Japanese writer Yoshiya Nobuko
Shōjo shōsetsu was, for the most part, “highly formulaic and didactic, inculcating the cardinal virtues of girlhood.” But this literature, while ostensibly supporting the proscribed role of girls and women in the broader society, could also express rebellion against it. One of the most popular writers in the genre was Yoshiya Nobuko (1896-1973), who lived openly in a romantic relationship with another woman for more than 50 years and whose shōjo writing reflected her sexual politics.
The Japanese girls schools of the day were intended to steer young shōjos toward “the dream of becoming happy future brides, isolated from the real-life public world outside the family.” But Nobuko’s work, “defying masculine domination and feminine submission…, constructs two radically opposed universes: on the one hand, the dreamy, fantasizing world of young girls, where they carry out their amorous intrigues, elevated by their purity and erotic beauty. … On the other, the adult world, where young girls become women, torn from their universe of innocence by men and confronted with a painful reality….
Homosexual love, idealized and constructed on a basis of equality between the two lovers, is constantly opposed to heterosexual love, which can only be built on the subjugation of women by men.”