Feminist History in Japan:
National and International Perspectives
For Japan, internationalisation has been on the socio-political agenda since the 1980s, and the 1990s have increasingly seen regionalisation—the turning towards or return to Asia—on this front. To what extent is feminist history reacting to or acting on the challenges and opportunities involved in internationalisation and, particularly, in regionalisation. Generally, Japanese women's history research has been perceived to be concerned almost exclusively with specifically Japanese affairs. Hiroko Tomida holds women's history research in Japan to be far too restricted to national and local concerns, a shortcoming compared to that of other, mainly Western countries. Such a restriction to internal, local or national affairs does suggest undertheorised analysis. The following outline of the genesis of feminist history in Japan will serve to critically challenge this image.
The term feminist history signifies the study of historical processes from a perspective in which the category of gender plays a prominent role. Moreover, it is assumed that research into the historically contingent forms of gender relationships between women and men has an emancipatory function, for women in particular, but also for men. As a result, the term as used here encompasses the expressions 'women's history', 'women's historical writing' and 'gender history' in so far as an emancipatory interest is postulated and can be conceived in these histories. This applies primarily to historical writing that started with the second wave of the women's movements at the end of the 1960s, which led to the formation of women's history movements in Europe, the USA and Japan. However, earlier publications based on an awareness of the social and political implications of unequal relationships between the sexes can be called feminist history, too. The terms used here conceptualise women's history as historical research to be distinguished from a contributory or biographical writing of history in which women also happen to appear. Feminist history in general investigates the historical similarities and differences in gender relationships in different places, thereby creating a basis for understanding and for the potential of global, feminist strategies in a world that is clearly witnessing increasing globalisation. Research in women's and gender history comes up against the phenomenon of globalisation and ensuing questions of ethnicity where it intersects with identity politics. Both, the project of women's history and processes of globalisation are fundamental in questioning fixed cultural and sexual identity concepts as well as in the formation of new, 'hybrid' identities. Historical and trans-cultural analyses of gender reveal breaks and contradictions in space and time and call into question fixed assumptions with regard to gender relations and identity formation.
Globalisation has different meanings in different contexts, and takes on various forms. At every world economic summit, opponents of globalisation denounce its exploitative economic effects, namely the devastating social, cultural, ecological, and political consequences to so-called third world countries resulting from the rise of multinationals and the restructuring programs tailored to the requirements of the international markets. Up to now, these developments have led to the feminisation of poverty—an increase in poverty and impoverishment that affects women first and foremost. At the same time, globalisation today denotes the worldwide expansion of technological networks and communication structures across national and cultural borders. The crossing and surmounting of boundaries is certainly not new; indeed it is an area in which women throughout history have played the widest variety of roles and functions. Vera Mackie demonstrated this on the basis of various female figures and roles in a paper entitled 'The Past and the Present of Transnational Feminism', in which she elaborated on or pointed to the roles played by female missionaries and other white women in the colonies, the importance of international women's congresses since the beginning of the century, the dispatching of young Japanese women to the USA and Europe accompanying the Iwakura-Mission, the genesis of the Japanese Moral Reform Society, Tôkyô Fujin Kyôfûkai, the anti-prostitution movement and the suffrage movement since the Meiji period (1868-1912). Furthermore, ever since then, women such as the karayukisan, ameyukisan and today the japayukisan working as prostitutes have been forced to surmount national boundaries while supporting national economies with their earnings.
What is new about today's form of globalisation, and what does it mean for women? I pose this question from an academic and historical point of view and with regard to a specialised area, namely women's history research in Japan. While Japanese women have crossed national boundaries and—as I will demonstrate—historical writing on women has drawn from international theories and perspectives, this exchange has only become a two way one in the past decade, especially in terms of scholarly networks and—very slowly—in terms of local scholarship modifying the global. Contrary to Tomida, I would suggest that this may be due to the problem of transmission rather than to any kind of undertheoretised analysis. At the heart of this lies not only a Japanese inability to transfer local knowledge and discourse to the global level. Equally importantly, the international field has a strong and self-centred preoccupation with Euro-American issues and perspectives , and in particular, is dependent on English as the hegemonic language . This factor has been one crucial (and history-laden) reason for its inability to grasp sufficiently the specific contributions Japanese history can make to global feminist scholarship.
Feminist history: national and international perspectives
The development of the field of women's history in Japan from the beginning of the twentieth century to today can be divided into five phases. In 1982, Inumaru Giichi proposed three phases, with the first phase from 1945 to the 1960s, the second in the 1970s, and the third starting in the 1980s. To this classification, I have added the phase from the start of the century to 1945, and the period beginning in the 1990s. The temporal divisions of the individual phases are rather vague as there are fluid points of transition. As I am charting the movement in Japanese women's historiography from a focus on it being about women (written mainly by men) to a more theoretically feminist analysis of structures that oppress women and finally to the inclusion of 'gender' as a tool of analysis, the main intent of this paper is to examine the development of the field from its specifically national and international, global, regional and local research perspectives, with regard to concept, theme, and structure. The foremost question concerning concept is the extent to which international theory is being and has been assimilated. With regard to theme, it is necessary to look at the extent to which international (global) or Asian (regional) exchange or comparisons have been the object of research up to now. On a structural level, it is necessary to ask to what extent national boundaries have been surmounted in academic exchange.
Pioneers of women's history
Sakai Toshihiko's Danjo kankei no shinka [The Evolution of the Male-Female Relationship], first published in 1908 and reissued as the monograph Danjo sôtôshi [History of the Struggle between Men and Women] in 1920, is regarded as the earliest publication of an emancipated, non-biographical interpretation of women's history in Japan. This volume was pioneering in its awareness of the historical problem of women's underprivileged social status, but its significance as an original contribution to Japanese women's history research should, in Ienaga Saburô's opinion, be regarded as minor because Sakai did not go beyond a reworking of Engels' theory. However, it is noteworthy that the idea behind this earliest study draws on an internationally assimilated reference work containing universal arguments.
In this initial phase of women's history research, interest in forms of marriage and in the subjects of matriarchy and matrilineality in Japan was generally characterised by the influence of translations of Morgan and Engels. The Japanese translation of Engels' The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State (1884) appeared in 1922, Morgan's Ancient Society (1877) was translated in 1931, and Bachofen's Mother Right (1861) in 1938. Japanese studies followed with Nakayama Tarô's Nihon kon'inshi [History of Marriage Forms in Japan] in 1928 and Watanabe Yoshimichi's monograph Nihon bokei jidai no kenkyû [Studies on the Epoch of Matrilineality in Japan] in 1931. In 1938, Takamure Itsue's Bokeisei no kenkyû [Research into Matrilineality] put forward the hypothesis of matrilineality in early Japanese society based on the author's investigations into family registers (in particular, the Shinsen shôjiroku from the ninth century). In contrast to her similarly emancipated predecessor Sakai, but also to most renowned women's history researcher apart from Takamure, Inoue Kiyoshi, her writings were based on her own research and evaluations of a considerable amount of historical source material. Takamure problematicised the lack of women's studies, postulated the need for an interdisciplinary, methodological approach, and put women at the center of her feminist epistemological interest. Nevertheless, with a number of publications prior to 1945 on the subject of women's history, she contributed to the state's propaganda. For women's history research, the cultural nationalism she supported in these publications represents the combined attempt to set up collective, identity-forming metaphors such as 'woman' or 'Japan'. Therefore, her work represented on the one hand a culturally and nationally oriented perspective, differentiated from Western cultures but with a pan-Asian background, in which Japan ultimately frees its Asian brothers and sisters from Western imperialism. On the other hand, from a political point of view, hers was certainly an Asian regional perspective, even if it proved to be problematic, particularly in retrospect. This simply illustrates how an 'international perspective' may not necessarily offer political arguments that are progressive or emancipating per se.
Women's history of the post-war period
The democratising politics introduced by the USA in the post-war period, and the formal equal rights of women and men laid down in the constitution, as well as the formation of democratic women's groups and a mothers' movement [hahaoya undô], which took a critical approach towards the USA, formed the social and cultural-political background for the flood of progressively-minded women's histories of the second phase. Only three important publications out of the many works that appeared require mentioning here. In 1948, the Marxist historian Inoue Kiyoshi published Nihon joseishi [Women's History of Japan], which became a bestseller and subsequently the most widely read women's history in the country. At this point in time, women's history, like other branches of historical scholarship, was strongly influenced by Marxist historical materialism and liberation theory. Like Inoue's bestseller, other publications that appeared in the 1950s and 1960s dealt primarily with women's liberation, that is to say, with a female elite that had been involved in the women's movement since the Meiji period. Here, too, Marxist historical theory is clearly recognisable as an international conceptual basis for women's historiography, even if the subjects and goals of the research generally remained limited to the Japanese setting.
A further example is provided by Kamichika Ichiko's Josei shisôshi [Women's History of Ideas], published in 1949, a kind of history of ideas 'Reader', in which she leans on the historical work of the U.S. historians Mary and Charles Beard. In 1974, it was reissued with additional information on the theories of the Japanese ûman ribu [women's lib] movement. Here, too, the assimilation of international research and its role as a model, along with the additional accounts of Japanese experience, can be seen as the agenda.
