Japan

 

By Jeremy Waller, Xavier University of Louisiana

            In Japanese culture, men are only given the one option to choose from one role to play; which is the role of a leader and a domination figure over their family. On the contrary women have the opportunity of choosing two different gender roles. Women can choose to play the role of a housewife and be subordinate to their husband, or choose the role of an independent woman who is equally educated as a man and is in the workforce. As stated in “Lonely Planet Japan”, Japanese citizens believed in two religions; both Shinto and Buddhism that were introduced to Japan by Korea during the middle of the 6th century.

            In Japan, there is traditionally one role a Japanese man can play; that is the role of a leader. It is a tradition for males to be more dominant then females, but mainly adult males in particular. Japanese men were raised to be strong, more educated and taught to have leadership capabilities, especially over the family household. It is a Ritual when a couple is joined together in marriage; the husband becomes the leader and the main provider of the family household regardless. Even if the wife is just as old as the husband, he is still ruled more powerful. According to “World Book Millennium 2000”, it is stated that “Japanese men are expected to support their families as breadwinners”. But in order to make this possible, an employer would provide male employees families with annual allowance; to help support family needs immediately. Most men accept and are proud of the idea for being dominant over women and children together, but many women dislikes it.

Quote: “subservient and obey their husbands in their marriages and act similarly to their male children in their old age”. In Japanese culture there are two roles a woman can choose to live; one is living a life being subordinate to their husband and family. Such as being the housekeeper, make decisions when dealing with family financial conditions, monitoring children’s education and assistant/supporter of their husband’s career occupation. It is a ritual for married Japanese women to downgrade their independent rights and single life to domestic chores of a household. The second role is choosing not to marry, but instead go into the workforce and be educated just as much as a man. This encourages the Japanese women to live life assertively, to give themselves a chance to enjoy their lives being single. After they established a good income, they might possibly consider getting married sometime in their late 30s. It truly depends on how successful they are in their career field.

In Japan as a married couple lives together, the ways of living and value shapes the discipline and behavior of a child growing up. The mother of the family is a big dominant factor in a child’s life, especially young boys dealing with education. In Japan, it is extremely profound and valuable that males should be educated. Japanese women are not expected to be a family’s main source of revenue. Therefore education for females was mostly not needed on high levels; most females usually complete two at a junior college; instead going to a university. In Japan’s educational school system, they have a heavy influence of science and mathematic courses in their school’s curriculum. This influence and prepares Japanese students for jobs dealing with numerical and leadership skilled based. Even though the mother is the closest to her children compared to her husband. If there is a son in the family when the son reaches a certain age, the mother eventually becomes subordinate to her son the same as she is to her husband. While the daughter in the family remains the lowest in power of the family household.

In Japan, men tend to choose Salarymen careers. As stated in “American Heritage College Dictionary”, the word Salarymen means Japanese white-collar businessmen. The word businessmen in Japan, is another name for middle class workers that consist of farmers or storeowners. The typical description of a Salaryman is a white-collar desk worker who is extremely educated when dealing with mathematics. A Salaryman purpose is to calculate wages on domestic expenses for companies; or other terms book keeping companies to keep transactions organized. The con for this type of occupation is issue of working in competitive and stressful situations; work long hours a day and six days a week. This type of schedule gives Japanese men an opportunity to spend only one day with their family in relaxation; which deteriorates the marriage. Japanese men were prepared for this lifestyle and system of business to live through their careers.

            In Japan, when women reach a certain age they are force to choose between having a career or get married. As stated by Sugihara, “in Japan the average age that women get married is 22 years old”. The traditional role of a woman is to accept the role as a housewife. But a woman is determined and apply themselves in the work force, they have the same opportunity to also work in similar careers the as men’s.   These women have the opportunity to choose careers fields that are the same as males. If a women is fortunate, it is possibly for a women to take over a family business. But one major con is during a woman’s career she will most likely face discrimination, because of the majority of the fields are male dominated. Another con for choosing this lifestyle is the gender wage gap. Japanese women working full-time would only earn 66% percent of what Japanese men earn. If a Japanese women decides not to choose real career occupation and refuse to marry a man. Even though they would be subservient to men, similar to them being married. They can become geishas (means: a cultural person) and work as servants in club houses performing traditional arts. Japanese Traditional arts can range from tea ceremony, painting, calligraphy, woodblock printing, dancing, music and aggressive stage drama plays.

            In Japan’s childhood activities tremendously contributed to children’s gender roles. For Japanese boys, it was strongly influence that they learn a martial art. According to the “American Heritage College Dictionary”, the word Martial art means “the art of combat or self-dense”. Martial art training teaches Japanese boys the independency, competitiveness and honor; all three of these contribute to their gender construction to established leadership ability. Therefore when they mature, they will have the experience and be prepared to be leaders of the family. Japanese girls on the other hand, were influence to complete chores in a house; or service a relative with goods. This trains them to be servants of a tea ceremony or get married and become a house wife.

In Japanese society expectations in gender roles are heavily influence among the population. The Japan’s culture is based upon rituals that shaped gender roles of both sexes. One is male dominance and preparation to become leaders of their society and become “bread winners” in the family household. Another is female’s subordination to their husbands, housekeeping, financial decision making and monitor of children’s education. Most women work before they marry, and many of them return to labor jobs prior to their children moved out or grown. Because of society’s expectation about gender roles, female employees earn lower incomes and receive way less benefits then males. Even thou both men and women gender roles are somehow distant in some areas, they both formally touch base on what helps and keeps a family morals high; for the next generation to continue.

