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Description - Transnational Women's Activism by Rumi Yasutake

Following landmark trade agreements between Japan and the United States in the 1850s, Tokyo began importing a unique American commodity: Western social activism. As Japan sought to secure its future as a commercial power and American women pursued avenues of political expression, Protestant church-women and, later, members of the Women's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) traveled to the Asian coast to promote Christian teachings and women's social activism. Rumi Yasutake reveals in Transnational Women's Activism that the resulting American, Japanese, and first generation Japanese-American women's movements came to affect more than alcohol or even religion. While the WCTU employed the language of evangelism and Victorian family values, its members were tactfully expedient in accommodating their traditional causes to suffrage and other feminist goals, in addition to the various political currents flowing through Japan and the United States at the turn of the nineteenth century. Exploring such issues as gender struggles in the American Protestant church and bourgeois Japanese women's attitudes towards the "pleasure class" of geishas and prostitutes, Yasutake illuminates the motivations and experiences of American missionaries, U.S. WCTU workers, and their Japanese proteges. The diverse machinations of WCTU activism offer a compelling lesson in the complexities of cultural imperialism.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780814797037
ISBN-10: 0814797032
Format: Hardback
(229mm x 152mm x mm)
Pages: 187
Imprint: New York University Press
Publisher: New York University Press
Publish Date: 1-Aug-2004
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Rumi Yasutake

Rumi Yasutake has taught at UCLA, California State University-Long Beach, and Konan University in Kobe, Japan, where she is an associate professor of American Studies.