This autobiography covering the first three decades of the life of Hiratsuka Raichō (1886–1971, née Hiratsuka Haru) is an absorbing read for Asian specialists and for general readers. As Teruko Craig explains in the introduction, she chose to translate only the first two of the four volumes that constitute Genshi, josei wa taiyō de atta: Hirratsuka Raichō jiden (In the Beginning, Woman Was the Sun), published in 1971. Craig did not include volumes 3 and 4 of the Japanese edition because they were written by Raichō's secretary based on conversations and an earlier published work. In addition, Craig tells the reader that she corrected “chronological inconsistencies,” substituted her own “chapter headings and subheadings” rather than using “those supplied by the publisher,” eliminated some of the repetition and digression of a work that “originated as an oral narrative,” and “omitted details that seemed unnecessary or irrelevant,” noting each omission (p. xii)....
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Book Review| May 01 2009
In the Beginning, Woman Was the Sun: The Autobiography of a Japanese Feminist
In the Beginning, Woman Was the Sun: The Autobiography of a Japanese Feminist. By Hiratsuka Raichō. Translated by Teruko Craig.
Columbia University Press,
335pp. $38.50 (cloth).
Journal of Asian Studies (2009) 68 (2): 637–640.
Kathleen S. Uno; In the Beginning, Woman Was the Sun: The Autobiography of a Japanese Feminist. Journal of Asian Studies 1 May 2009; 68 (2): 637–640. doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0021911809001016
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