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Threats, on the other hand, can vitiate consent if serious enough death, bodily harm, etc. There are other background motivations impacting on the issue of consent, such as unwarranted and warranted hopes and fears. When Hurd, for instance, insists on striking a balance between the circumstances which nullify consent and those which eliminate criminal liability, she obviously assumes that victim and defendant are fundamentally equal individuals, similarly affected by circumstances such as age or alcohol.

Needless to say, she also neglects all 49 Ibid. To the person consenting, however, non-consensual sex is less of a violation than a pinch, in which case this particular example of non-consensul sex becomes unprosecutable. A more balanced view on the consent aspect of the rape definition comes from philosophy scholar David Archard, who attempts to define the ethical wrong of rape as caused by its non-consensual nature.

Nevertheless, Archard persists in claiming that all NCS, independently of the circumstances, is seriously wrongful, even if not always harmful. Another division is between direct and indirect harms, the first category referring to harms affecting only the victims of rape, while the second to harms affecting the entire category of women such as the fear of rape.

The essential wrong of rape, Archard contends, stems from the core, direct harms it causes. Finally, Archard supports his view that all NCS is wrongful by referring to two models for understanding the importance of interests: The former arrangement would discount rape as less important than enforced labor because the latter interferes with many other interests, while rape does not , while the latter would place extreme emphasis on rape, because it affects sexuality, an issue at the core of human identity. NCS becomes thus, via sexuality, an extremely wrongful crime against the self: Human beings are fundamentally sexed beings.

This is true whatever the interests humans variously happen to have in sex and however they variously think of themselves. Insofar as this is the case, humans have a central interest in their sexual integrity not being violated. The claim that rape defined as NCS is seriously wrongful ultimately derives support from an objectivist view that humans are sexed beings.

He thus manages to criticize NCS as morally wrong, to show why it is 56 Ibid. Unlike Hurd and Alexander, whose approach to the issue of consent was overly-preoccupied with the legal applicability of their theories, Archard delivers a purely philosophical argument which focuses primarily on the ethical wrongness of the act of rape, allowing for more freedom in approaching the phenomenon in the absence of the need for rigid legal taxonomies. The Preeminence of Coercion On the other side of the coercion—consent debate, there are scholars and philosophers who argue for prioritizing the coercion aspect of the legal definition of rape, claiming that it allows for a better legal categorization of rape and of related sexual crimes.

This faction is further divided into two camps that focus on two tenets of the liberal feminist theory of rape: A representative of the first camp is Donald Dripps, who argues for the replacing of the legal definition of rape with one that emphasizes its forceful dimension and, as a result, the replacing of the former category of rape as crime with several statutory offenses that would better reflect various degrees of criminal liability.

Examining several hypothetical cases, Dripps reaches the conclusion that some constraints are legitimate while others are illegitimate—pressuring a minor, for instance, is always illegitimate, while pressuring an adult woman is not, in his opinion. Dripps further proposes the treatment of sexual assets e. New Philosophical Essays on Rape, ed. In particular, she is interested in discovering exactly what type of psychological pressure is necessary in order to negate consent.

Some views hold that the entire gender-class system of the U. Each of the three criteria has further gradations: Consequently, because certain types of coercion are legitimate, deciding to give in to them is at most poor decision-making or weakness of will, something that cannot be invoked when accusing someone of rape.

Moreover, because the need to persuade others to do what we want is considered a normal, natural desire, Conly claims that as long as it is done within its legitimate limits, one person has the right to try and persuade another to have sex and that sex should be the object of a negotiation. Law should, therefore, distinguish between seduction and rape as between money loss and robbery and between various types of rape as well extortion rape vs. Anderson, whose approach to the issue of coercion places him in the second camp, which focuses on the role rape plays in establishing and maintaining gender disparities.

Psychological pressure is one form of furthering a sexual relation that is often considered morally if not legally suspect, but that, when compared to the use of physical force in cases of rape, appears to be rather trivial. Jerks, Boorish Behavior and Gender Hierarchy. Anderson takes his approach to rape a step further by proposing a legal reform in which the definition of rape is centered on the concept of coercion instead of that of consent, heavily used so far and still predominantly supported by legal scholars. He further believes that by focusing on the non-consent aspect of the sexual crime, one fails to understand what is truly wrongful about these sexual impositions, because not all cases of missing consent are equally problematic in regard to the women involved.

These power dynamics are typically gendered in a way that reflects male dominance. Finally, his new rape taxonomy can prove extremely useful, if only as an effective example, in an alternative approach to rape in a context where issues related to consent or lack thereof can sometimes be difficult to demonstrate. Theories of Rape and Pre-modern Japanese Literature In addition to law and philosophy, contemporary theories of rape also influenced the works of scholars of literature, cultural studies and art.

