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An Age of Melodrama
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An Age of Melodrama: Family, Gender, and Social Hierarchy in the Turn-of-the-Century Japanese Novel

Ken K. Ito


At the end of the nineteenth century and beginning of the twentieth, Japanese fiction pulsed with an urge to render good and evil in ways that evoked dramatic emotions. This book examines four enormously popular novels from this period by interweaving two threads of argument. Using approaches to melodrama developed in Western literary and film criticism, it first shows how these texts used their binary morality to construct a semblance of moral certainty in a moment of social transformation. The book then examines how the novels responded to a particular set of ideologies of the family, which ... More

Keywords: Japanese fiction, melodrama, Western literary criticism, Western film criticism, binary morality, moral certainty, social transformation, social control, melodramatic novels, Meiji period

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780804757775
Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013 DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804757775.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Ken K. Ito, author