Enlightenment and Implicitness: Devine and Gender Images

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Enlightenment and Implicitness: Devine and Gender Images

I question what shapes our cultural gender identities in the modern society. How do historical facts and belief systems shaped my identity as a woman of color in contemporary United States? In order to discover this complicated context, first I needed to seek answers from Japanese history and social allusion. How were my gender images, beliefs, and ideology resulted to desire lifestyle in America instead of my motherland, Japan?

… In the beginning, there were disturbance and fear

I faced disturbance and fear towards my gender identity through body mapping at the beginning of the quarter. I have taken a process to learn about Japanese religion and history provided clear realization that society has sets of expectation to gender roles and characters. Even if we are taught to believe our values of human beings are equal, religion shows attitude that equality does not exist in their doctrine. Women only initiate supportive role in their religious settings, which I believe formed concepts of objectifying women. According to Woman of the Sacred Grove, the issue of gender did not exist in Okinawan culture. I found the origin of gender image imbedded deeply by the matriarchal society from excavated clay figures and its significance in Pre-historical era. In early history of Japan, gender roles in society were greatly influenced by institution of religious activities. Priestess Pimiko’s job was to keep harmonious society during warfare and similar spiritual affinity was seen in Ryukyuan culture. This matriarchal credence shifted substantially with imported religions, Buddhism and Confucianism, which ultimately outlined indigenous Shinto into Courtly Shinto with Shinbutsu sh...

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...nder can be affected from a nature: physical, behavioral, and personality traits. Also nurture: the culture, social, and environmental context transmits gender images for all human beings with varieties of symbolism. There is no clear definition of gender role as “feminine” or “masculine”. Biological approach cannot define sex and gender, we are experiencing sex and gender through social learning. Japanese women may have been invisible by the society in the past, but gradually their presence pump vital life in their economy. Not only their unique fashion and trend induce the world’s revolutionary culture, but also women’s approach to distinctive value on family may articulate dysfunctional relationship issues through all humanity. Women have been behind the scene for while now in Japanese society, now it is time to take their empowerment and offer it to the world.

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