Mass-produced Fantasies for Women New York: University of Carolina Press, , c. These authors are very much indebted to feminist theories of rape; in fact, most of the monographs mentioned here open with an ample review of feminist writings on the topic and most authors openly trace their interest in rape to the influence of feminist scholarship. Nevertheless, when it comes to the core of their analyses, they detach themselves from contemporary approaches in favor of a reading of representations of rape very much grounded in the historical context they scrutinize.

As Saunders aptly phrases it, the risks of contemporary scholarship focusing on historical representations of rape are immense: Anachronisms and ahistorical generalisations are a perpetual risk if, as is often and perhaps necessarily the case, we insist on interpreting, for instance, the medieval 88 A. Titian's Rape of Europa. Medieval Rape Imagery and Its Transformation. A Historical Survey of Rape in U. Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, University of Pennsylvania Press, This approach is usually successful in presenting a larger picture and capturing both hegemonic and marginal discourses on the rape phenomenon, yet its efficiency is entirely determined by the existence of discourses alternative to literature.

The question that arises is how to proceed when such parallel discourses are scarce or completely absent. When compared to the overabundance of studies of rape in European literatures, the very small number of similar studies in the case of pre-modern Japanese literature is relevant in itself. Part of the reason for this absence is, on the one hand, the lack of useful data regarding the legal and even religious discourses on rape prior to the twelfth century—the beginning of the Kamakura period—94 and on the other hand the unwillingness of many 93 Saunders, Rape and Ravishment, 2.

Given the significant developments of feminist scholarship on rape, it would simply be unwise to completely exclude it from an investigation of the rape phenomenon, albeit one which focuses on a context temporally, spatially and culturally remote from the circumstances of their original production. Furthermore, it would be disingenuous to pretend that their influence can simply be checked-in with the final lines of the introduction. My approach comes with its own set of risks, as do all readerly positions, conscious or not, because, as one scholar of Japanese literature, Richard Okada, warned: Okada, Figures of Resistance: Duke University Press, Moreover, by openly engaging with contemporary feminist theories of rape, this study allows for a constant questioning of its own ideological position.

What is it then that the feminist scholarship on rape can bring to an investigation of this phenomenon in pre-modern Japanese tale literature of the ninth to the thirteenth centuries? Each school of thought—the liberal, the radical, and the postmodern—comes with its own contributions. One benefits, furthermore, from the recent philosophical debates centered on the coercion-consent legal definition of rape.

Under the influence of scholars of the liberal tradition, such as Susan Brownmiller, one is prompted to interrogate the relationship between rape and the social, political and economic situation of women. Presented as a tool of domination and control in a context of gender disparity and as a product of male dominance, rape becomes thus both a symptom and an effect of gender hierarchies. It becomes imperative, therefore, to approach it in conjunction with a careful analysis of its circumstances. One must, therefore, be extremely sensitive to the class and gender positions of the characters involved in rape incidents in the texts analyzed and examine how their particular circumstances affect their victimization.

Normally, this would translate into a scrupulous investigation of material evidence indicative of rape. This strategy is, however, doubly problematic: In order, therefore, to make sense of the violent dimension of rape in a pre-modern society, one must take into account the cultural limitations imposed on the use of violence in social relationships. In an age when capital punishment was generally avoided even in extremely serious circumstances, one should expect to find an overall different degree of violence employed in rape incidents as well; in other words, one must be aware that sexual violence in the Heian and Kamakura monogatari context will rarely if ever take the form of scratches and bruises.

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One detects similar strategies at work in the pre-modern Japanese context: In addition to this hegemonic view on femininity, one notices, moreover, alternative discourses which allow for subversive feminine positions contrasting the victim stereotype. Investigating, therefore, not only incidents of rape, but also successful resistance to rape contributes to a better understanding of the limits of the hegemonic scripts regulating gender roles and of the possibilities of feminine agency.

Unfortunately, this approach has already been tried and proved unsuccessful because of its sweeping generalizations and lack of careful consideration of the texts. As stated before, the strategies of resisting rape in literary works deserve further investigation, in terms of their efficiency in the textual context. Ranging from isolation and flight to self-imposed chastity and stubborn refusal to marry, feminine resistance to male sexual aggression in classical Japanese tales speaks loudly of agency and power and is necessary to relieve the gloom of an investigation into the rape phenomenon.

To put it differently, if, as Cahill claims, rape plays a decisive role in the construction of the female body as sexually different, then what exactly is its visible contribution to bodily representations in Japanese tale literature? The issue of visibility takes center stage at this point because, as all scholars of pre-modern Japanese literature know, the female body is often erased, rendered invisible in episodes of sexual encounters, being replaced metonymically by hair or clothing.

See also Ann J. In this context, expressions of physical pain and psychological distress—together with metonymical images of bodily fluids such as sweat or tears—often stand as markers of feminine resistance to male sexual aggression or as effects of this aggression on the female body. It becomes evident that representations of the body are central to discussing representations of rape in classical Japanese tale literature, serving at the same time as yet another element that could help distinguish between the act of rape and that of normal intercourse.

