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The Margins Of Narrative Embodiment

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Chapter Summary

The Japanese body within a strictly Japanese context had been configured in contrastive racial terms before the Occupation; however, the parameters of the normative body had been configured through contrasts with bodies considered to be outside the parameters of normality in other ways: the imperial body at one end of the scale, and the burakudweller body at the other. It is perhaps remarkable that so few stories written during the Occupation address the changed status of the emperor. It is the emperor as symbol that led to the oppression of Japanese women in marriage, the wartime sacrifice of adolescent boys in suicide planes, and millions of men in the military. Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar's Madwoman in the Attic revealed the ways female anger at the epistemic strictures of a patriarchal system resulted in a common trope in nineteenth-century writing by women.

Keywords: burakudweller body; imperial body; Japanese women; Madwoman in the Attic; nineteenth-century writing; suicide planes

10.1163/ej.9789004155466.i-518.67
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