Marxian approaches and women's history in early post-war Japan

Curtis Anderson Gayle*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


During the early post-war period Marxian approaches to history in Japan sought to enfranchise women so that they might begin writing their own histories and become participants within the drive toward revolution. History writing was conceived as an existential activity and cultural practice that could help women and the working class become agents of socio-political change. A number of women's history-writing groups found such approaches useful and adapted some of the core methods about history writing originally developed in Marxian approaches between 1945 and 1955. By grounding their approaches to history in terms of 'local' and 'regional' spaces, however, these women's history writing groups would also differentiate their socio-political objectives from those espoused by Marxists concerned with 'national subjectivity' (minzoku jikaku). Instead, through emphasizing the role of inter-class and even inter-gender cooperation within specific representations of the 'local' and 'regional' these groups hoped that such approaches could become models for other women's history-writing groups. This paper will argue that Marxian approaches were both a source of inspiration and difference for such women's history-writing groups in Tokyo, Nagoya and Ehime.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-80
Number of pages26
JournalCopenhagen Journal of Asian Studies
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


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