted the binary division of gender. In other words, by positing heterosexuality as the norm, the division between male and female became absolute, and by positing the natural division and complementarity between male and female, heterosexuality became normalized. Thus it became "self-evident" that a woman is a woman, that one cannot act like a woman unless one is a woman, and that even if one does act like a woman, one cannot really be a woman unless one really is a woman.
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.
None of the women performers were heard from much thereafter. The figures of Ichikawa Kumehachi, Chitose Beiha, and other women like them represent an important subplot in the story about the rise of actresses in modern Japan. Significantly, women like Ichikawa Kumehachi and Chitose Beiha were usually called "female players" (onna yakusha) or "female actors" (onna haiyii), but hardly ever "actresses" (joyii). 60 This difference is not trivial: Onna yakusha and anna haiyii imply that the standard actor (yakusha, haiyii) is male and that the female (onna) variant is an aberration or an imitation.
Acting Like a Woman in Modern Japan: Theater, Gender, and Nationalism by Ayako Kano (auth.)