Acting like a Woman in Modern Japan: Theater, Gender and Nationalism

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Weaving together careful readings of plays and reviews, memoirs and interviews, biographies and critical essays, Acting Like a Woman in Modern Japan traces the emergence of the first generation of modern actresses in Japan, a nation in which male actors had long dominated the public stage. What emerges is a colorful and complex picture of modern Japanese gender, theater, and nationhood. Using the lives and careers of two dominant actresses from the Meiji era, Kano reveals the fantasies, fears, and impact that women on stage created in Japan as it entered the twentieth century.