By comparing the female body in a rape incident with that in a regular sexual encounter, one gains a priceless tool in identifying and isolating representations of rape, in determining how rape and consensual sex are actually different. Man proposes, woman disposes. Even the ideal in it is not mutual. Apart from the disparate consequences of refusal, this model does not envision a situation the woman controls being placed in, or choices she frames. Both scholars, however, can be proven wrong in their own ways, by addressing those particular instances that can be read as feminine consent to intercourse or, even better, by examining concrete examples that constitute resistance and rejection.

One can argue, moreover, that in the world of Japanese classical tales, gender hierarchy is sometimes enhanced, and sometimes evened out by class configurations. From the Conly-Anderson debate surrounding the issues of seduction and coercion, one can gain insight into how to distinguish one from the other, smart manipulation from unscrupulous pressure.

Again, finding examples to illustrate various degrees of pressure and attempting to integrate them into the two categories—seduction and coercion—would probably be the safest approach. This debate around the use of pressure in courtship situations is, furthermore, useful as a strategy to de-romanticize sexual encounters.

Gender, History and Culture in the Asian Context 7 ; http: The Terminology of Sexual Violence and Rape in Japanese Tale Literature The previous literature review section highlighted some of the problems I confronted in my attempt to establish a working definition for the phenomena analyzed in this study. It also made clear that, despite their technical and lexical differences, I am using rape and sexual violence interchangeably. I should, however, clarify that I am resorting to this substitution because I see the latter as an umbrella term for a variety of acts, including the former.

According to my own taxonomy used in this study, the phenomenon of sexual violence incorporates, in the context of classical Japanese tales, acts and behaviors ranging from clandestine intrusion, abduction, kidnapping, and sexual harassment to attempted rape and rape. It should be further mentioned that, of all the acts incorporated under the term of sexual violence, rape alone does not allow for multiple gender configurations apart from a very strict heterosexuality: What this means, in view of the theories of rape previously discussed, is that the focus in the textual analyses included here is entirely on the ways women react to various types of male behavior.

In practice, my approach to rape in this study is one that, for fear of anachronism, does not start from a rigid contemporary definition of rape in order to apply it indiscriminately to premodern texts; on the contrary, my research presupposes identifying and examining numerous episodes of sexual intercourse throughout numerous tales, many not addressed here. By closely examining the reactions of the female characters involved in these episodes, I have divided them into three categories: I then turned to the first and second categories and selected those episodes most representative for the tale in which they are featured in terms of the importance of the characters involved.

Once the textual analysis resulted in a series of words, images and phrases expressing feminine distress, anxiety, pain and trauma, I turned to the available theories on rape and To date, I have yet to identify an episode in which a male character abducts another male character cross-dressing as a woman. As already stated in the previous section, each theory examined contributed, to a greater or lesser extent, to my own approach to this phenomenon. While I do not always refer to these theories by name in my textual analysis, their influence is more than obvious in my approach.

One final aspect that needs explaining before getting into the core of my research is the way I address and write about the episodes of sexual violence in monogatari literature. Behind my linguistic choices is the attempt to separate the phenomena of sexual violence and rape in the Heian and Kamakura societies, which saw the production and consumption of the tales discussed here, from the phenomena of sexual violence and rape as existing in the world of the tales.

When I initially embarked upon this research, I intended to prove that there is indeed a profound connection between the two aspects: Unfortunately, although scholars suspect and hypothesize about this possibility, there is simply not enough evidence to support such a hypothesis. Therefore, 49 in an attempt to extricate the literary phenomenon of sexual violence from the possible social phenomenon, of whose existence we do not have sufficient traces, I resort to a vocabulary that emphasizes this contrast: In my research, sexual violence in the selected tales is present independent of whether sexual violence exists outside those tales or of whether the authors and readers of the tales themselves had ever experienced it first-hand.

The desire to speculate remains, as does the possibility of future scholarship to close the gap between the literary and the extra-literary worlds. A History of the Monogatari Genre This chapter examines the three early monogatari: A first issue that requires clarification before proceeding to the actual analysis of the three texts is the use of the term monogatari.

What is a monogatari and how reliable is it as a literary term? Okada, Figures of Resistance, Columbia University Press, , The monogatari has a protean and polyvalent nature that allows its authors unprecedented freedom of creation, unfettered by major generic constraints, and the liberty to approach any and all topics, inasmuch as it lies at the intersection between the reality and fictitiousness.

The Early Middle Ages Princeton: Princeton University Press, , Stanford University Press, , xv. A work attributed to Izumi Shikibu b. A second issue in the following analysis of the three monogatari is that of authorship. The three early texts discussed here have all been attributed to male authors: Despite the association of women with the rise of vernacular literature, not only Tosa nikki but the other two representative early kana texts of unknown authorship—Ise monogatari and Taketori monogatari—are assumed to have been written by men.