The period from 1954 to 1958 saw the publication of Takamure Itsue's Josei no rekishi [A History of Woman], which encompassed all epochs and, like Inoue's book, is a classic of Japan's women's history. The author works in international comparisons placing Japan in a culturally mediating position between 'pacific' and 'continental' social characters geographically and historically rooted. Using comparisons with patriarchal societies of antiquity in China, Rome, Greece and India, she claims a different historical periodisation for Japan, one in which antiquity and patriarchy begin much later, historically speaking, than in continental societies. Critical assimilation of international theory and the comparative approach form the defining characteristics of this study's conceptual framework.
Women's history debates of the 1970s
The emergence of the ûman ribu movement in the 1970s brought Western feminist theory to Japan, along with the 'rediscovery' of Takamure's Josei no rekishi by the new movement-inspired women's groups and study circles of the time. These combine with the public emphasis on women's issues that followed the UNO's declaration of a decade for women (1975-1985) to form the thoroughly international discursive backdrop against which the interest in women's history spread rapidly on the part of professional historians and lay researchers, of study circles and individual authors and led to a second boom in women's history research. From a conceptual point of view, Koshô Yukiko notes the progress from a Marxist-dominated, and primarily progressively-minded stage of women's history publications right through to a 'women's history as a science of history'. The women's history debates of this decade made an important contribution to this development. They contained lively discussions on the meaningfulness, purpose, and content of women's history, and resulted in a rapid theoretical expansion of the field. Here, for the first time, Japanese historians debated the object, methods, and themes of women's historiography. Two models were contrasted: Inoue Kiyoshi's Nihon joseishi (1948), and the historical works of Takamure Itsue. This debate was triggered by Murakami Nobuhiko's article 'Joseishi kenkyû no kadai to tenbô' [Themes and Prospects of Historical Women's Studies], in which he criticised Inoue's approach as being too narrowly restricted to leading characters and organisations of the women's movement, and his historical materialism as deterministic. Murakami, who saw himself as an emulator of Takamure, had applied another, everyday-life historical approach in 1955/56 with his Fukusô no rekishi [History of Clothing], and conceptualised his four-volume Meiji joseishi [Women's History of the Meiji Period], published from 1970 to 1973, as a 'history of people and how they lived' [ikita ningen no rekishi].
Yamazaki Tomoko also followed this approach in her 1972 volume Sandakan hachiban shôkan [Sandakan Brothel No. 8], lauded as a pioneering work of oral history. This work was conceptualised as a departure from a Western-inspired, Marxist historiography, and as a 'women's history from below' [josei no teihenshi]. Based on memories and accounts of women from the Japanese underclass sent to brothels in East Asia, its historical subject matter, according to Yamazaki, necessarily extended to Asia. In 1965/66 already, Yamazaki had founded a history study group on Asian women's international relations [Ajia Josei Kôryûshi Kenkyûkai]. This group published 18 issues of its organ Ajia josei kôryûshi kenkyû [Studies in Asian Women's History of International Relations] from 1967 and served as Yamazaki's starting point for several other publications related to Japanese women going overseas as well as to other Asian women.
The ongoing debate over what constitutes the object of women's history developed further in 1973 with a focus on the dual oppressions of class and gender. This was for the most part a confrontation between the Marxist followers of Inoue (Mizuta Tamae, Harada Jirô, Yoneda Sayoko and Itô Yasuko) and Murakami, who attributed the reasons for women's oppression not only to class rule, but also to the patriarchy existing within the proletariat itself. Itô Yasuko rejected the ûman ribu movement which, at the end of the 1960s, had emerged at least partially in protest against male socialist comrades' chauvinism. Instead the movement had placed strong emphasis on sex discrimination. Yoneda Sayoko, too, warned that claims of gender-specific oppression within the proletariat independent of class rule would result in a division in the claims relating to workers' rights caused by the issue of women. Mizuta Tamae, who was close to the ûman ribu, believed that women's history should include the concept of patriarchy and sexual repression as a separate tool for analysis in addition to the concept of class. She was strongly criticised for this, not least by Harada Jirô and Yoneda Sayoko. Mizuta remained a Marxist feminist, as, despite her doubts about Marxism and its blindness towards the gender-based reproduction of relationships in the family, for her, these were outweighed by the advantages of the Marxist analysis of repression. In Ogino Miho's opinion, Marxist dominance in women's history research at that time put the brakes on the further development of women's history and its emancipation from the history of the class struggle. The rejection of the new, feminist approaches by established, Marxist historians continued into the 1980s. However, Marxist feminist criticism of the male pioneers of women's history was also influential to the development of a separate women's history researched by women from the mid 1970s on. With regard to Tomida's suggestion of national restrictions in Japanese women's history it should be noted that the assimilation and application of international theory is not to be equated with progressiveness per se, if it is not open to further development. On the other hand, with Yamazaki Tomoko's publications from 1967 on, albeit rejecting international (Western, Marxist) theoretical backing, occasional first signs of extension to international and particularly regional historical themes can already be seen.
Women's history of the 1980s
From the mid 1970s, women's research institutes were set up at a number of women's universities, where interdisciplinary work has since been carried out on topics relating to women's history. Such institutes offer seminars, train young researchers, systematically gather sources and material on women's history, and publish research reports and results in book or bulletin form. The publishing activities of feminist historians expanded rapidly in the 1980s as a result. According to the bibliography Nihon joseishi kenkyû bunken mokuroku, three thousand publications on the subject of women's history appeared between 1982 and 1987. The most prolific group of the 1980s was the 'Women's History General Research Group' [Joseishi Sôgô Kenkyûkai] which was founded in 1977 by Wakita Haruko in Kyôto and consisted of academics, lay researchers, and students. In 1982, this group published the five-volume Nihon joseishi [Women's History of Japan], hailed as an epoch-making work. In 1985 it produced the two-volume collection of essays Bosei o tou [Studies on the Maternal], in 1990 five volumes on Nihon josei seikatsushi [History of the Daily Life of Japanese Women], and in 1983, 1988 and 1994 the above mentioned bibliographies on Japanese women's history. Public recognition of this scientific achievement came in the form of the Aoyama Nao prize for women's history [Joseishi Aoyama Nao shô], the first of which was presented in 1986 to the editor Wakita Haruko for the aforementioned publication Bosei o tou. Japan was certainly the focus of the accumulated knowledge about women, yet as early as 1984 a bibliography on women's history in Asia [Ajia joseishi bunken mokuroku] was published by the Women's University of Nara.
Research in the 1980s was characterised by a stricter orientation towards positivism, fractionalisation, and the specialisation of themes, and by a watering down or eradication of any ideological and aggressive tones of earlier phases. Precisely this quantitative increase, and the qualitative change in women's history research, which was coupled with a limited advance into the curricula of universities, was criticised by Kano Masanao as a metamorphosis from committed women's history to a 'cold science'. On the one hand, he complained about the authors involved in creating the deluge of publications that ignored academic standards and often bordered on plagiarism. On the other, he saw the lack of a 'painful awareness' in academic publications of women's history due to an alignment with scientific standards and to financial support by the Ministry for Education. He stated that the works published by Joseishi Sôgô Kenkyûkai, were representative of this trend. Kano accused the newly evolving women's history research of becoming detached from its base, a criticism that must be seen in the context of his culturally differentiated understanding of science: he critically observed the transition in women's history from the non-academic area of lay research [minkangaku], originating so to speak from the Japanese people, to the 'academism' [akademizumu] that he saw as a scientific tradition imported from abroad and supporting the state since the Meiji period. Wakita rejected the political criticism that was largely directed at her group, Joseishi Sôgô Kenkyûkai, and defended the alignment with institutional norms, suggesting that women's history in itself 'questions the content of paternalistic science'. With regard to alignment with academic norms, Wakita also implicitly had to defend herself against the accusation of alignment with foreign, that is, Western norms.
The 1990s: the category of gender and women's history in an Asian context
While continuity has been retained in the issue and debate surrounding the cultural dimension of women's history research in Japan, two new developments have come to the forefront since the 1990s. The theoretical base was extended conceptually by the inclusion, application, and naming of the category of 'gender' (particularly in book titles), taken from Euro-American women's and gender studies. At the same time, a new structural development manifested in joint projects by international networks of researchers turning towards Asia, and in comparative studies on Asian women's history can be seen.
Concepts: The Category of Gender
The introduction and application of the concept of gender within Japanese women's history was hotly contested. In Western women's studies and women's history, too, increasing institutionalisation as well as transformation into gender studies and gender history led to controversial discussions about the appropriation of women's history and its detachment from its politically emancipatory mission. Ogino Miho is one of the Japanese theorists who, since the end of the 1980s, has advocated the inclusion of the category of gender, using the same argument that Western historians quote in the controversies surrounding women's history or gender history, namely that the gender perspective is necessary if women's history is to shed its status as a marginal discipline and present a real challenge to established and traditional history. In Western discussion of theory, there is general agreement that gender is to be understood as a constitutive element of social relationships, a category that affects all social relationships and can thus only be thought of and researched in relationship terms. For Japan, Ogino stresses that men (who often figured as authors particularly of Japanese women's history) are also to be understood as a gender category. In addition, war, politics, and social aspects would also have to be addressed. Ogino writes:
Both as the subjects and writers of history [in Japan] men are omnipresent, but 'men' as gender – their bodies, minds, feelings, private lives and sexualities – remain transparent and unexplained. ... If we can start problematizing 'men' ... it may be a good starting point for Japanese women's history to engender not only men and women but also war, politics and the public world.
