Apr. 22nd, 2010

wingblossom: [pretendenitis] (fandom (the office))
Womansword by Kittredge Cherry is an interesting book that I never would have noticed if I hadn't come across it in Strand about a month ago. In glossary format, it manages to break down about eighty Japanese phrases that pertain to women in a number of linguistic, sociological, and historical contexts. It's also fairly dated: it was written in 1987, and as such, some of the information that it offers isn't as pertinent as it would have been about twenty years ago. I still have to wonder about the usage of words like otoko-masari, and Cherry's reiteration that it's never, ever a good label in the modern world.

Still, it's an even-handed, well-researched study that also has the advantage of cohesive organization. The book groups idioms into different categories -- female identity, young adulthood, married life, motherhood, work, sexuality, and aging -- managing to work in a lot of anecdotes that are often glossed over by other researchers. As this, it's a solid resource; if anything, I wish that it had been longer and gone even more in-depth.

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