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Edited by Robert W. Dimand, Mary Ann Dimand and Evelyn L. Forget
(1890–1980) Kikue Yamakawa was a feminist activist, commentator and writer, who was deeply interested both in changing society and in the economic problems caused by women’s participation in the labour force in Japan. She was concerned about the working conditions of women and the changing role of women in family life. She joined a variety of activities such as the women’s liberation movement and the socialist movement in the 1920s, the folklorist project around 1940, the civil service at the Bureau of Women and Minors in the Ministry of Labour from 1947 to 1951, and was a proliﬁc writer her whole life. Yamakawa’s short essays reﬂect the situation of the Japanese society in which she was living and writing, and she helped create a more liberal Japanese public opinion by publishing timely and mostly polemical commentaries in popular magazines. Her several books provide the historical records of the experiences of her family, her mother and herself in the transition of Japanese society from feudal to more liberal between the midnineteenth and the mid-twentieth century. Kikue Yamakawa was more inﬂuenced by her mother’s side than her father’s. Her Record of Women in Two Generations: Mother and Daughter (1956) is an excellent biography of her mother and herself up to the 1940s and gives us vivid descriptions of the lives and experiences of her mother Chise Morita (1857–1947) and herself, reﬂecting the turbulent changes in Japanese society. Chise Morita was from the Aoyama family, who had...
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