Ogino translated Joan Scott's fundamental text on the issue, Gender and the Politics of History (1988) into Japanese, and was influenced by her concept of a gender history ['Seisa no rekishigaku'] aimed at the new conception of history in general.  In contrast, Tachi Kaoru, following Gisela Bock, emphasised a 'woman-centered history' [josei o chûshin ni oita rekishi]. Like Bock, Tachi argued that, within a gender or relationship history [kankeishi], the woman-centered angle must not be lost if real influence is to be exerted on traditional paradigms. Even more fundamental was Itô Yasuko's criticism of Ogino's approach. In the Marxist tradition of Inoue, Itô fought for a separate Japanese women's history conceived as a history of liberation analogous to the labour history, and she opposed the supposed appropriation of Japanese women's history by European-American women's studies, the emancipatory potential of which she threw into doubt. As early as 1984 Hasegawa, taking on board Euro-American women's research, had argued for a concept, which no longer dealt solely with women, but rather with the social network formed by women, men and children. Based only on European and American approaches, Hasegawa's proposed move from women's history to relationship history, was conceived by women's historians as a rejection of their history of liberation and an acceptance of gender differences, which politically also implied an acceptance of sexual discrimination. Tachi and Ogino on the other hand, both took on board the discussions of Western women's studies and women's history and presented them to the Japanese audience. Their works were and still are concerned with a connection between the Japanese and more recent international research and its application and further development in Japanese women's history. However, from a theoretical point of view, both refer not just to Western theories, but they also stressed the importance of Takamure Itsue for the formation of theory in Japanese women's history.
Above all Tachi Kaoru's high evaluation of Takamure is implicitly opposed to treating history theory as equivalent to theory imports from the West. The abstraction of theoretical principles from a separate Japanese women's history such as that achieved by Takamure could lead to specific feminist research and politics for Japan that may differ from feminist standards in Europe and the USA. According to Tachi, Japanese women's history research can only contribute to a paradigm change on an international level through the theoretical expansion of a separate Japanese women's historical research. Sone Hiromi argues that Japanese women's studies strongly influenced by foreign feminist research and theory have not sufficiently tackled Japanese academic traditions and need to define and clarify terminology within the realm of Japanese academy in order to find a 'common language'. The trend towards using the category of gender is being driven forward by academics in the socio-historical field, and cannot be held back,  as in the meantime a number of publications have appeared that reflect the gender approach also in terminology. And in 1999, a complete edition of the scientific journal Shisô [Thought] focused on Gender Histories and brought together theoretical approaches of American, German, French and Japanese historians.
Themes: Women's History of Asia and War-time Collaboration of Japanese Women
Within the Japanese women's movement, since the early 1990s widespread support has been growing to help the Asian women, then euphemistically referred to as ianfu [comfort women], who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military during the Asia-Pacific War. Since that time, leading Japanese and international theorists and historians have increasingly discussed issues of gender, nation, and war, as well as the methodological and political approaches of various feminist but also right-wing revisionist forms of coming to terms with the past. The existence of a system of forced prostitution organised by the Japanese military was verified in the 1990s by archive research and first-time public statements by the victims, as well as by the perpetrators. However, the issue had already been taken up in publications of the 1960s and 1970s, but had received little recognition at the time. Also, the question of Japanese women's co-responsibility during the war was raised much earlier than the 1990s, such as by Tamagusuku Hajime in his study Fujin no rekishi [History of Women] published in 1956. From 1977, monographs appeared that were dedicated solely to this subject. Kanô Mikiyo and Suzuki Yûko in particular analysed the responsibility of women as collaborators both within and outside the women's movement. Since 1983, this subject has been discussed in various national women's history conferences and in scientific journals. What was new in the 1990s was the presence of survivors of sexual slavery as accusatory witnesses to the period, making of the past a current and well-covered media topic in Japan and as such subject to a great deal of interest.
Structures: International and Asian Scientific Networks and Associations
One immediate effect of increasing globalisation in technology and communications is the emergence of virtual networks of women and researchers. These are not, however, restricted to the virtual medium but have initiated a kind of international traffic in research and conference arrangements. The broadening of international scientific exchange is a facet of the wide-ranging globalisation in the sciences in general, which applies equally for women's history research and Japanese women's history research in particular.
The 1980s saw the emergence of Women's World Congresses, the first of which was held in Israel in 1981 with 600 participants from 35 countries. The third of these congresses, held in Ireland in 1987, was attended by the Japanese historian Hayakawa Noriyo, who reported in Japanese journals about the meetings on the subject of women's history. She explained that her motivation for attending this international conference was her experience at the World Conference on Women in Nairobi in 1985, which gave her a completely new view of women in many different regions of the world. Here, at the third Women's World Congress, she wanted to gain a scientific perspective on the subjects that women of the world were discussing.
The preparations for the first international conference on women's history research on a global scale began in 1985 at the sixteenth International Congress of Historical Sciences, where the International Federation for Research in Women's History (IFRWH) was founded. This group held its first international conference on women's history research in Italy in 1989. Hayakawa also attended this event, and again reported on it in Japanese journals. In the following year, 1990, the seventeenth International Congress of Historical Sciences was held in Madrid. For the first time, this included a separate program for women's history, organised chiefly with the involvement of the IFRWH. Of approximately 250 participants in the first women's history program, 25 came from Japan, two of whom gave papers, and 16 of whom formed the Japanese division of the IFRWH. In Japan itself, international conferences on the subject of women's history and women's studies were also increasingly being organised. It remains to be stated that international networking in the form adopted by researchers of general women's studies at the beginning of the 1980s, that is with associations and conferences, did on the part of feminist historians only start by the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s. This trend was largely driven by Euro-American historians, although Japanese researchers actively participated in international networking from the outset. In the 1990s, collected volumes on women's history, published in part in English by Western scholars of Japanese studies and Japanese historians, bear witness to the increased international scientific collaboration.
The World Conference on Women in Peking in 1995, attended by 5000 participants from Japan, worked as a catalyst for forming Asian feminist networks. Of the Asia-focused conferences consequently held in Japan, the International Symposium for Women's History in Asia [Ajia joseishi kokusai shimpojiumu] was path-breaking. Held in 1996 at Chuo University, this was the first symposium of its kind. The organisers had expected a limited number of participants for the two-day conference—the representative of the Chinese delegation imagined an audience of around 30 women—but around one thousand people attended the first scientific event for women's history in Asia. The influence that the conference had on the Asian participants was reflected in Korean historians' subsequent announcement that they wanted to organise a similar conference in their own country. The publication resulting from the scientific event, Ajia joseishi [Women's History in Asia], bears the subtitle Hikakushi no kokoromi [Attempt at a Comparative History] and provides a documentation of the attempt to throw historical light on comparative thematic relationships such as patriarchy and women, or industrialisation and women, or the impact of religion on women's lives in various Asian countries.
Another international convention held each year by the academic society Josei Sensô Jinken Gakkai [Association for Research on the Impacts of War and Military Bases on Women's Human Rights], founded in 1997 focuses on the ianfu problem. In contrast to the group VAWW-NET, which is rather involved at the activist level of international tribunals, the Josei Sensô Jinken Gakkai examines, at a scientific and theoretical level, war and sexual violence, the Tenno system, and the collaboration of the Japanese women's movements during war. It also organises academic exchange with Korean feminist researchers. In October 2001, a Japanese-Korean project was initiated for the joint creation and publication of women-related historical material. The aims of this project are to introduce the aspect of gender into historical research and to overcome the individual national historiographies, that is, to investigate historical issues by including outside perspectives. This scientific exchange is conducted bilingually, and saw its second meeting in June 2002, with 15 researchers invited from South-Korea. The feminist historians of the two countries investigated the subject of feminism and colonialism from various perspectives, highlighting the fact that regional Asian historical issues are discussed by applying international feminist theories. However, participants with different cultural and political prerequisites and academic leanings emphasised different viewpoints, allowing different needs to be brought to the forefront. For the Korean feminists, who are clearly influenced by US-American research in women's history, the primary issue seems to be not the question of guilt, as it is for the Japanese historians; from the Koreans' historical diction, Japan's 'aggressor' status seems adequately proven already. The tenor at this conference was much rather to transcend the national angle and to bring out gender and various social and historical coordinates of the individual, in order to demonstrate how systems of power function.
Japanese sociologist Ueno Chizuko has addressed the issue of gender and the nation-state, pointing out the paradoxical relationship between 'woman' and 'citizen'. It may be too early to proclaim that Japanese women's history is thus 'liberating itself from 'woman' per se and from Japan as well', and the need to do so is highly contentious. Yet taking modern Japan, nation, state, and colonialism as its object, feminist historiography in Japan does have the 'potential to interact in a global context'.
The general impression of a Japanese women's history research that is all too restricted to national and local frameworks and the resulting undertheorised analysis must be considerably qualified by a more detailed historical scientific investigation and differentiated examination. The increasing international and, in particular, Asian conferences of historians that have been organised since the 1990s at the latest, make the aforementioned hypothesis and evaluation appear obsolete. But even before then, as I have demonstrated, it is in no way possible to talk only of a self-concern in the feminist historical writings of Japan. From a conceptual point of view, Japanese feminist history has always been influenced by international factors: international theory has been assimilated and applied to Japanese conditions from the very outset, and concern with cultural uniqueness or international influences has always constituted an important, theoretical issue within it.
