The Role of Women in Japanese Society Essay

The Role of Women in Japanese Society Essay

Length: 4820 words (13.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The place of women in Japanese society is an interesting blend of illusions and myth. It is within this illusion though that there are two distinct Japanese societies that of the public and private. However, the Western image of Japanese women is of the subservient Japanese woman and this image is real; it is however, only an image. Women in their private family roles’ often are dominant towards the male members of the household. When judged by Western standards, the women of Japan are unusually seen as dedicated to their families. Currently the position of women in Japanese society can be attributed to the vestiges of two old philosophies that of Confucianism and the Samurai. Not only has Japans’ society formed from these old vestiges it has also been formed by the influences of Buddhism. An example within Japanese society that shows the usage of these vestiges is how Japan barrowed Chinese Confucian heritage; a heritage where it is the value of the group over the value of an individual. Though still largely influential to the Japanese society today it has changed much since the opening of Japan in the mid-1800s to the end of World War II.
Though the old Confucian philosophy has not truly changed in regards to the success of the group which is reflected in a statement made by one woman reflects just that: "The weight of trying to reconcile individual achievement and the family will always be heavy here because of our group oriented value system." Additionally the importance of the group through Confucianism emphasizes the supreme position of the male, and a hierarchical power structure for society.
With the dawning of the Samurai in the 15th century C.E. this demarked a change within Japanese society which had largely bee...

... middle of paper ...

...earlier point - that husband are not physically available to participate. As in other issues which touch upon the home, the woman assumes a dominant position through the vacuum created by the absence of the husband. It has also been noted by one Japanese author that "As a professional housewife, [a woman] might offer some time for volunteer work. Furthermore, her responsibility for monitoring the family health may induce her to be alert to health hazards like industrial pollutions, food poisoning, medical malpractice, which may include her in consumer movements and ultimately in politics." As the role of Japanese women in society continues to evolve so will her position within politics, the work force and grassroots. Having already achieved a dominant role in issues involving the household it will only be a matter of time till women start acquiring public power.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Role of Japanese Women: Traditional and Contemporary Essay

- Gender equality in Asia has long been an interesting but challenging study of many researchers. The developed and prosperous country Japan also holds a rich history of gender revolution led by women. Regarding the changing roles of Japanese women in family and the society discussed by many researchers, this essay analyses and compares traditional and modern Japanese women through two popular cultural texts: the television drama Oshin (1983-1984) and the talk show “Culture shift in Japan” (2007) of Everywoman program by AIJazeera English....   [tags: Gender Studies]

Powerful Essays
2287 words (6.5 pages)

Japanese Culture Analysis Essay

- When most people think about Japan they come up with two opposing images. One image reflects the busy day life of this island; filled with salary man and companies. While the second image features an explosion of colorful LED lights and clubs that are common within the nightlife. Today in present day, Japan has evolved and flourished to become one of the top growing economies and industries in the world. Making Japan a prime and excellent area for jobs to prosper. One of these modern jobs that have flourished is the Hostess lifestyle....   [tags: Japanese Society]

Powerful Essays
1961 words (5.6 pages)

A Glimpse into the Life of Japanese Women Essay

- It is no doubt that Winnifred Eaton; the author of “A Half Caste” is a genius when it comes to using literary masquerade in relation to her treatment of Japanese women and mixed race. She is Otono Watanna in disguise. Through her pen name, she was able to shed light on issues relating to the Japanese race, or more specifically, the Japanese Caucasian persons. Watanna has successfully raised the representation of the Japanese women as being submissive under the men authority, Western or Asiatic. Watanna portrayed this image through the interaction between the half-caste Japanese women and Western characters....   [tags: women studies]

Powerful Essays
1035 words (3 pages)

The Role of Women in The Thousand and One Nights and Shikibu’s The Tale of Genji

- ... Genji’s mother, Lady Kiritsubo, is of relatively low rank and lacks any political influence at court despite being favored by the Emperor. The reason behind her lack of influence is that she lacks parental support at court. Her father, a Grand Counselor, is dead and her mother cannot provide political support. The fact that Lady Kiritsubo has no political influence despite her mother being alive and potentially being able to support her demonstrates that, on their own, women have no political power and that this must be derived by the men in their lives....   [tags: modern women, equality]

