Women of the Tokugawa period (1600-1868) are not well known from the position of their own agency. The poet and philosopher Tadano Makuzu (1763-1825) is one of the few women of this period whose works offer us a stimulating account of how they experienced and considered their environment.
In my presentation I introduce the views of a woman who refused to be limited by gender boundaries that precluded women from participating in intellectual discussion. Makuzu observed her contemporary society as a male-centered and male-dominant society, but also as a society with an ambiguous gender discourse that sanctioned a dismembering of this very discourse. In her work she sets herself apart as an idiosyncratic thinker that calls for our reconsideration of the early modern period.
Bettina Gramlich-Oka is affiliated with Tuebingen University and, beginning in the fall, with Wesleyan University/CT.