Thematically, women's history related to Japan has been the main focus of research. Women's history that is also concerned with Asia and relationships of exchange between Japan and Asia, such as the work of Yamazaki Tomoko in her publications since the end of the 1960s, is rarely seen. Comparative studies are indeed scarce. However, in response to Tomida's reference to the frequency of comparative studies in Western as opposed to Japanese women's history research, it must be noted that Western women's history research was primarily restricted to comparisons between women's history within one cultural area, while a serious debate and comparative approach with Asian history and historiography, for example, did not take place. Japanese feminists have translated a large number of Western works on women's history, particularly from the 1990s. In contrast, a deficit can be seen in the West, where mostly only isolated journal articles, contributions in collected essays and a very limited number of historical works from the area of Japanese women's history research are available in translation.
Regarding structural developments in Japanese women's history research, the international and regional Asian networks, symposia, and publications discussed above were made possible as a result of the developments in technology and communications during the course of globalisation. The political background to this is Japan's re-orientation towards Asia, which started in the 1980s and increased in the 1990s. This redirection opened up a space, albeit controversial, in which a new interpretation of the past, in particular Japan's colonial past, is undertaken by feminist historians but also by right-wing revisionist groups such as such as the Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform [Atarashii Kyôkasho O Tsukuru Kai] that works, among other things, at having all references to military sexual slavery excised in Japanese history textbooks. The discourse on Japanese Vergangenheitsbewältigung, with regard to the colonial past in general, and to the military sexual slavery issue in particular, has been made public, tackled in academic publications (by revisionists and feminists), driven forward by activists, and reported, though at some points distortingly, in the media. The process of turning towards Asia and reforming the role of Japan within the region, has provided at least the opportunity to make new claims for the validity of historical interpretations, and to reevaluate the past from a feminist perspective.
The current world economic and cultural tendencies of globalisation, which are often and rightly described and criticised as pauperisation and Americanisation, are also echoed in the general definition, covering material and immaterial dimensions, by James Mittleman, who writes of 'a coalescence of varied transnational processes and domestic structures, allowing the economy, politics, culture, and ideology of one country to penetrate another'. In this definition, globalisation is compared to a one-way street, in which the influence of the more powerful protagonists on the less influential ones is emphasised, and in which little significance is attached to reciprocal ideas of networking. However, from the point of view of women's history research and the formation of feminist, scientific networks, this phenomenon can also be seen with regard to its thoroughly productive aspects, in which international networking enables alternative strategies, viewpoints, and lobbying. David Birch, Tony Schirato, and Sanjay Srivastava argue similarly with regard to the constitution and negotiation of gender and sexuality in contemporary Asia that 'globalisation and informationalism, whatever their negative effects on cultures in Asia, have contributed to ... changes, mainly through the "opening up" of much more accessible and less controllable, public sphere'.
On the other hand, as Ruth Pierson has suggested in her article, 'Colonization and Canadian Women's History', the question arises as to whether political and economic differences even within one region, accounting for asymmetrical access to research funds and resources in cooperative feminist historians' networks might lead to asymmetrical power structures. With regard to Asia, such asymmetry might reflect colonial legacies not only between 'Western' and 'Eastern' countries, but also within Asian transnational feminist research communities.
With regard to feminist scholarship, Joan Scott has pointed to the unities of 'West' and 'East' as 'imaginary oppositions', and has argued that 'the intellectual history of these entities is one of independent articulations and cross-fertilizations'. What I addressed in this paper by taking up Japanese feminist history is the 'inadequacy of the East/West opposition' as well as the cross-fertilizations, but also the imbalances of international exchange. What remains to be mentioned in relation to Japanese feminist history is that language poses a problem often relevant to international conferences. This points to the problem of transmission, that has prevented critical Japanese scholarship—for example Takamure's treatment and modification of Engels' universal thesis in the 1950s—from being received on a global level. Equally, the works of Yamazaki since the 1970s, which are fine examples of a history from below and of oral history, and which focus on sexual politics and incorporate an international perspective, have only lately become available in translation and thus accessible to the 'global', or English-speaking community. Since the 1990s, some scholarship on the military sexual slavery issue and materials of the International War Crimes Tribunal have been written in or translated into English. Only by this means has a 'local' issue relating to transnational colonial and sexual history had the chance to come to the attention of broader international scholarship and eventually to sharpen the awareness of sexual politics and rights in international relations.
The author wishes to thank the editors of Intersections and the anonymous referees as well as Margret Neuss-Kaneko, Monika Schrimpf, and Laurie Walters for reading drafts of this paper and for their helpful suggestions.
 The turn towards Asia has been obvious on political and economic levels as well as in popular culture. As the recent war against Iraq made clear, it has not resulted in a 'Japan that can say "No"' to the U.S.A. as Tôkyô governor Ishihara Shintarô had proclaimed in his book "Nô" to ieru Nihon, published in 1989 (Tôkyô: Kôbunsha). Yet, the trend towards Asia seems unbroken. On 'Japan's New Role in Asia' see the special edition of the yearbook of the German Institute for Japanese Studies Tôkyô, Japanstudien, ed. Verena Blechinger and Jochen Leggewie, München: iudicium, 1998; see also essays on this topic in Irmela Hijiya-Kirschnereit ed., Überwindung der Moderne? Japan am Ende des zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts, Frankfurt a.M.: Suhrkamp, 1996, notably Irmela Hijiya-Kirschnereit, 'Leuchtet Japan? Einführende Gedanken zu einer proklamierten Zeitenwende', pp. 7-24, and Klaus Antoni, ‚Japans schwerer Weg nach Asien - Geistesgeschichtliche Anmerkungen zu einer Debatte', pp. 123-145.
 Hiroko Tomida, 'The Evolution of Japanese Women's History', in Japan Forum, 8, 2 (1996): pp. 189-203.
 See also Gerda Lerner, The Majority Finds Its Past, New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.
 Fiona Flew, Barbara Bagilhole, Jean Carabine, Natalie Fenton, Celia Kitzinger, Ruth Lister, and Sue Wilkinson, 'Introduction: Local Feminisms, Global Futures', in Women's Studies International Forum, 22, 4 (1999): pp. 393-403.
 Presentation in Japanese 'Toransunashionaru feminizumu: Kakô to genzai' ['Transnational Feminism: Past and Present'] at the Symposium Transnashionaru feminizumu no kanôsei [The Chances for Transnational Feminism] organised by Ochanomizu University (March 2, 2002). For a theoretical discussion of contemporary transnational feminist networks see also Vera Mackie, 'The Language of Transnationality, Globalisation and Feminism', in International Feminist Journal of Politics, 3, 2 (2001): pp. 180-206.
 The society, known as Kyôfûkai, was founded in 1886 by the Kyûshû-born Yajima Kajiko (1832-1925) and based on the model of the American Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Unlike the American Union, which fought against male alcoholism, the Japanese women focused on eliminating sexual violence within and outside the family. As early as 1887, they submitted petitions to the genrô (politically influential 'elder statesmen') and organised protests against concubinage and against the Japanese system of licensed prostitution at home and abroad. However, under the influence of Yajima, their arguments centered on prostitution as a national scandal, without recognising sexual exploitation as a means of realising the state's national interests. See Yûko Suzuki, Jûgun ianfu, naisen kekkon, Tôkyô : Miraisha, 1992, p. 21; Sharon L. Sievers, Flowers in Salt. The Beginnings of Feminist Consciousness in Modern Japan, Stanford, Cal.: Stanford University Press, 1983, pp. 87-113.
 The karayukisan (literally 'those who go to China/abroad') were girls and women from the poorest classes who were sold from Kyûshû to the brothels of East Asia between the 1860s and 1930s. The women who were sold or lured to America were called ameyukisan, and today, the term japayukisan is used to describe women who are sent, usually through organised crime, from East Asia to Japan, to work as prostitutes. See Karen Colligan-Taylor, 'Translator's Introduction', in Tomoko Yamazaki, Sandakan Brothel No. 8: An Episode in the History of Lower-class Japanese Women, New York: M.E. Sharpe, 1999, pp. xiii-xxxix.
 Tomoko Yamazaki, Sandakan hachiban shôkan, Tôkyô : Chikuma Shobô, 1972 (in English translation 1999); Yamazaki, Ajia josei kôryûshi: Meiji Taishôki hen, Tôkyô : Chikuma Shobô, 1995; Yamazaki, The Story of Yamada Waka, from Prostitute to Feminist Pioneer, Tôkyô : Kôdansha International (Ameyuki-san no uta, 1981, trans. Wakako Hironaka and Ann Konstant); Ilse Lenz, 'Zwischen fremden Spiegeln - Zur Figur der wandernden Prostituierten in ostasiatischen Gesellschaften', in Peripherie. Zeitschrift für Politik und Ökonomie in der Dritten Welt, 7, 27 (Winter 1987): pp. 51-72.
 Even post-colonial theorists who have successfully challenged the universality of western paradigms often operate within the 'West'.