Powerful Essays
1450 words (4.1 pages)

The Role of Women in Japan Essay examples

- Introduction Among the developed countries, Japan is infamous for having the most gender inequality. For example, in 2011, only 43% of women, in Japan, worked in a nonagricultural sector. That same year the United States had 48% of women working in a nonagricultural setting ( Even the Japanese acknowledge that men and women are seen in different lights. While the societal differences between Japanese woman are clear, the factors that cause these women to remain within the boundaries set by society and gender roles is harder to understand....   [tags: world politics, Japan]

Powerful Essays
1311 words (3.7 pages)

Discrimination and Stereotyping of Japanese-Americans Essay examples

- With the attacks on the United States by terrorists, many Americans have been experiencing feelings of fear, sadness and tremendous anger. Many of Middle-Eastern descent have been experiencing great prejudice and discrimination and are being stereotyped as terrorists. These types of feelings are very prevalent in American society today. Similarly, though not widely as discussed, Japanese-Americans have felt these feelings directed toward them for several generations. Going from the extreme of being herded to internment camps after the surprise attack of Pearl Harbor, to the more commonplace, being stereotyped in the entertainment industry and internet sites, prejudice, discrimination and s...   [tags: Racial Prejudice Japanese-Americans]

Powerful Essays
1970 words (5.6 pages)

Postwar Japanese Women and Their Roles Essay

- Postwar Japanese Women and their Roles Introduction In the post war period, the Japanese women did not have an alternative to leaving work while their children were still young. Large corporations in Japan required continuous service from their employers, in order for them to receive high status. It was difficult for women to re-enter a large company after a career break and if there was chances of re-entering one would not be eligible for a seniority pay. After the war, the role of a Japanese woman had to change at it became that of a housewife, they were forced to leave paid labor and return later after their children were in school....   [tags: Workforce, Housewife, Low Paying Jobs, History]

Powerful Essays
970 words (2.8 pages)

The Progressive Modern Korean New Women In the 1920s: Blue Swallow Film Analysis

- The deeply rooted history of a Confucian paradigm in Korea has for long limited women’s roles and rights. In the male-dominated and patriarchal society, women’s roles remained in the domestic sphere, where they were required to be submissive. However, with the introduction of westernization and modernity in the 1920s, modern generation was rapidly incorporated into colonial modernity. Korean women began to “redefine the Korean female identity” by displaying the “new woman” characteristics, in which some literate women initiated to “enhance their education, determine their own physical appearance, and contribute to the debate about changing gender roles and expectations”(Yoo, p.59) Fearing t...   [tags: Modern, Women, Japanese]

Powerful Essays
1355 words (3.9 pages)

Teenage Prostitution as a Response to Gender Roles in Japanese Society Essay

- Teenage Prostitution as a Response to Gender Roles in Japanese Society Buuuzzzzzzz. “Oh, a page,” says Michiko to her friend, “give me a minute to check it.” She pulls out her mobile phone and dials the number to check her messages. This message is from one of her regular customers, Mr. Tanaka. He would like to meet this afternoon at the little restaurant next to the same “love hotel” they used last week (a place that rents theme rooms by the hour). Michiko giggles to her friend, “Poor Tanaka-san, he is such a lonely guy, but he’s very generous.” Michiko meets up with Tanaka-san, a businessman in his mid-forties, later that afternoon....   [tags: Exploratory Essays Research Papers]

Free Essays
1943 words (5.6 pages)

World War Two and Its Impact on the Role of American Women in Society Essay

- World War Two and Its Impact on the Role of American Women in Society World War II is an event that has marked history like no other. Originating from a European struggle, war broke out in 1939 and continued for six years. From the years 1939 through 1945 more than half the earth's surface was battling in war. American society was greatly affected. People of every age, race and class were deeply affected. Women's place in society took a leap forward like it never had before. As an effect of the second world war women's traditional roles in society were drastically altered....   [tags: WWII World War 2 Women Females Roles Essays]

Powerful Essays
1496 words (4.3 pages)