Yoko, the protagonist ofTakeoArishima's masterpiece A Certain Woman (1919), travels to the United States in search of her fiance Kimura. However, during her journey she is attracted to Kuraji, the married purser of the ship she has taken, and she has an love affair with him. Later, Yoko's body and mind are ruined by the failure of a surgery for her medical problems, and the end of the novel depicts the intensification of her hysteria. In Japanese literary works of that time, hysteria was mostly used as an element to express women's emotions or personality, but Arishima used it as a major factor in the destruction of Yoko. This paper aims to explain why Arishima used hysteria as an instrument in her downfall.