Matsuo Taseko and the Meiji Restoration Analytical Essay by serendipity

Matsuo Taseko and the Meiji Restoration
An analysis of the book, "The Weak Body of a Useless Woman: Matsuo Taseko and the Meiji Restoration", by Anne Walthall.
# 49411 | 936 words | 1 source | MLA | 2004 | US
Published on Mar 08, 2004 in History (Asian) , English (Analysis)

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The Tokugawa period of Japanese history was a time of rigid class stratification. This paper explains how Walthall's book deals with the transformation from the age of the samurai to the modern; from the Shogunate to Empirical rule; and the beginning transition from an agrarian to technological society. This book is about change, specifically, social and political change, but also about changes that occurred within the life of an individual, a woman, and a political activist.

From the Paper:

"Matsuo Taseko was born into the peasant class. Her family were farmers living and working in the Ina Valley in what is now the Nagano Province. The samurai system was based on a feudal and agrarian society where the workers paid "homage" or taxes to the local ruling samurai. Taseko was the daughter of the local headman, which brought responsibility as well as greater contact with others, including political leaders. It also made her part of the "rural elite", a part of the local political structure. Her family were involved in an extensive system of rural entrepenurism, or self-employment, that bridged the agricultural and merchant classes. They were involved in making and selling sake and were known to be the local moneylenders. She learned to read and write, an honor generally denied the peasant. She wrote poetry that reflected both her education and her political inclinations. She was trained in classical poetic form, allowing her a place among the intellectuals of the time."

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