This volume complements other published works about travel by nineteenth-century women writers by locating and creating space for Japan which is missing within recent critical discourses on travel writing. It examines the narratives of women writers who travelled to Japan from the mid-1850s onwards, when Japan was first opened to the West, and became a highly desirable travel destination for decades thereafter. Many women travelled in this period, and although most left no record of their journeys, enough did to form a discrete body of literature spanning more than fifty years - from the end of the feudal Tokugawa era to the rise of Meiji Japan as a world power.
Their narratives about Japan occupy a culturally significant place, not only in the genre of Victorian female travel writing, but in Victorian travel writing per se. The writers who are the subject of this book are divided into two groups: those who were travellers-by-intent, namely, Anna DA, Alice Frere, Annie Brassey, Isabella Bird and Marie Stopes, and those who travelled-by-default as the wives of diplomats, namely Mrs Pemberton Hodgson, Mrs Hugh Fraser and Baroness Albert dAnethan.