Gender Roles in Japanese Culture

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Gender roles are stereotypical labels placed on males and females within a specific culture. In addition, gender stereotypes for males and females are products of cultural aspects rather than their physical differences (Kincaid, 2013). As time inevitably progresses through history, a coherent pattern can be identified in regards to changes in gender stereotypes. These changes in gender roles are directly correlated with the alterations in societal advancement. The changes in societal and cultural development over the course of history can be thoroughly recognized in specifically Japanese culture. Although gender roles in Japanese culture deviates from western norms, perpetual emphasis is placed in adopting desirable characteristics for men and women in media and society (Kincaid, 2013). Contrarily, professional studies, conducted by Yoko Sugihara and Emiko Katsurada, indicate that gender role differences in contemporary society are diminishing as time progresses (Yoko and Katsurada, 2002).

In the primordial times of the Heian period, Japan procured and practiced matrilineal systems within their isolated society for over 2,000 years. During the Heian period, situated in 12th century A.D., women were given the privileged of inheriting, managing, and retaining property of their own (Kumar, 2011). It was not until Japanese culture adopted the Confucian ideas of China that the society began to integrate a patriarchal system. Confucian ideals had a prominently drastic impact and influence in Japanese society. The Confucian ethical system stressed the utopian idea of a society in which a hierarchal structure is maintained. The hierarchal structure’s foundation is based upon the subservient and submissive idea of subordinates’ obedi...

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...ime in 1997 (Yoko and Katsurada, 2002).

Works Cited

1. Sugihara, Yoko, and Emiko Katsurada. "Gender Role Development in Japanese Culture: Diminishing Gender Role Differences in a Contemporary Society." Sex Roles 47.9/10 (2002): 443-452. Academic Search Complete. Web. 16 Dec. 2013.

2. Kincaid, Chris. "A Look at Gender Expectations in Japanese Society." JapanPowered. JapanPowered, 7 July 2013. Web. 16 Dec. 2013.

3. Kumar, V. "Japanese Views on Gender Roles." Vkumar.ExpertsColumn.Com. ExpertsColumn, 26 June 2011. Web. 16 Dec. 2013.

4. Kephart, Jesse. "Gender Roles in Japanese Society." Japan: A Unique Country. Weebly, 2 June 2013. Web. 16 Dec. 2013.

5. Kanagy, Ruthy. "Gender Roles in Japan." Moon Travel Guides. Avalon Travel, 4 Aug. 2013. Web. 17 Dec. 2013.

6. News, S. "Japan's Gender Roles." Teacher Bien. FourHalf Inc, 12 July 2012. Web. 17 Dec. 2013
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