In other words, the discipline posits masculine agency at the critical juncture when Japanese language emerged on the stage of history as a literary discourse. Heian women writers and their work enter the historical stage only by following the male writers who crossed the gendered division of writing. Any such attempt would come close to the accuracy of guessing the illustration of a thousand-piece puzzle when one only has only a handful of pieces.

Indeed, by examining references in extant tales, scholars have identified by title no fewer than eighty-four monogatari no longer extant, twenty-eight of which predate The Tale of Genji and could thus have been contemporary with Utsuho and Ochikubo, if not with Taketori itself. The three tales selected here can reveal, at best, a limited picture of the state of the genre during the two centuries preceding The Tale of Genji, and they cannot by any means give a definite answer regarding the origins of the monogatari as a genre.

Still, serendipitously, they were all presumably penned by male authors, an aspect which facilitates a debate on the connection of gender and genre. Furthermore, the fact that out of all the tales circulating during the two centuries in question, these specific three were preserved and transmitted may indicate their higher status, popularity and better alignment with the predominant social, political and cultural values of their day.

Duke University Press, , The total number of lost tales is even more devastating: For more information, see Robert O. Tomiko Yoda, as seen above, hints at the existence of numerous anonymous female voices, vanished and forgotten, who might have played a role in the development of the genre; finally, there is also the distinct possibility that among the no-longer extant tales, some of them or maybe even the majority of them, might have been written by women. All, in different degrees, are monogatari about superior beings and fantastic events.

If we consider this point alone, that such beings and events appear in archaic narrative, little difference will be perceived between archaic narrative and early fictional monogatari. It is for this reason that stories transmitted from archaic times are thought to have been the source of early medieval fictional monogatari.

Both narratives are thought to share common features. This is a reasonable view, since fictional monogatari contain a great many elements inherited from oral setsuwa.

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For further details on the pros and cons of this theory, see Keene, , Routledge, , 1. The voices of the nonliterate tellers were submerged, and since women in most cases were not allowed to be scribes, the tales were scripted according to male dictates or fantasies, even though they may have been told by women.


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Put crudely, one could say that the literary appropriation of the oral wonder tales served the hegemonic interests of males within the upper classes of particular communities and societies, and to a great extent, this is true. However, such a crude statement must be qualified, for the writing down of the tales also preserved a great deal of the value system of those deprived of power. The more the literary fairy tale was cultivated and developed, the more it became individualized and varied by intellectuals and artists, who often sympathized with the marginalized in society or were marginalized themselves.

The literary fairy tale allowed for new possibilities of subversion in the written word and in print; therefore, it was always looked upon with misgivings by the governing authorities in the civilization process. As for the Ibid. The similarities between the three early monogatari discussed here and the Western fairy tale tradition extend beyond possible similar origins and comparable interplay of gender and authorship, but these similarities will be detailed in the analysis of the three texts.

If, however, one attempts a similar division based on their particular representations of rape, the two categories arising are 1 tales which conspicuously attempt to avoid the topic—Taketori, Utsuho—and 2 tales which directly represent or misrepresent rape—Ochikubo. The following pages will, therefore, examine those tales in which the very absence of episodes of sexual violence in a context otherwise rich with possibilities for its representation is itself a conspicuous choice. Next, the analysis will turn to the only early tale in which rape is clearly represented and which employs it as an effective narrative strategy meant to support patriarchal gender roles.

Textual Management of Rape in Taketori monogatari Taketori monogatari, the earliest extant example of its genre, is also the closest, in terms of its plot, to the oral tradition of the fairy tales. Kawai Hayao summarizes this narrative as follows: Parallel to stories about Kaguya-hime are Hagoromo feather cloak legends about tennyo angel wives in the fairy tale category, with many variations widely spread in Japan.

Stories about a woman who originally lives in the heavenly realm but appears in this one are found all over the world, but often a princess who gets changed into a swan by a magical spell …. Eight heavenly maidens are bathing at Manai. A certain old couple sees them and hides one of their flying cloaks, thus causing the heavenly maiden who now cannot fly to become their foster child.

Through her hard work, the couple becomes rich. Once rich, they kick the maiden out. Sobbing, she wanders about here and there, for she no longer is able to return to heaven. At last, her heart settles down at the Nagu village. Coming near, he saw that they were heavenly maidens and, enchanted by their beauty, he could not leave Ibid. Penguin Books, , Recently, this particular Hagoromo variant has inspired a manga and then anime series, Ayashi no Seresu Ceres, Celestial Legend which exploits the rape motif to its fullest potential.

