Archive for September, 2012


A Woman’s Place is in the Home?


Japan is regarded as a place where notions about the traditional roles of women — as mother, homemaker, and dutiful wife — still persist in the 21st Century, although there are signs that such attitudes are changing. Read the following articles for next week which talk about this issue and be prepared to discuss the questions that follow.


Japanese Women Shy From Dual Mommy Role

By Blaine Harden

Washington Post Foreign Service

Thursday, August 28, 2008

TOKYO — “I have never met a Japanese man who did not want me to be his mommy.”

That is the reason, Takako Katayama says, that she has not married. At 37, she has carved out a comfortable life here in Tokyo, with her own apartment, a good job at a cable television network, and a network of family and friends.


PDF File here:

Japanese Women Shy From Dual Mommy Role (Page 1)

Japanese Women Shy From Dual Mommy Role (Page 2)


Career Women in Japan Find a Blocked Path


Published: August 6, 2007

TOKYO, Aug. 5 — Yukako Kurose joined the work force in 1986, a year after Japan passed its first equal opportunity law. Like other career-minded young women, she hoped the law would open doors. But her promising career at a department-store corporate office ended 15 years ago when she had a baby.

She was passed over for promotions after she started leaving work before 6:30 each evening to pick up her daughter from day care. Then, she was pushed into a dead-end clerical job. Finally, she quit.


PDF File here:

Career Women in Japan Find a Blocked Path – New York Times



Boost women’s role in society

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Japan may be the third-largest economy in the world, but its percentage of female legislators ranks only 121st among 186 countries, according to a white paper on gender equality approved by the Cabinet recently.

Female legislators comprised 11.3 percent of all legislators in Japan’s Lower House after the 2009 elections. That compares to 45 percent in Sweden and 32.8 percent in Germany. The United States had 16.8 percent female legislators while China had 21.3 percent. Even South Korea bests Japan at 14.7 percent.

Read the rest of the article here:


PDF File here:

Boost women’s role in society | The Japan Times


Prepare for the next class by writing your thoughts on this issue (minimum 250 words) in the Leave a Reply section below, considering the following DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

How would you describe the traditional role of women in Japan? 

What do you think accounts for the old-fashioned ideas about women in Japanese society?

Do you believe these ideas are changing, and if so, how?

Why does Japan lag behind other developed nations with respect to women’s representation in business, government, etc.?

How have the changing roles of women here affected male-female relationships, family life, the workplace, and government policies?

What concrete suggestions can you provide to improve the position of women in Japanese society?


Additional Reading:

Towards Gender Equality – Japan



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