Propaganda and the Home Front: Japanese Women’s war poetry of the 1930s and 1940s


Japan Studies Seminar:

Propaganda and the Home Front: Japanese Women’s war poetry of the 1930s and 1940s

Speakers: Dr Carol Hayes, CHL & Dr Rina Kikuchi, Shiga University

Time & Date: 12-1pm, Tuesday, 17 May, 2016

Venue: Seminar Room 1, Hedley Bull Centre, ANU 


Presenting annotated translations of Japanese women’s free-style war poetry, we will demonstrate the multiplicity of women’s voices writing about the 15 Years War (1931-45). We will demonstrate a shift from pro-war propaganda through to anti-war works and finally explore a number of poems that express hope for a new world beyond the darkness of war. Including works from well-known women poets such as  Yosano Akiko, Fukao Sumako, Nagase Kiyoko and Kurihara Sadako, we also include lesser-known poets to show the breadth of women’s engagement in war poetry. 




Carol Hayes is a senior lecturer in Japanese language and Japanese studies in CHL in the College of Asia and the Pacific. Her research focuses on modern and contemporary Japanese cultural studies, literature and film. Past work has focused on Hagiwara Sakutarō and other modern poets, the portrayals of the Pacific War in Japanese film and zainichi cultural identity in literature. She is currently working with Rina Kikuchi and tanka poet Noriko Tanaka on an anthology of 100 years of Japanese women’s poetry. Recent translations co-authored with Rina Kikuchi have appeared in the 2015 edition of Poetry Kanto ( and Transference (


Rina Kikuchi is an associate professor at Shiga University, Japan, where she has been teaching English language, literature and cultural studies since 2003. She has a PhD in contemporary Irish poetry, which included a period of research at Trinity College, Dublin; and an MA in comparative literary theories from University of Warwick, UK. Her research interests include comparative literature and translation studies, with a current focus on the translation of Irish poetry written in English into Japanese, and research into the modern and contemporary Japanese women’spoetry. She is completing her second PhD at the ANU and has recently begun a project to re-assess and re-evaluate women’s poetry in Japan before and during the Asia-Pacific War funded by a Kakehi (Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research) funded grant, “Gender and Literary Studies on Women’s Poetry in 1920-30s Japan”. 

About the Japan Studies Seminar Series

The ANU Japan Studies Seminar Series is a monthly forum for Japan specialists to present their research and opinions on important issues in Japan. Speakers are invited from across various sectors such as academia, business, government, and non-governmental organisations operating both in and outside of Australia. The seminar series aims to introduce audiences to a diverse and fascinating range of debates and issues concerning Japan and its place in the region and the world.  


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