Date of Award

Spring 5-2016

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department

East Asian Studies

Degree Name

Master of Arts (AM/MA)

Degree Type



The aim of this thesis is to analyze Setouchi Jakuchō’s biographical novel Beauty in Disarray (美は乱調にあり, 1966), through the lens of biographical writing as the author’s self-expression. Beauty in Disarray follows Seitō member Itō Noe from her adolescence in the spring of 1911 into her adulthood and ends abruptly with the “Hikage Teahouse Incident” in 1916, when Ōsugi Sakae, who would later go on to marry Itō, is stabbed by a jealous Kamichika Ichiko, another figured tied heavily to Seitō. Aside from the main character of Itō Noe, Beauty in Disarray also features several important members of Seitō and of the Japanese literary scene of the 1910s, such as Hiratsuka Raichō, and I include Setouchi’s treatment of these historical figures in my assessment of the work. Many literary figures featured in Beauty in Disarray were feminist and/or political activists, and I argue that it was Setouchi’s own interest in feminism and political activism that drew her to creating a novelization of the dramatic life of Itō Noe.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Rebecca Copeland

Committee Members

Marvin Marcus, Jamie Newhard


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