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Shimazaki Toson`s Perceptions of Motherhood Focused on 「母(Mother)」

Chun Sunmi 1

1중원대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study tries to discuss Tōson's Perceptions of Motherhood which has been so far overlooked by the bias that Tōson distrusts women, and review 「母(Mother)」(1911) in which Tōson, for the first time, mentioned Motherhood even before he stayed in France. Tōson discovered and recognized the preciousness of woman's Motherhood through the years when he nurtured his children on his own after his wife died. 「Mother」was written around this time, and in this work, Tōson for the first time expressed dear love of a Mother towards her sons and daughters, which is the so called “Motherhood." This change in Perceptions of Motherhood is more apparent, compared with 「爺(Fathe r)」(1903) which was written earlier than「Mother」and based on the same incident. While 「Father」reveals a typical man who views women with the eyes of distrust, 「Mother」is written from a viewpoint of a son who looks at his Mother. Specifically, a Mother named ‘德(Otoku)’ discards her previous passive self and actively tries to recover her relationship with her son through direct conversation. Otoku can be viewed as a projection of Tōson's deceased wife Hyuyuko who died unexpectedly leaving young children to her husband's hands. Moreover, Otoku's active attitudes towards her son can be interpreted as Tōson's intention to give the Mother a chance to show her Motherhood towards her son, despite being a short period. However,「Mother」closes its page with the dialogues between two uncles who wants to keep their relations secret and also negate their relations. The work concludes with the secret dialogues between men. It means that while Tōson acknowledges Motherhood women have, he intends to be clear that he would never acknowledge improper sexual pleasures of women.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.