 See Alastair Pennycook, English and the Discourses of Colonialism, London: Routledge, 1998.
 Giichi Inumaru, 'Joseishi kenkyû no seika to kadai: Nihon kindai joseishi ni tsuite', in Gendai rekishigaku no seika to kadai. II, ed. Rekishigaku Kenkyûkai, Tôkyô: Aoki Shoten, 1982, pp. 155-180.
 Toshihiko Sakai, Danjo kankei no shinka, Tôkyô: Yûrakusha, 1908; Sakai, Danjo sôtôshi, Tôkyô: Eisendô Shoten, 1920.
 With the development of historical science since the Meiji period, some male historians and educators have turned their attention to women's history. According to Takamure Itsue, the oldest such work is the Nihon joshi ['Women's History of Japan'] written in 1901 by Sudô Kyûma. Based on the biographies of famous women, this work describes relationships between the social system, literature and customs of the various epochs and the biographical description of the women. See Itsue Takamure, Bokeisei no kenkyû , Tôkyô: Rironsha, 1966 (first published 1938), p. 5. Ienaga Saburô and Wakita Haruko regard the special edition of the journal Rekishi kyôiku [Historical Didactics] published in 1937 on the subject of 'Joseishi kenkyû' ['Research into Women's History'] as the first publication that can be called scientific research into women's history. Cf. Saburô Ienaga, 'Nihon joseishi to no meguriai', in Rekishigaku kenkyû , 6, 542 (1985): pp. 43-48, p. 44; Haruko Wakita, Ryûichi Narita, Anne Walthall, and Hitomi Tonomura, 'Appendix: Past Developments and Future Issues in the Study of Women's History in Japan: A Bibliographical Essay', in Women and Class in Japanese History, eds. Hitomi Tonomura, Anne Walthall, and Wakita, Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1999, pp. 299-313, p. 299. Rekishi kyôiku contained 24 essays on the subject of women's history written by established historians as well as by progressive, Marxist researchers like Inoue Kiyoshi. However, according to Ienaga (p. 44), the articles themselves reveal an underdeveloped awareness of the significance and scope of women's history necessitating a practical interest in women's liberation. Historians of the early 1970s such as Yamazaki Tomoko and later Akagi Shizuko claimed that historical work on the subject of women before 1945 could not be described as women's history research (see Tomida, 'The Evolution of Japanese Women's History', p. 192). Many historians, however, agree that the first breakthroughs in Japanese women's history research came in the Taishô and early Shôwa periods (e.g. Wakita, Narita, Walthall, and Tonomura, 'Appendix', p. 299). Some see its emergence as closely related with the cultural, social, and political currents of Taishô democracy [Taishô demokurashî] (see Ryôko Nishimura, 'Joseishi o manabu tame ni', in Rekishi Kagaku Kyôgikai ed.: Joseishi kenkyû nyûmon, Tôkyô: Sanseidô, 1991, pp. 5-20, p. 11) and the increasing interest in women's history during the period due to the growth of the women's movement. See Kaoru Tachi, 'Nihon joseishi kenkyû no dôkô to kadai: Joseigaku to shakaishi o megutte', in Tôkyô daigaku Amerika kenkyû shiryô sentâ nempô , 12 (1989): pp. 106-115, p. 106; Yasuko Itô, Joseishi nyûmon, Tôkyô: Domesu Shuppan, 1992, p. 27.
 Ienaga, 'Nihon joseishi to no meguriai', p. 44. Friedrich Engels' theory on gender relations was based on Morgan's and Bachofen's studies and Marx's notes on Morgan's Ancient Society. Engels held essentialist notions of a gendered natural division of labour and he saw 'die weltgeschichtliche Niederlage des weiblichen Geschlechts' ['the world historical defeat of the female sex'] due to the downfall of mother right that had prevailed before. It was the advent of civilisation and the development of private property, coupled with the evolution of monogamous marriage turning wives into private property of the family patriarchs, that led to the subjugation of women. Thus for women, just as for the proletariat, to gain control of the means of production and to become part of the productive workforce would necessarily lead to their liberation in society at large as well as within the family. See Friedrich Engels, Der Ursprung der Familie, des Privateigenthums und des Staats. Im Anschluß an Lewis H. Morgans Forschungen , 1884, in Marx Engels Werke, vol. 21, Berlin: Dietz, 1962, pp. 25-173.
 Engels, Der Ursprung der Familie, 1962. The working version of the 8th edition appeared in Japanese translation by Kichinosuke Naitô, Kazoku shiyû zaisan oyobi kokka no kigen, Tôkyô: Yûhikaku, 1922. In 1990, a new translation (the 4th working edition of 1892) was published by Kazuo Tsuchiya, Kazoku shiyû zaisan kokka no kigen, Tôkyô: Shin Nihon Shuppansha. See Kokuritsu Kokkai Toshokan Toshobu ed., Zôsho mokuroku. Shakai rôdô kyôiku, Tôkyô: Kinokuniya Shoten, 1986-1990, p. 23.
 Arahata Kanson translated Morgan's Ancient Society, which was published in two volumes with the Japanese title Kodai shakai by the Tôkyô-based Kaizôsha. In 1954, a new edition, again in two volumes, was published by Kadokawa Bunkô. See Tadashi Fukutake and Rokurô Hidaka (eds), Shakaigaku jiten, Tôkyô: Yûhikaku, 1971, pp. 896-897.
 Johann Jakob Bachofen, Das Mutterrecht, Stuttgart: Krais & Hoffmann, 1861; the Japanese translation, entitled Bokenron was written by Tomino Yoshiteru and published by Tôkyô-based Hakubasha. Fukutake and Hidaka, Shakaigaku, p. 752.
 Watanabe Yoshimichi's monograph Nihon bokei jidai no kenkyû [Studies on the Epoch of Matrilineality in Japan] was published by Hakubasha. In this work, the Marxist historian argues that the small-farmer agricultural economy invented by women expanded through the involvement of men. Women's lesser physical strength then led to their subordination. Wakita questioned this thesis with reference to Margaret Mead's cultural-anthropological findings. In contrast to Watanabe, Wakita attributed the gradual takeover of power to male access to means of production [seisan shudan]. In Japan, the bureaucratic stipulations of the ritsuryô legislation, which favored men, played a decisive role in this process. See Haruko Wakita, Nihon chûsei joseishi no kenkyû , Tôkyô: Tôkyô Daigaku Shuppankai, 1994 , pp. 82-83.
 Takamure's conclusions were strongly criticised by Hiromu Kurihara, Takamure Itsue no kon'in josei shisô no kenkyû , Tôkyô: Takashina Shoten, 1994. He accuses Takamure of fabricating history.
 See Takamure, Bokeisei no kenkyû , pp. 1-22.
 See the government-sponsored publication Josei nisen roppyakunenshi [2600-Year History of Women] Tôkyô: Kôseikaku, 1940, in which Takamure ideologically supported the regime's line. See also her articles in Nippon fujin [The Japanese Woman], organ of the state's women's organisation Dai Nippon Fujinkai from 1942 through 1945. They were in part reprinted in Takamure Itsue Ronshû Henshû Iinkai (ed.), Takamure Itsue ronshû, Tôkyô: JCA Shuppan, 1979. See Andrea Germer, 'Genesis der Liebe. Die sozialphilosophischen und feministischen Anschauungen Takamure Itsues', in Bochumer Jahrbuch zur Ostasienforschung, 20, (1996): pp. 119-186, pp. 172-177; Germer, 'Geschlecht und Nation: Feminismus und Nationalismus im Japan der Kriegszeit', paper presented at the third symposium on 'Assertions of Cultural Uniqueness in Asia' ('Asiatische Selbstbehauptungsdiskurse') held in Erlangen, Germany, December 2002, online DIJ Newsletter, 19 (June 2003): pp. 4-5, accessed 8 August, 2003.
 Andrea Germer, 'Geschlechtliche und kulturelle Dimensionen von Geschichtsschreibung: Takamure Itsues 'Geschichte der Frau' (1954-58)', in 11. Deutschsprachiger Japanologentag in Trier 1999, vol. 1, ed. Hilaria Gössmann and Andreas Mrugalla, Münster: LIT, pp. 87-102.
 In 1947, Takamure wrote a general social history, Nihon josei shakaishi [Social History of Japanese Women], published by Shin Nihonsha. Tamagusuku Hajime's Nihon joseishi [Women's History of Japan], published by Ondorisha, followed in 1948, and primarily dealt with marriage and inheritance law, but also with the prostitution system, customs and conventions (see Itô, Joseishi nyûmon, p. 28). Major works of the 1950s include Itsue Takamure, Shôseikon no kenkyû , Tôkyô: Kôdansha, 1953; Nihon Kindaishi Kenkyûkai (ed.), Shashin kindai joseishi, Tôkyô: Sôgensha, 1953; Hajime Tamagusuku, Fujin no rekishi, Tôkyô: Rironsha, 1956; Eiichi Matsushima, Josei no rekishi, Tôkyô: San'ichi Shobô, 1958.
 Kiyoshi Inoue, Nihon joseishi, Tôkyô: San'ichi Shobô, 1948. Revised new editions appeared in 1953, 1955 and 1967.
