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The Language of Feminine Duty

Articulating Gender, Culture, and Covert Policy in Modern Japan

Rika Saito

This book examines "women’s speech" as a policy of constructs expressed in official and unofficial discourse from the 1880s to the 1920s in Japan. It analyzes specific language policies that were incorporated through governmental gender policy to perpetuate "women’s speech," asymmetrical gendered speech styles and concepts in the Japanese language. It also seeks to develop cross-cultural approaches to language and gender theories initiated in the United States and Europe by proposing new concepts of language policy. This work contributes to ongoing interdisciplinary scholarship on gender, language, and policy by reconsidering the relationship between the Japanese "national language" and "women’s speech."

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents



Prologue: Theorizing Women’s Speech and Covert Language Policy

Chapter One: Modernizing Variegated Japanese Speech

Chapter Two: Systematizing Women’s Active Agency in Nation Building

Chapter Three: Conceptualizing Women’s Place Through Instructive Texts

Guidebooks for Spoken Japanese Grammar: Kōgo Bunten

Instructions for Manners in Feminine Speech Through Textbooks

Instructions for Manners in Feminine Speech through Jogaku Zasshi

Chapter Four: Resisting the Gendered Style of Women’s Writing

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