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The Banned 1910s Magazine That Started a Feminist Movement in Japan

BY SARAH LASKOW in Atlas Obscura and offered by Ed Raiola

It was close to 10 p.m. on a spring night in Tokyo in 1912, when Kazuko Mozume heard a dog barking behind her father’s house. It would not stop. At the back gate, she found three men waiting for her, a policeman and two others. They didn’t say what they wanted, they only asked her if this was the office of Seitō, the women’s literature magazine she had started with four other young women.

She led the men through the large house and down the long corridor to the rooms that served as the magazine’s headquarters. The men looked around and spotted just a single copy of the magazine’s latest issue. They seized the publication and, as they were leaving, finally told the surprised young woman why they had come. This issue of Seitō had been banned, they told her, on the grounds that it was “disruptive of the public peace and order.”   Continue reading

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