 Inoue's approach was spread further by the Fujin Mondai Kenkyûkai [Research Group on Women's Issues], a study group consisting exclusively of women. A department of the Union of Democratic Scientists [Minshûshugi Kagakusha Kyôkai - Minka], studied and discussed Inoue's and August Bebel's work. Many historians, including Ide Fumiko, Komashaku Kimi, Nagahara Kazuko, Murata Shizuko and Tatewaki Sadayo, who were later to publish individually, were members. See Reiko Mitsui (ed.), Kindai Nihon no josei, Tôkyô: Gogatsu Shobô, 1953, p. 4; Tomida, 'The Evolution of Japanese Women's History', p. 195. In 1950, the group published its first research findings in the volume Gendai josei jûnikô [Twelve Lectures on Contemporary Women]. Supported by the Ministry of Education, and with guidance from Inoue himself, it carried out a three-year research project, which led, in 1953, to Mitsui's publication of Kindai Nihon no josei. Another source, still important today, is the chronology Gendai fujin undôshi nempyô [Historical Chronology of Contemporary Women's Movements], ed. Reiko Mitsui, Tôkyô: San'ichi Shobô, 1963.
 This includes publications on general women's history topics such as Nihon joseishikô [Discourse on Japanese Women's History] by Nishioka Toranosuke in 1953 and Josei no rekishi [History of Women] by Matsushima Eiichi in1958, as well as two books with the same title as publications by Inoue and Tamagusuku, namely Nihon joseishi [Women's History of Japan], one by Nakatani Takao in 1958, the other edited by Miyagi Eishô and Ôi Minobu in 1959 (new, revised editions appeared 1974 and 1985 at Yoshikawa Hirobumikan). All authors were men.
 Ichiko Kamichika, Josei shisôshi. Ai to kakumei o ikita onnatachi, Tôkyô: Aki Shobô, 1974, with a foreword and epilogue by Kazuko Tanaka. Kamichika's work was based above all on Mary Beard's study Women as Force in History, 1946. Mary Beard (1876-1958) was an activist in the labour and women's movement of the 1920s, and fought with older suffragettes for the foundation of a World Center for Women's Archives. She conceived women's history as science, and central to her studies was the conviction that women have been and are a historical force in all periods. Mary and Charles Beard also visited Japan. Beard's approach that rejected the view of women as victims, had considerable influence on Gerda Lerner, one of the most important pioneers of feminist history in the USA. See Gerda Lerner, 'Autobiographische Notizen als Einleitung', in Frauen finden ihre Vergangenheit. Grundlagen der Frauengeschichte, Frankfurt a. M. and New York: Campus, 1995, pp. 19-38.
 Itsue Takamure, Josei no rekishi, 4 vols.,Tôkyô: Kôdansha, 1954-1958; see Germer, 'Geschlechtliche und kulturelle Dimensionen', 2001.
 Yukiko Koshô (ed.), Shiryô. Joseishi ronsô, Tôkyô: Domesu Shuppan, 1991, p. 283; see Itô, Joseishi nyûmon, pp. 62-63.
 For treatments see Tomida, 'The Evolution of Japanese Women's History', pp. 189-203; Ulrike Wöhr, 'Die japanische Moderne und die Historische Frauenforschung in Japan', in Asiatische Studien - Études Asiatiques, 448, (1994): pp. 451-465; Noriyo Hayakawa, 'The Development of Women's History in Japan', in Writing Women's History. International Perspectives, ed. Karen Offen, Ruth Roach Pierson, and Jane Rendall, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Macmillan, 1991, pp. 171-179, p. 171; Masanao Kano and Kiyoko Horiba, Takamure Itsue, Tôkyô: Asahi Shinbunsha, 1985, p. 275; Haruko Wakita, 'Rekishigaku to josei', in Rekishigaku kenkyû, 6, 517 (1983): pp. 17-25, p. 18; Ilse Lenz, 'Takamure Itsues Reflexionen und Forschungen über das frühe japanische Familiensystem - Ansätze zu einer Geschichte der Frau?', in Referate des IV. Deutschen Japanologentages in Tübingen, ed. Fritz Opitz and Roland Schneider, Hamburg: OAG, pp. 92-105, p. 93.
 Nobuhiko Murakami, 'Joseishi kenkyû no kadai to tenbô', in Shisô , 549, (1970): pp. 83-95.
 Published in 3 vols by Tôkyô-based Rironsha; Ienaga Saburô, who himself has published on the change in clothing in Japan is critical of Murakami's work in many respects but regards the conception of everyday-life history as epoch-making. See Ienaga, 'Nihon joseishi to no meguriai', p. 48.
 Nobuhiko Murakami, Meiji joseishi, 4 vols., Tôkyô: Rironsha, 1970-1973, 1973, p. 3.
 Yamazaki, Ajia josei kôryûshi: Meiji Taishôki hen, p. 4; Yamazaki, Sandakan hachiban shôkan, 1972 (in English translation 1999); Yamazaki, Ajia no josei shidôsha tachi, Tôkyô: Chikuma Shobô, 1997.
 Yamazaki, Ajia josei kôryûshi: Meiji Taishôki hen, p. 312.
 Tamae Mizuta, 'Hôkoku e no komento', in Tôkyô daigaku Amerika kenkyû shiryô sentâ nempô, 12, (1989): pp. 120-121. See Koshô (ed.), Shiryô. Joseishi ronsô, 1991, for commentary on the most important contributions to the debates surrounding women's history, and here, the contributions by Itô, Harada, Mizuta and Yoneda.
 Miho Ogino, 'Nihon ni okeru joseishi kenkyû to feminisumu', in Nihon no kagakusha, 28, 12 (1993): pp. 708-714, p. 711.
 Kazuko Watanabe, 'Japanese Women's Studies', in Women's Studies Quarterly, 3-4, (1994): pp. 73-88.
 See Nihon joseishi kenkyû bunken mokuroku, vol. II, ed. Joseishi Sôgô Kenkyûkai, Tôkyô: Tôkyô Daigaku Shuppankai, 1988, Foreword; see Tomida, 'The Evolution', p. 197.
 Haruko Wakita (ed.), Bosei o tou: Rekishiteki hensen, Tôkyô: Jinbun Shoin, 1985.
 The prize is awarded annually for excellent performance in Japanese-language women's history research. It is financed from a fund that that was set up to mark the death in 1985 of Aoyama Nao, professor of Japanese History of Ideas at the Women's University of Tôkyô.
 Mitsutaka Tani (ed.), Ajia joseishi bunken mokuroku, Nara: Nara Joshi Daigaku Tôyô Shigaku Kenkyûshitsu, 1984.
 Masanao Kano, Fujin, josei, onna: Joseishi no toi, Tôkyô: Iwanami Shoten, 1989, p. 69; Joseishi Sôgô Kenkyûkai (ed.), Nihon joseishi, Tôkyô: Tôkyô Daigaku Shuppankai, 1982, and Nihon joseishi kenkyû bunken mokuroku, 3 vols, Tôkyô: Tôkyô Daigaku Shuppankai, 1983-1994.
 Masanao Kano, Kindai Nihon no minkangaku, Tôkyô: Iwanami Shoten, 1983, p. 8; see Wöhr, 'Die japanische Moderne', 1994.
 Joseishi Sôgô Kenkyûkai (ed.), Nihon josei seikatsushi, 5 vols., Tôkyô: Tôkyô, Daigaku Shuppankai, 1990, Foreword. In one respect, this argument is similar to Scott's defense of a gender history that in itself and through its subject matter represents a challenge to established historical writing, and for this reason alone has political effect. With this, Scott justified the move away from a political bias that was expressed in the form of a separate women's history. Joan W. Scott, Gender and the Politics of History, New York: Columbia University Press, 1988.
 See Joan W. Scott, 'Women's History', in New Perspectives on Historical Writing, ed. Peter Burke, Cambridge: Polity Press, pp. 42-66; June Purvis, 'From 'Women Worthies' to Poststructuralism? Debate and Controversy in Women's History in Britain', in Women's History: Britain 1850-1945. An Introduction, ed. June Purvis, London: ULC Press, 1995, pp. 1-20.
 Ogino, 'Nihon ni okeru joseishi kenkyû to feminizumu', p. 713. This argument can be found in Scott, Gender and the Politics of History, p. 30. For the Western discussion see Joan Kelly-Gladol, 'The Social Relations of the Sexes: Methodological Implications of Women's History', in Signs, 1, 4 (spring 1976): pp. 809-823; Michelle Zimbalist Rosaldo, 'The Use and Abuse of Anthropology: Reflections on Feminism and Cross-cultural Understanding', in Signs, 5, 3 (1980): pp. 389-417; Gisela Bock, 'Historische Frauenforschung: Fragestellungen und Perspektiven', in Frauen suchen ihre Geschichte, ed. Karin Hausen, München: Beck, 1983, pp. 22-60, and Bock, 'Geschichte, Frauengeschichte, Geschlechtergeschichte' in Geschichte und Gesellschaft, 14 (1988): pp. 364-391; Scott, Gender and the Politics of History, 1988; Georges Duby and Michelle Perrot (eds), Geschichte der Frauen, 5 vols., Frankfurt a. M.: Campus, 1993-1995.
 Miho Ogino, 'Writing Women's History in Japan: Traditions and New Trends', in Historical Studies in Japan (VIII) 1988-1992, ed. The National Committee of Japanese Historians, Tôkyô: Yamakawa Shuppansha, 1995, pp. 17-32, p. 29.