The seven elder sisters in alarm at the intrusion flew off to the sky, but the youngest, prevented by the loss of her feather garment from returning, became an earth-bound human being. Ikatomi built a house in that place, which because of these events came to be known as Kami-no-ura, and he lived there with the younger sister of the heavenly maidens.

And eventually two boys and two girls were born to them Later, the mother found her feather garment, and, putting it on, flew back up to heaven. Her adoptive parents, in turn, not only do not exploit and discard her once she has made them prosperous, but, on the contrary, bow to her every wish and, in general, respect her decisions. The only worthy suitor, the emperor, who comes the closest to actually possessing the princess, is ultimately deterred by her supernatural qualities.

What is conspicuous in the tale is precisely this obvious elision: As previously stated, there is but one scene in which Kaguya-hime faces male aggression: There, he sees the princess and, smitten by her beauty and radiance, approaches her, grabs her sleeve and plans on taking her back with him to the palace.

The emperor quickly appointed a day for the royal hunting and departed on the assigned day. She tried to cover her face with her sleeve, but he had already seen her and found her incomparably beautiful. As he did so, Kaguya-hime suddenly turned into a shadow. Had Kaguya-hime been an ordinary mortal heroine, like so many heroines later in the Genji, she would not have had any possibility of resisting what are obviously unwanted advances, but being as she is a creature from the moon and thus, more powerful than even the emperor, she can elude his grasp.

As Michele Marra ironically notes, it is not the woman who is able to escape potential sexual violence, but the supernatural creature: She knows how to become invisible to the human eye. The frantic emperor begs her to reappear, promising to conform to a more reasonable behavior and to content himself with a final look at the girl.

On the one hand, one might read the Taketori scene as a confirmation that in monogatari sexual violence is a phenomenon most heroines, human or supernatural, Michele Marra, The Aesethetics of Discontent: On the other hand, all it needs is for Kaguya-hime to turn invisible to diffuse the sexual threat, making it unsuccessful, and thus neutralizing it.

One can thus focus on her gender and read a positive message of female resistance to male sexual pressure, or, on the contrary, on her unearthly nature, and the reading then turns pessimistic, in that it hints that all resistance is futile for mortal women. She lit up her own house, yes, but her light never shone beside the imperial radiance. These things, they claimed, marred the tale.

To reiterate, the most serious accusation brought against Kaguya-hime is her behavior towards her suitors—a refusal to yield to their demands that spells her refusal to marry. The potential for subversion, which Jack Zipes identified in the case of literary fairy tales, is present in the Taketori monogatari as well: Were later efforts more successful? That remains to be seen in the following two tales. Another subplot focuses on the desirable Atemiya, the daughter of an imperial prince who becomes a commoner under the name Minamoto no Masayori, and chronicles the vain attempts of her numerous suitors to gain her favor; Atemiya eventually chooses politics over romance and marries the Crown Prince, whom she adroitly manipulates, upon his coronation, into naming her own son the future Crown Prince.

Both narrative lines, and in particular the Atemiya subplot, are punctuated by stories of courtship and romantic encounters, yet, strangely, both succeed in avoiding anything remotely indicative of male aggression or sexual violence. The Taketori author, as discussed, chose to make his heroine disappear and, with her, all threat of sexual violence coloring her encounter with the emperor. In the case of Utsuho, none of these strategies are present; a much simpler and far more effective strategy is at work here: That might indeed be so, were it not for the fact that their potential for sexual violence is objectively demonstrable.

In fact, the first scene from the Utsuho selected here creates the preferred pattern for numerous scenes of sexual violence in later monogatari without containing itself any indication of sexual violence. Before proceeding to the scene itself, a brief explanation is in order: Despite his gift, however, he incurs political disfavor with the ruling emperor and decides to lead a life of hermit-like reclusion. The text reads as follows: The wooden shutters to the east wing were raised and inside there was someone quietly playing the koto.

Because it was so dark inside, he could not see where she had gone. Who is your family? When I passed by your house today, your beauty touched me so that, as anticipated, I could not leave without stopping here. How lonely you must be without a father! The rest of the rooms had temporary partitions, usually made of screens that could be moved around at will. Since the nurigome was the most secure room in the house, having solid doors which could be locked when necessary, it was usually used to store valuables. It consisted of a central pavilion, connected to east and west wings by narrow covered corridors.

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They talked the night away and, somehow, he ended up sleeping that night at her side. Thus, seeing her loneliness and pain, the young boy felt even more taken with her and made pledges of eternal love. He felt so moved by her plight that he did not even care about returning to his parents, but his parents loved him dearly and, losing sight of him even for just a little while, were in great turmoil over him. He told her as much and drew close to her, seeming unable to take his leave, feeling unbearable regret at having to abandon her and return home.

It may indeed be that we were bonded in a former life and we were thus fated to meet like this. That is why I naturally want to keep seeing you, but as you know, I have parents who never take their eyes off me and who worry even when they leave me to serve at court. How much more worried must they be, with me being here since last night? Because I have never wandered around secretly visiting women, I will not be able to keep visiting you the way I want, but I will do my best to look for an opportunity to come, be it at night, be it during the day. Will you be waiting for me here? Do you have other family?

