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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter presents an overview of this book, which aims to bring forth a cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary comparison of the impact the Western notions of masculinity and femininity had on China and Japan in their effort toward modernization. The first part of the book deals with the way female gender roles were reconceptualized and redrafted at the turn of the century in China and Japan. The way in which literature and poetry organized the metaphor of masculine self-representation, made it normative, and stored it in its memory is raised in the second part. The third part focuses on the performing arts, starting with a thesis on the emergence of the actress and female star after three-hundred years of all-male performance practice in kabuki and noh theaters. The fourth part deals with gender representation in diverse genres of Japan?s high culture.

Keywords: China; femininity; gender representation; Japan; masculinity; modernization; performing arts



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