 Miho Ogino, trans. Jendâ to rekishigaku (Gender and the Politics of History, Joan W. Scott, 1988), Tôkyô: Heibonsha 1992; Ogino, 'Seisa no rekishigaku - Joseishi no saisei no tame ni', in Shisô , vol. 768, (1988): pp. 73-96.
 See Bock, 'Geschichte, Frauengeschichte, Geschlechtergeschichte', 1988.
 Tachi, 'Nihon joseishi kenkyû no dôkô to kadai', p. 114; Kaoru Tachi, 'Joseishi kenkyû to joseigaku. Sono rondai o megutte', in Josei bunka kenkyû sentâ nempô, 3, Ochanomizu Daigaku Josei Bunka Kenkyû Sentâ, pp. 103-119, p. 117.
 At the first National Women's History Conference in 1977 in Nagoya, Itô played a central role. An autodidact herself she represents the many lay research groups of women's history in Japan. See Ulrike Wöhr, 'Neue Tendenzen in der historischen Frauenforschung in Japan', in Minikomi 1/ 2 (1993): pp. 3-5.
 Yasuko Itô, 'Nihon joseishi kenkyû no kako, genzai, mirai', in Rekishi hyôron, 279, (1990): pp. 1-15, p. 12; see Wöhr, 'Die japanische Moderne', 1994; Hiroko Hasegawa, 'Onna, otoko, kodomo no kankeishi ni mukete', in Shisô , 719, (1984): pp. 28-43; see Funabashi Kuniko's and Yunomae Michiko's criticism of Hasegawa quoted in Tachi, 'Nihon joseishi kenkyû no dôkô to kadai', pp. 111-113; see also Ogino, 'Seisa no rekishigaku', p. 74.
 Tachi, 'Joseishi kenkyû to joseigaku', 1989; Ogino, trans. Jendâ to rekishigaku, 1992.
 Tachi, 'Nihon joseishi kenkyû no dôkô to kadai', p. 113-114; Ogino, 'Takamure Itsue no kenkû ni miru Nihon no kon'insei no hensen', in Joseigaku nempô , 10, 1 (1980): pp. 59-69; Ogino, 'Writing Women's History in Japan', 1995.
 Tachi, 'Nihon joseishi kenkyû', 1989.
 Hiromi Sone, 'Joseishi to feminizumu: Ueno Chizuko cho 'Rekishigaku to feminizumu' ni yosete', in Joseishi-gaku, 6, (1996): pp. 73-82, pp. 78-79.
 See the works of Shizuko Koyama, Ryôsai kenbo to iu kihan, Tôkyô: Keisô Shobô, 1991; Kazue Muta, 'Senryaku toshite no onna: Meiji, Taishô no "Onna no gensetsu" o megutte', in Shisô , 2, 812 (1992): pp. 211-231; Kazue Muta and Jieweon Shin, 'Kindai no sekushuariti no sôzô to "Atarashii onna"', in Shisô , 4, 886 (1998): pp. 89-115; Yasuko Tabata, Chizuko Ueno, and Sanae Fukutô (eds), Jendâ to josei (= Shirîzu Hikaku kazoku, vol. 8), Tôkyô: Waseda Daigaku Shuppanbu, 1997; see Yûjirô Ôguchi, 'Joseishi nôto; Ueno Chizuko, Sasaki Junnosuke ryôshi no kingyô ni yosete', in Joseishi-gaku, 7, (1997): pp. 63-70.
 For example, Haruko Wakita and Susan B. Hanley (eds), Jendâ no Nihonshi [Japanese History of Gender], 2 vols., Tôkyô: Tôkyô Daigaku Shuppankai, the volume on family history, Jendâ to josei [Gender and Women], ed. Tabata, Ueno, and Fukutô.; the work on sexual slavery by Yûko Suzuki, Sensô sekinin to jendâ [War Responsibility and Gender], Tôkyô: Miraisha, 1997; the 1996 six-vol. Onna to otoko no jikû , ed. Nobuko Kôno and Kazuko Tsurumi, Tôkyô: Fujiwara Shoten, the title of which they translated as TimeSpace of Gender: Redefining Japanese Women's History. The latter publication sees itself as methodological successor of the French Annales and Takamure Itsue.
 Shisô, 4, no. 898 (1999). Joan Scott, Gayatri Spivak, Claudia Koonz, Atina Grossmann, Ute Frevert and Geneviève Fraisse are represented as well as, on the Japanese side, Wakita Haruko, Himeoka Toshiko and Senda Yuki. At the beginning of the 1990s, Hayakawa remarked that gender had not yet been introduced as a tool for analysis among Japanese historians, but that women's history in Japan nevertheless had a feminist angle, and was therefore researched from a gender perspective. Hayakawa, 'The Development of Women's History in Japan', pp. 176.
 The Ajia Josei Onnatachi No Kai [Asian Women's Association, AWA] formed the organisational and ideological foundation for the support movement into the late 1990s. In 1998, the VAWW-NET Japan (VAWW stands for Violence Against Women in War), a newly founded and internationally oriented organisation with over 100 different groups across Japan, assumed this role. The VAWW is more highly politicised than the AWA, but both basically consist of the same leaders and members. Ulrike Wöhr examined the feminist discourse on the ianfu, in particular as it emerged in the AWA journal Onnatachi no 21 seiki (Subtitle: Women's Asia 21), see Ulrike Wöhr, 'Japanese Feminism in Post-colonial Asia. Feminist Identity Politics and the Comfort Women Issue', paper presented at the Conference 'Contested Historiography' at the German Institute for Japanese Studies, March 2001, forthcoming in a book edited by Nicola Liscutin. From December 8 - 12, 2000,VAWW-NET Japan held the Women's International War Crimes Tribunal on Japan's Military Sexual Slavery, in which NGOs from the countries then colonised by Japan and an international advisory committee of human rights experts from five continents held a symbolic tribunal. This included a hearing on contemporary war crimes against women, in order to place the Japanese case of sexual violence against women in war in a universal context. See VAWW-Net Japan, accessed 9 August, 2003.
 See, for example, the international symposium 'Contested Historiography - Feminist Perspectives on World War II' held on April 13-14 by the German Institute for Japanese Studies in Tôkyô, accessed 9 August, 2003. According to organiser Nicola Liscutin, the symposium brought together Japanese researchers with highly controversial approaches who would otherwise never get together and discuss face to face. The main speakers were Claudia Koonz, Kanô Mikiyo, Gudrun Schwarz, Gisela Notz, Kôra Rumiko, Nakahara Michiko, Matsui Yayori, Lenz Ilse, Ueno Chizuko, Kim Puja, Ôgoshi Aiko, Suzuki Yûko and Fujime Yuki.
 For archive research see Yoshiaki Yoshimi, Jûgun ianfu shiryôshû, Tôkyô: Ôtsuki Shoten, 1992; Yuki Tanaka, Japan's Comfort Women: Sexual Slavery and Prostitution during World War II and the US Occupation, London: Routledge, 2002. For a list of publications and videos including eye-witness statements as well as documentation of the Tokyo Tribunal in 2000 see VAWW-Net Japan, accessed 9 August, 2003. For statements from perpetrators see the documentary film Minoru Matsui, Japanese Devils: Confessions of Imperial Army Soldiers from Japan's War against China, accessed 9 August, 2003.
 Keyong-Sik Pak, Chôsenjin kyôsei renkô no kiroku, Tôkyô: Miraisha, 1965; Kakô Senda, Jûgun ianfu. Seihen, Tôkyô: San'ichi Shobô, 1978.
 See Kazuko Yoshimi, Nihon fashizumu to josei [Japanese Fascism and Women], Tôkyô: Gôdô Shuppan, 1977; also a series of 8 works edited in the same year by Onnatachi No Ima O Tou Kai, Jûgoshi nôto [Notes on the History of the Home Front], from edition 4 on Tôkyô: JCA Shuppan, see Itô, Joseishi nyûmon, p. 65; Kanô Mikiyo was a leading figure in these publications. See also Kanô (ed.), Josei to tennôsei [Women and the Tenno system], Tôkyô: Shisô No Kagakusha, 1989, first published 1979; and Kanô, Onnatachi no jûgo [Women on the Home Front], Tôkyô: Chikuma Shobô, 1987.
 For the 1990s, see Suzuki Yûko's committed publications on the so-called jûgun ianfu, Suzuki, Jûgun ianfu, naisen kekkon, 1992, and Suzuki, Sensô sekinin to jendâ, 1997, as well as other critical texts on ultra-nationalism and mother ideology, Suzuki, 'Bosei sensô heiwa. "Nihonteki bosei" to feminizumu', in Bosei fashizumu. Haha naru shizen no yûkan (= Nyû feminizumu rebyû, vol. 6), ed. Mikiyo Kanô, Tôkyô: Gakuyô Shobô, 1995, pp. 68-73; the editor Kanô has also published widely on war-time mother ideology.