Is there any other man visiting you? There is no other way for me than to rot away in this house. He spent the night expressing the depth of his love and, before he knew it, the next morning arrived. Knowing that from then on they would find it difficult to meet each other, he felt even sadder than before and, since the day had already broken, he knew he could not stay like that forever.

I wish I could spend at least today staying here like this, but my parents and I have lived in the same house without me being separated from them even for a little while and, even when going out together, I would not stray far. Yesterday I had no intention of accompanying them out because I was not feeling well, but my father told me to accompany him no matter what, so I had no choice but to go. I now understand that I was fated to come here and meet you. I do not even dream of neglecting you, but it will probably be impossible to visit you from now on. This pattern can obviously be glimpsed only when combining data from numerous monogatari following the Utsuho.

It occurs in the Genji, in Yoru no Nezame and in Ariake no wakare, among others, but whether it already existed at the time Utsuho came into being, or whether later tales created it, based on the Utsuho itself, is impossible to ascertain. The two possibilities generate two different interpretations: The other possibility, even less sustainable for lack of evidence, is that this pattern already existed, in the numerous monogatari now extinct, where it was associated with sexual violence and that it was the Utsuho author who co-opted it and attempted to neutralize, more or less successfully, its problematic potential.

Before inquiring into why it was so important to neutralize the threat of sexual violence in this case, however, one must address how the Utsuho pattern deviates from the norm. I will be using here a chart to contrast the Utsuho episode with the established pattern of later monogatari. She was strangely beautiful. Oh, think of them as they wither.

Utsuho patterns of sexual violence As can be observed from the previous chart, the typical monogatari pattern of sexual violence and the Utsuho pattern, of a regular romantic encounter, do share certain similarities: Most importantly, there is no evidence of aggression on the part of the male protagonist, just as there is no evidence of fright and resistance on the 77 part of the female protagonist. What we have here, then, is two very young lovers, coming together by chance and sharing what is possibly their first sexual experience.

The appellations used for these characters should provide the first clue: It also means that both teenagers were highly inexperienced in amorous affairs, thus neither having the upper hand over the other in the relationship.

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Most of the later encounters based on this pattern will be dramatically different from the Utsuho episode. A young woman living in a dilapidated old house, its gardens overgrown with weeds, its owner long gone, is a significant trope in Heian monogatari. French scholar Alain Walter interprets this image, while eroticizing and exoticizing it at the same time, by connecting it with the beauty of the ruins in which the young woman dwells: She is the symbol, the reincarnation of the past glory of the ruins, which project onto her youth the shadow of impermanence and of decay.

The other elements of the scene gravitate towards one of these two poles, the young lady and the ruins: Economically bankrupt, socially invisible, politically irrelevant, this young woman becomes, to monogatari heroes, a romantic ideal, not despite her vulnerabilities, but precisely because of them.

Being poor, she depends upon the man who visits her; being without a socially relevant family, she is in no position to make demands; being without a father, she has no possibility of escape when things go sour.


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She is indeed discovered, amid her ruins, by the young Fujiwara scion, but her life does not immediately turn for the better. She, of course, is pregnant as a result of their encounter, and eventually gives birth to a baby boy, the future Nakatada.

For fear of gossip, the two move into a forest, where the son discovers a cavern made by four pines growing together and there he settles his mother—this cavern gives the tale its title. The two spend their time together, playing the koto, until one time when a band of warriors camps in the forest. The mother takes out one of the magical instruments inherited from Toshikage, plays on it and trees collapse over the warriors. He hears the sound, goes to investigate and eventually realizes that he has found the woman he met long time ago and that he has a son. This mugura no kado woman enjoys her happy ending: Her encounter, which could have been but was not sexually violent, brought social advancement and success.

He has four sons and five daughters from the former and eight sons and nine daughters from the latter and most of them live together in a grand mansion. His ninth daughter, Atemiya, grows into an unparalleled beauty courted by a great number of men. In this third chapter, no fewer than ten suitors appear: Shinozaki Shorin, , vii-ix.

In fact, Atemiya maintains, throughout the ten courtships, a remarkable control over all correspondence and meetings with her potential suitors and no matter how much access some of the men have to her household, no matter how many of her servants they have bribed, no matter how pitiful the circumstances they find themselves in, Atemiya remains unattainable.

Ten persistent suitors, employing usually successful strategies, all fail when faced with Atemiya. In any other monogatari, a woman aggressively pursued by even one determined man ends up in a situation when she can no longer avoid sexual violence. Atemiya is pursued by ten, yet the closest she comes to being a victim of sexual violence is when Prince Kantsuke abducts a different woman. But Atemiya is not supposed to be the role model taking center stage in the Utsuho: Like Kaguyahime before her, there is something disquieting about Atemiya.

