Feminism in Ichiyo

In Higuchi Ichiyo’s story “The Thirteenth Night” the female characters represent the lives of women in Japan from the time period Higuchi Ichiyo lived in. The story shows how at the time, education was not prioritized for women and that women’s lives were centered around the needs of men. In the story female character, Oseki represents a woman who in those times would want to value her happiness over the necessity to stay with her husband for financial reasons. A woman who had to endure the rife of her husband in order to stay in her child’s life. A time when women had zero say in the development of themselves financially, as individual or as a creative.  

In those times women were seen as only mothers and wives. They were deemed to have zero value outside of that. They did not have much power but some rebel by vocalizing their distaste for these society norms. In the story Oseki’s mother represents women from those times who were fed up with the way men were allowed to treat women and Oseki’s mother was willing to leave everything that Oseki’s husband provided for the family behind to save her daughter from unhappiness.  

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