 At the third National Conference for Women's History in 1983, a 'Women and War' section was set up for the first time, and in 1984 the subject of the annual special edition dedicated to women's history in the journal Rekishi hyôron was 'Jûgonen sensô to josei' [The Fifteen-Year War and Women]. At the fifth National Conference in Okinawa in 1992, the jûgun ianfu problem also became one of the main themes of local history, since in addition to the mainly Korean victims, women were also 'recruited' from the periphery of Japan, Okinawa. See Wöhr 'Neue Tendenzen in der historischen Frauenforschung in Japan', 1993.
 At the second conference in Holland in 1984 there were 650 participants from 45 countries. The third took place in Ireland in 1987 with 942 participants from 48 countries. Noriyo Hayakawa, 'Kokusai joseigaku kaigi sankaki', in Joseishi kenkyû , XII, 22 (1987): pp. 5-9, pp. 5-6.
 Hayakawa, 'Kokusai joseigaku kaigi sankaki', p. 5.
 Noriyo Hayakawa, 'Hajime no kokusai joseishi kaigi ni sanka shite', in Nihonshi kenkyû , 329, (1990): p. 99-101.
 Sakiko Shiota and Haruko Wakita, 'Joseishi kenkyû kokusai renmei', in Rekishigaku kenkyû , 618, (1991): pp. 57-63. Wakita Haruko and Hayakawa Noriyo gave presentations, but topics in Japanese women's history were also presented by researchers from elsewhere, such as Vera Mackie (Australia, Curtin Institute of Technology) and Hitomi Tonomura (USA, Michigan University).
 One example is the international conference held in January 2002 at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies, Nichibunken in Kyoto, accessed 9 August, 2003. Fifty-one researchers from Asia, Europe and America engaged in discussions of patriarchy and patrilineality on the basis of comparative studies into female household heads.
 For example see Wakita and Hanley (eds), Jendâ no Nihonshi, 1994; Hitomi Tonomura, Anne Walthall, and Haruko Wakita (eds), Women and Class in Japanese History, Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1999; Wakita, Narita, Walthall, and Tonomura, 'Appendix', 1999.
 See reports on symposia of Chinese and Japanese researchers by Masako Bando, 'Nittchû josei kagakusha shimpojiumu zakkan', in Joseishi-gaku, 3, (1993): pp. 59-67; Kumiko Kakehi, 'Dai ni kai Nittchû josei kagakusha shimpojiumu', in Joseishi-gaku, 5, (1995): pp. 86-90, and specific conferences on Chinese-Japanese women's history by Yasuko Tabata and Atsuko Furumoto, 'Nittchû joseishi kenkyû shimpojiumu ni sanka shite', in Joseishi-gaku, 7, (1997): pp. 92-98.
 The speakers included 10 researchers from Asia, 4 from the USA and many international scientists living in Japan.
 Kumiko Kakehi, 'Ajia joseishi kokusai shimpojiumu - tayôsei to kyôtsûsei o saguru', in Joseishi-gaku, 6, (1996): pp. 104-108, p. 106.
 Reiko Hayashi and Setsuko Yanagida, Ajia joseishi: Hikakushi no kokoromi, Tôkyô: Akashi Shoten, 1997.
 The founding members are Igeta Midori, Ôgoshi Aiko, Shimizu Kiyoko, Suzuki Yûko, Tsunoda Yukiko, Nakahara Michiko, Minamoto Junko, Mochida Kimiko. See Association for Research on the Impacts of War and Military Bases on Women's Rights, accessed 9 August, 2003.
 See VAWW-Net Japan, accessed 9 August 9 2003. Compare also endnote 61.
 Suzuki Yûko gave a lecture about the development of the Japanese Kyôfûkai and its leaders (Kubushiro Ochimi and Hayashi Utako), and their approval of the colonial politics of Japan. The two Korean commentators (Yang Hyun-Ah, Lee Sung-Soon) then asked Suzuki whether there were perspectives other than that of the perpetrator/victim. While the Japanese feminists put the question of Japanese women's guilt at the center, other Korean colleagues from the audience wanted a more complex picture of the Kyôfûkai that included structural components such as Christianity or Japanese patriarchy. They wanted to go beyond the question of individual collaboration, and thus allow the historical and structural problem to be brought out. The commentator Yang Hyun-Ah stressed that women could be diverse, plural subjects.
 See Yeong-Ae Yamashita, 'Nationalism in Korean Women's Studies: Addressing the Nationalist Discourses Surrounding the 'Comfort Women' Issue', in U.S.-Japan Women's Journal, English Supplement No. 15, (1998): pp. 52-77.
 Chizuko Ueno, 'Kokumin kokka to jenda', in Gendai shisô , 24, 12 (1996): pp. 8-45; Ueno, Nashionarizumu to jendâ. Engendering Nationalism, Tôkyô: Seidosha, 1998.
 Wakita, Narita, Walthall, and Tonomura, 'Appendix', p. 310.
 Wakita, Narita, Walthall, and Tonomura, 'Appendix', p. 310.
 See for example also the critical translators' notes on Chronology of Women Worldwide: People, Places and Events that Shaped Women's History (1997), ed. Lynne Brakeman and trans. Kazuko Tanaka into Japanese 1999. Despite its universal title Euro-American history and particularly the United States form the bulk of information, while other regions are clearly underrepresented. With regard to Asia, regions and countries apart from Japan are hardly mentioned. Kazuko Tanaka, 'Yakusha atogaki', in Sekai joseishi jiten, Tôkyô: Nichigai Asoshiêtsu, 1999, pp. 782-784, pp. 782-783.
 Examples include Sanae Fukuto, 'Die Rollenverteilung zwischen Mann und Frau in Japan während des Altertums und Mittelalters', in Aufgaben, Rollen und Räume von Frau und Mann, ed. Jochen Martin and Renate Zoepffel, Freiburg i. Brsg. and München: Alber, 1989, pp. 385-404; Haruko Wakita, 'Marriage and Property in Premodern Japan from the Perspective of Women's History' (With an Introduction by Suzanne Gay), in Journal of Japanese Studies, 10, 1 (1984): pp. 73-99; see also translated essays in US-Japan Women's Journal. English Supplement.
 See for example Tonomura, Walthall, and Wakita (eds), Women and Class in Japanese History, 1999; the essay collection Haruko Wakita, Anne Bouchy, and Chizuko Ueno (eds), Gender and Japanese History, 2 vols., Osaka: Osaka University Press, 1999. The latter is a translation and revised version of Wakita and Hanley (eds), Jendâ no Nihonshi, 1994. See also Yamazaki, The Story of Yamada Waka, 1985; Yamazaki, Sandakan Brothel No. 8, 1999.
 James H. Mittleman (ed.), Globalization: Critical Reflections, London: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1996, p. 3; see Flew, Bagilhole, Carabine, Fenton, Kitzinger, Lister, and Wilkinson, 'Introduction: Local Feminisms, Global Futures', 1999.
 The slogan 'Globalize This' is used by NGOs and international women's organisations, in particular The Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID), demanding the globalisation of human rights. This strategy of 'Re-inventing globalization' acknowledges the productive side of globalisation and points to the fact that alternative networking is actually part of the general process. See AWID, accessed 12 August, 2003, and the Japanese Journal Women's Asia 21, 33 (2003). See Mackie, The Language of Transnationality, 2001.
 David Birch, Tony Schirato, and Sanjay Srivastava, Asia: Cultural Politics in the Global Age, New York: Palgrave, 2001, p. 160.
 Ruth Roach Pierson, 'Colonization and Canadian Women's History', in Journal of Women's History, 4, 2 (Fall 1992): pp. 134-156.
 Joan W. Scott, 'Fictitious Unities: "Gender", "East" and "West"', paper presented at the 4th European Feminist Research Conference, Bologna, Italy, September 29, 2000, accessed 12 August, 2003. In her paper, Scott refers mainly to Eastern and Western Europe, but the same applies to the global division.
 Scott, 'Fictitious Unities', 2000.
 Hayakawa, 'Kokusai joseigaku kaigi sankaki', 1987; Kakehi, 'Ajia joseishi kokusai shimpojiumu - tayôsei to kyôtsûsei o saguru', 1996.
 Takamure challenged Engels' approach on prehistoric (that is the period before the emergence of private property) relations of the sexes and his unilinear explanation of the 'world historical defeat of the female sex' by pointing to Japan's long history of female empresses and the various forms of the division of labour between the sexes (Takamure, Josei no rekishi, 1954-1958; see Andrea Germer, Historische Frauenforschung in Japan: Die Rekonstruktion der Vergangenheit in Takamure Itsues 'Geschichte der Frau', München: iudicium, 2003 forthcoming). Engels has been taken up by Western Marxist feminists in the 1970s (for example Eleanor Leacock, Karen Sacks) and has meanwhile been criticised for the male bias and his universal and essentialist frame of thought. See Heide Göttner-Abendroth, Das Matriarchat I. Geschichte seiner Erforschung, Stuttgart, Berlin and Köln: Kohlhammer, 1989, chapter 4.1; Gerda Lerner, The Creation of Patriarchy, New York: Oxford University Press, 1986; Ilse Lenz, 'Geschlechtssymmetrische Gesellschaften. Neue Ansätze nach der Matriarchatsdebatte', in Frauenmacht ohne Herrschaft. Geschlechterverhältnisse in nichtpatriarchalen Gesellschaften, ed. Ilse Lenz and Ute Luig, Berlin: Orlanda-Frauenverlag, 1990, pp. 17-74.