And as in the case of Kaguyahime, Murasaki Shikibu was keen to observe her potentially subversive nature. Grave and sober as she is, she never goes astray, but her stiff speech and behavior are so unladylike that she might as well. But the example set by this unusual lady does not end with her courtship and once she marries the Crown Princess and enters court service her agency and determination become even more visible. For more details, see Here, however, it is not Atemiya, but her father who arranges the substitution, sacrificing in the process the daughter of one of his retainers.

And at the very heart of these conspiracies are always women—cherchez la femme applies very well to the events in this chapter: It appears that as long as there is a strong heroine, whatever message the tales might want to advance becomes ambiguous by virtue of her very presence. To anyone familiar with the Cinderella narrative, the Ochikubo plot is an easily recognizable variation: As with other Cinderella-type heroines, Ochikubo too is kind, patient and excels at domestic tasks such as sewing. His initial intentions are not particularly serious, but he is impressed and charmed by his lover and proceeds to turn this casual affair into a marriage, by visiting the lady three nights in a row.

Two episodes in the above summary have the potential of constituting scenes of sexual violence: Of the two, the latter is quite obvious and the narrator is unequivocal in his description of the events and his position in relation to them: Its complexity requires thus further scrutiny. The lady rose, terrified, but he drew near and caught hold of her. Akogi, who heard the sound of the lattice door being opened, wondered surprised what it could be and tried to get up, but Korenori stopped her.

Is it because you know what it is all about? She was utterly helpless. The Lieutenant, still holding onto the lady, took off his robe and lay down next to her. The lady, terrified and miserable, was weeping and trembling with her entire body. The pitiful sight of her crying troubled him so much that he remained silent and just lay there embracing her.

Plus, do you think a thief would come at such a time? It must be a man visiting her. Even if you were now to go there and interrupt him, it would be of no use. Do tell me who he is! This is such a terrible thing! How distressed the young lady must be! He simply came here for a talk, and what happened, happened. Be silent and stop complaining. Their relationship must be a matter of fate. Meanwhile, the Lieutenant addressed the lady: I may not be of high rank, but neither am I so low as to make you cry.

I have often sent to you letters which you have not answered, not even to let me know you read them. I thought it was useless. I was determined not to write to you anymore, but from the very first letter I sent you, I have come to love you. Because now I believe that it has been my fate to be hated by you, your cruel behavior no longer pains me. The lady wished she could just 89 die. She had no inner robe and underneath her outer robe, she had only her trousers. As he lay there looking at her, the Lieutenant was filled with pity. He tried to console her by talking about various things, but could not elicit any answer from her.

She bitterly resented Akogi for the shame she now felt. A rooster began to crow and the Lieutenant recited: If I do not hear your voice, I feel as if we are not truly bound as lovers. If I were to go now, she will 90 certainly think that I knew about everything. You and your wickedness, you have intentionally made my mistress hate me.

The Lieutenant heard him and rose. The lady was wearing an outer robe, but as he left, he covered her with his own robe as well, because she had no inner robe and it was very cold. There was no limit to her shame. The chart below breaks down the text and attempts to capture the intricate web of interactions between the characters.

Because the lady here is deemed worthy enough, the relationship will transform into something permanent, despite the fact that the Lieutenant initially intended to have a casual affair, not to marry the woman. Michiyori composes a poem on the yard-fowl crowing at dawn, with a pun on naki, meaning both the bird's 'crowing' and Ochikubo's 'crying. This is not 'silence gives consent,' and Michiyori's actions remain rape unless and until the lady speaks. So, he begs her for an answer, saying he will feel she knows nothing of love. This is the crisis-point: Our heroine, of course, makes a brilliant response: In numerous cases, the absence of an answer, or an answer that has been forced on the woman, indicates, along with several other textual elements, the existence of sexual violence in a particular episode, whereas an answer freely given, such as in this case, implies that the encounter has been, ultimately, mutually pleasurable and desirable.

Obviously, to the Lieutenant, there is absolutely nothing wrong with his chosen course of action. His faithful servant and accomplice, Korenori, seems to echo his views: The gender positions on courtship, or at least this particular case of courtship, become painfully clear: Any woman should properly yield, it seems to me, even to a complete stranger, because that is the way of the world; and considering the long and close relationship between us, I cannot see why this degree of familiarity on my part should provoke such hostility.

Akogi may be married to Korenori, but even so she is unable to physically resist his embrace and to actively help her mistress. A closer look at the vocabulary used throughout this episode is instrumental in the present discussion on representations of rape. Whether similar tales existed or not during the same period as the Ochikubo remains a matter of speculation and makes it impossible to state that this particular tale was the point where literary representations of rape originated. What matters most, however, is that these particular words and expressions and their association with episodes of rape are not merely an isolated incident in the history of the monogatari genre: If we are to speak of a linguistic pattern of representing rape, Ochikubo monogatari is, by default, a point of origin.

