Iwona Kordzińska-Nawrocka, Wzorce kobiecości w powieści Enchi Fumiko



The Ideals of Femininity in Enchi Fumiko’s Novel Onnazaka
The topic of the article is the ideal of femininity introduced in one of the best novels by Enchi Fumiko – Onnazaka (The Waiting Years, 1957), distinguished with the Noma Literary Prize. The story takes place in the early modernization and westernization years in Japan’s Meiji Era (1868–1912) when the  patriarchal family model was slowly disintegrating. Enchi Fumiko depicts the lives of women entangled in the patriarchal system of Japan during this transitional period,
showing their courage and pride. The main female character, Tomo, a representative of a higher class, is the personification of the ideal of the ryōsai kenbo (good  wife,  wise  mother),  who  carries  out  her  duties  for  her  husband  and family to the letter. A secondary character, Suga, a woman from the lower class, is doomed to be a “shadow-woman” (kage no onna) by her own family. Suga also accepts her lot, traveling the path that has been imposed on her.