Ancient Japanese Bloggers from 1000 years ago

by phil on Saturday Oct 30, 2004 7:33 PM

Apparently upper-class Japanese women pre-dated blogging with nikki during the Heian period, specifically around the 10th century AD.

Of all the literary forms that were dominated by women in the Heian period, including poetry and the novel, the most important for understanding women's communities, experience, and place in society are the nikki, or literary diaries. These are not diaries in our sense of the word, that is, daily accounts of one's thoughts and life, but rather literary in nature and intended for distribution. They are, in fact, closer to our idea of an autobiography. They're composed after the events with a strong sense of how events contribute to a final outcome. Since they're intended for distribution, it's unclear how much of these diaries represent the literal truth and how much of these diaries are fictional. In literary studies, the process of presenting an artificial version of yourself is called self-fashioning, and these diaries are usually more works of self-fashioning then straight autobiography. Keep in mind that self-fashioning is not about lying about yourself: it's a combination of telling the truth, selectively telling the truth, adopting a pose, and lying outright.

No two nikki are alike; the situations described by each woman and their response to them all run a rich gamut of experience and understanding. For this reason, there's no other way to present them except one by one. Cumulatively they give a portrait of female life and women's communities across all ages and all roles, from youth to old age, from courtesan to grieving mother.

From Women and Women's Communities in Ancient Japan.

Also interesting is this Japanese woman wrestler, Hikari:

Finishing Move

  • The Moonsault Stomp is one of Hikari's best known moves. It is fairly simple, but can look really brutal in practice. She does a moonsault from the top rope, and lands feet first on her opponents stomach in a stomp.
  • Rider Kick. A really cool move. Hikari goes to the top rope, jumps with a somersault, and kicks the opponent.
Read more about Hikari or other Japanese Women Wrestlers

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