Nevertheless, as stated before, none of the elements addressed above were intended to be read as representations of rape. Ochikubo monogatari remains the only one among the pre-Genji tales to actively engage with this topic, yet it soon becomes apparent that the text simultaneously represents and misrepresents rape. Its author is assumed to have been a man, but whatever the case, the dominant perspective is phallocentric in that it addresses rape only so it can domesticate and dismiss it entirely by the end of the narrative.

The author of the Ochikubo monogatari was able to present his ideology even more clearly and completely, I would suggest, after seeing it attacked by Michitsuna no Haha. In a sense, then, although historically subsequent, the Ochikubo monogatari represents the finest distillation of the furu-monogatari that Michitsuna no Haha was writing against.

The strategies to achieve this purpose are varied: Shame replaces terror and the trauma is brushed aside as petty feminine concern. However, the former is the hero of the tale, while the latter is its villain, albeit a comical and inept one. Sexual violence becomes sanctioned courtship when it involves the dashing hero of the tale, but becomes attempted rape when the old lecherous man takes center stage. Furthermore, the later development of the tale encourages this revisionary reading of the episode in question. In fact, when offered marriage to the daughter of the Minister of the Right, the Lieutenant bluntly refuses the offer on account of having already found the woman he loves.

The promise of monogamy, coupled with the political success of her husband, are the prizes that Ochikubo reaps as a more or less direct result of her initial sexual encounter with the 98 Lieutenant. These rewards are so amazing, so desirable, as to completely erase the memory of that initial encounter and to count as a quasi-supernatural blessing, saiwai. Fate and social ascendency are often invoked to mitigate sexual aggression, even beyond the Ochikubo tale: Yes, Murasaki remains furious with him for some time thereafter, but her anger passes, and beyond the chapter in which all this takes place the narrative never alludes to it again.

The experience is inevitable, but once it is over, it is over. Its only significant consequence is that now Murasaki can begin her adult life with Genji. That life that will bring her various trials, as anyone's is likely to do, but also great Simone Mauclaire, Du conte au roman: Maisonneuve, , Mostow offers a very compelling answer to this question: Here, a perfectly passive heroine, whose sole meaningful action is the writing of poems, is rescued from an evil stepmother by a handsome prince and becomes the mother of a future empress—the acme of power for a Heian woman.

At this point, a comparison with the Cinderella narrative itself might prove fruitful, despite the fact that the fairy tale displays no similar manifest traces of sexual violence. Palgrave, , Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, , Another element that unites the other Cinderella narratives to Ochikubo monogatari, beyond the obvious plot elements, is their didactic purpose.

As Mostow pointed out in the case of Ochikubo, the tale was meant to offer an appropriate role model for young women, a role model determined by a male author or at least, by someone highly attuned to male concerns. Similarly, many fairy tales, among which Cinderella is a classic example, prescribe gender roles that are ultimately harmful to women and encourage traits such as passivity, domesticity and vulnerability; they have become thus a justifiable target for many feminist scholars: They half-consciously submit to being male property, handed from father to suitor or husband without complaint or volition.

Wayne State University Press, , If the purpose of the Ochikubo was, therefore, to socialize women into accepting the established sexual order, the reward it promised was unobtainable. Disillusionment was bound to ensue. Moreover, in contrast to strong heroines such as Kaguya-hime in Taketori monogatari or Atemiya in Utsuho monogatari, who break through normative gender roles and seriously threaten established boundaries, poor lady Ochikubo might not have been such an appealing role model after all. It results, thus, that, intentionally or not, the text managed to subvert its own message.

Murasaki Shikibu and the women who succeeded her all used this vocabulary in their own representations of rape. By attempting to erase and reinterpret this episode of sexual violence, using the promise of ultimate reward to ensure the success of its revisionary attempts, the text exposes its own fallacies: And because they succeed, then sexual violence no longer counts as sexual violence.

But what if they fail? What if at the end of the road, there is no promised reward? The answers to these questions, as well as a new paradigm of representations of rape, are all found in The Tale of Genji. Rape in The Tale of Genji 3. Studies in Defoe, Richardson and Fielding Berkely: University of California Press, , c. Edward Arnold, , 1, citing the Oxford English Dictionary. This is due to the unique nature of the object itself: The forces that define it as a genre are at work before our very eyes: The generic skeleton of the novel is still far from having hardened, and we cannot foresee all its plastic possibilities.

It is, by its very nature, not canonic. It is plasticity itself. It is a genre that is ever questing, ever examining itself and subjecting its established forms to review. Bakhtin, The Dialogic Imagination: University of Texas Press, , 3. Booth further comments on the fluid definitions ascribed to the novel: