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The rage of kitchen haiku
Dalarna University, School of Language, Literatures and Learning, Japanese.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8111-7603
2022 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Until the beginning of the 20th century, in Japan, writing haiku had been an activity that mostly concerned men. However, in the early decades of this century, an increasing number of women began to express themselves in this poetry format. In the beginning, haiku by women were called “kitchen haiku”. This name was taken from the “kitchen column” in the most influential haiku journal, the hototogisu, of the early modern haiku movement. Not without pejorative connotations, this word still gave a, at least, partly adequate description of the topics often used by female poets. At this age, more than ever, haiku had become an autobiographic art and a frequent occurrence of household topics in the works by female authors was an inevitable consequence of the situation of women in the Japanese society. It is also undeniable that such topics brought entirely new perspectives to the genre. 

In this paper, my aim is to make a critical evaluation of the notion of “kitchen haiku” and show that it includes less obvious aspects. It is true that many poems in this style have a homely character, focussing on quiet everyday themes and family life, but this does not give the whole picture. Investigating the works of leading female poets of the early and mid-20th century, with a special focus on Takeshita Shizunojo (1887-1951) and Mitsuhashi Takajo (1899-1972), I will show that the topic of rage and frustration is conspicuous. This is strikingly different from the mainstream haiku poetry by male authors in the same age, where such topics are rarely found, and implies that expressions of anger may be understood from a gender perspective. I will reflect over how much the individual biographies of the authors can explain such topics, or if they should be seen as a general frustration with the roles forced upon women by the surrounding society. I will also show how such themes result in new ways of expression, often in the form of bold metaphors, that are likely an important formative force behind the avantgarde haiku movement in the postwar period.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2022.
National Category
Specific Literatures
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-42272OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-42272DiVA, id: diva2:1690509
Conference
11th meeting of NAJAKS (Nordic Association for Japanese and Korean Studies)
Part of project
Kvinnorna i modern japansk haikuAvailable from: 2022-08-26 Created: 2022-08-26 Last updated: 2023-03-17Bibliographically approved

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Jonsson, Herbert

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • chicago-author-date
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  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
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  • nn-NB
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More languages
Output format
  • html
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