By Laura Miller, Jan Bardsley
Are undesirable ladies casualties of patriarchy, an important evil, or visionary pioneers? via tracing the idea that of the undesirable woman in Japan as a fabricated from particular cultural assumptions and old settings, undesirable ladies of Japan maps new roads and outdated detours in revealing a disorderly politics of gender. The essays discover deviancy in richly different media. Mountain witches, murderers, functionality artists, cartoonists, schoolgirls, and consumers long gone wild are all a part of the terrain.
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Extra resources for Bad Girls of Japan
23. As cited in Kawai, The Japanese Psyche, 24. 24. Ibid. 25. Whereas the reference here is to Izanami, observing the decomposing body of a former beauty was, in fact, an ascetic practice in post-Ashokan India. In an effort to awaken themselves to the falsehoods of their illusions—and particularly to quell any potential sexual desires—Buddhist mendicants would meditate on the putrefying corpses of courtesans or other renowned beauties. See Wilson, “The Female Body,” 76–99. 26. Much of the information for this tale was drawn from Marian Ury, trans.
And just in the nick of time. The Snake The yamamba is easy to fear, but not so a lovely young woman. Or is she? The tale of Dkjkji reveals that if a wretched hag harbors the promise of evil, a beautiful female would prove more vicious. Of the three stories presented here, the Dkjkji tale is the most complex. Like that of the yamamba, it exists as folk tale, didactic anecdote, and dramatic performance. Its variants are richly complicated and so diverse that they defy easy summation. The following presents only a portion of the Dkjkji tale.
They continued to gain on the male deity. He threw down his comb, which turned to bamboo shoots—beguiling the hungry hags long enough for Izanagi to make for the opening of the underworld cave. At the entrance he found peaches, which he hurled like cannon balls at the hags, sending them reeling in retreat. 3 Myths open themselves to varied approaches and interpretations, and this particular sequence, paraphrased from the eighth-century Kojiki, or Record of Ancient Matters (712), is no exception.
Bad Girls of Japan by Laura Miller, Jan Bardsley