TWITTER –> the-waiting-years-by-fumiko-enchihtml&amp. The Waiting Years is a novel by Fumiko Enchi, set within the milieu of an upper class Japanese family in the last years of the 19th century. It was first published. This masterpiece by prominent post?World War II female novelist Fumiko Enchi won the Noma Prize for Literature in It is the Meiji era (?

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Since graduating from college I have moved house five times, hopping from where I grew up on the west coast to Japan, then to the midwest, the east coast and finally setting up what seems to be a semi-permanent life or at least for a few more years in Switzerland.

As most of you bibliophiles can imagine, those book boxes start to get pretty heavy.

I first read this book for a Japanese literature class in college and count it as one of my all-time favorites. The best word I have to describe this novel is intense. Everything about it is intense — structure, theme, intertextuality, social criticism. The Waiting Years is also a ripping good read. The novel details the life of Tomo, a paragon of wifely submission, and her husband Yukitomo, a paragon of selfish arrogance.

Not only does Yukitomo bring a concubine into their household, he has Tomo go to Tokyo to pick the girl out. Later, he seduces although rape is more likely what happened one of their servants and makes that woman his second concubine. Eventually, he begins an affair with his daughter-in-law. Tomo must bear each of these insults in silence as well as stamp out any desire for self-assertion or self-fulfillment. She has nothing, and is nothing, on her own.


“The Waiting Years” by Fumiko Enchi

In exchange for her hears subservience she has what none of the other women in the novel are allowed to have — legitimacy.

Enchi dives freely into the minds of the other women, portraying their own stifled unhappiness. And she has no right to want anything for herself. The entire system is inherently flawed.

The Waiting Years ends dramatically with Tomo asserting herself for the first and last time. So when were these books written? Do they still depict contemporary social structures? Yes, I was wondering the same thing as Litlove about when this was written and how representative it is of Japanese life now.

Enchi Fumiko – The Waiting Years

My postgrads are back next week and one of those is Japanese I must ask her if she knows Enchi and if so, what she thinks of her tje. She published The Waiting Years in and Masks just a few years before I think, may need to double check that. The Waiting Years is set at the turn of the century, however. Litlove — for your work on motherhood, Enchi might be a fantastic study. It is very much her theme — the double-edged sword of motherhood. Both wakting are quick reads, and just full of fascinating information.


I do have a couple of friends who studied her in college and admire her brave feminist outlook at a time when Japanese women were hardly getting published at waitiny.

I shall keep an eye out for her books. You really won me with this review. Thanks for telling me about the story and not spoiling it for the reader at the same time. I have recently had to read this novel for my Japanese literature course and I found that this novel is exactly as you described it.

I did find the name change between the Japanese title and the English title fumik strange.

The Waiting Years by Fumiko Enchi

This happens a lot, and for reasons which appear to be beyond me. Twitter Facebook Flattr Email Google.

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