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 PowerPoint Presentation

Works Cited

Books:

1.      Ackerman, Diane (2007), “The American Heritage College Dictionary”, New York, NY, Houghton Mifflin Company.

2.      Anonymous (2000) World book Millennium 2000. World Book Inc.

3.      Fodors (2008) Exploring Japan. Auckland: Fodors

4.      Norbury, Paul (2006) Japan customs & etiquette. Kuperard

5.      Rowthorn, Chris (2007) Lonely Planet Japan. Lonely Planet Publications

6.      Safra, Jacob (1998) Macropaedia knowledge in Depth. Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc.

Journal:

1.      Sugihara, Yoko (1999) Masculinity and femininity in Japanese culture. Sex Roles: A journal of Research, pp. 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A culture that upholds the domination of men over women where both genders have the choice of choosing their roles.

 

 

 

Extra material

Intro

 Japan is one of the largest populated countries that have a culture that is dominated by males. The traditional gender roles in Japanese culture, is the men are the breadwinners and women are the homemakers. *The country Japan is an island country located in East Asia, within the Pacific Ocean region; the entire country of Japan consist of three-thousand islands.*

            Japan is located within the Asia continent, among the lands of archipelago (an area based on islands). In the history of Japan, it was established during the Jomon Period (13000 BC to 300 BC); under the influence of Japanese fishers and hunters. The next period of time was the Yayoi Period (300 BC to 300 AD), during this time it was the beginning of the rice tradition and iron production in the Japanese culture. Next was the Kofun Period (300-538), at this time a government system was formed where someone is chosen to become the ruler or Japan (emperor); which started the process of male domination in Japan culture. In 645 AD, the Fujiwara clan was established under the government; the Fujiwara clan is a group of warriors, also referred to as “Samurai”. As stated in “Lonely Planet Japan”, Japanese citizens believed in two religions; both Shinto and Buddhism were introduced to Japan by Korea during the middle of the 6th century.

From a journal article from BNET.com, it was stated by Yoko Sugihara who is a citizen and writer from Japan. He states Quote: “Males were taught to be strong and tough and encouraged to have control and dominance over children and women. Japanese women, on the other hand, were taught to be reserved, subservient and obey their husbands in their marriages and act similarly to their male children in their old age”.

             In Japan’s civilization, 86% of the people believe in both monotheistic faiths Shinto and Buddhism. Shinto religion involves in the world and life views; Shinto in store preparation for family ritual structures and practices of worshipping myths involving the Yamato clan, who were forerunners at the beginning of the Japanese culture. Shinto followers believe in spiritual deities (meaning: gods or goddesses or supreme beings). On the other hand Buddhism deals with the soul and after life affairs of a being. Quote “In practice, the various forms of Buddha and bodhisattvas (beings who have put off entering nirvana to help all other sentient begins enter nirvana) are worshipped like gods in most braches of Buddhism, at least by laypeople.” –Lonely Planet: Japan-. Buddhist followers believe in four noble truths: 1) life is suffering; 2) the cause of suffering is desire; 3) the cause of suffering is desire; 4) the way to eliminate desire is to follow the Eightfold Path of the Buddha. Overall the Buddha religion is a guide for people who are lost and may not know what role to play in their gender.

 

Japan is located within the Asia continent, among the lands of archipelago (an area based on islands). In the history of Japan, it was established during the Jomon Period (13000 BC to 300 BC); under the influence of Japanese fishers and hunters. The next period of time was the Yayoi Period (300 BC to 300 AD), during this time it was the beginning of the rice tradition and iron production in the Japanese culture. Next was the Kofun Period (300-538), at this time a government system was formed where someone is chosen to become the ruler or Japan (emperor); which started the process of male domination in Japan culture. In 645 AD, the Fujiwara clan was established under the government; the Fujiwara clan is a group of warriors, also referred to as “Samurai”. The culture is based upon the power of authority by an emperor and combat skills of a samurai, which integrates with a Constitutional monarchy parliamentary government. Japan is established in the archipelago (a land filled with various islands)

In Japanese gender, it is a tradition for the role of males to be more dominant then females; but mainly adult males in particular. Japanese men were trained to be strong, more educated and taught to have leadership capabilities over children and women; even if the women is just as old as the man, men still have more power. The tradition in the Japanese culture when both genders combine in marriage is that, males are the leaders and is the main supporter of the family; in comparison to the United States a man in that position would be called the “breadwinner”. On the other hand Japanese women play the roles of a house wife and supporter of husband and children; even thou females were subordinate to males. Japanese women were encouraged to be followers of their husbands in marriage and be equally rank in the same category as children. They were still granted the opportunity to be eligible to inherit property, also depending on the family rituals/norms; women were sometimes expected to have a certain amount bravery and loyalty. In other rituals women were also given the decision making and financial control power at home, in order for men to be discharge for household conflicts.

 

 

In Japanese gender, it is a tradition for the role of a males to be more dominant then a female; especially adult males in particular. Japanese men were trained to be strong, more educated and taught to have control over children and women; even if the women is just as old as the man, men still have more power. In reverse Japanese women, were encouraged to be subordinate, followers of their husbands in marriage and be equally rank in the same category as children. The tradition in the Japanese culture when both genders combine in marriage is that, males are the leaders and is the main supporter of the family; in comparison to the United States a man in that position would be called the “breadwinner”. Women on the other hand would play roles of a house wife and supporter of husband and children.

In Japan culture, even thou females were subordinate to males. They were still granted the opportunity to be eligible to inherit property, also depending on the family rituals/norms; women were sometimes expected to have a certain amount bravery and loyalty. In other rituals women were also given the decision making and financial control power at home, in order for men to be discharge for household conflicts.

In Japanese gender, it is a tradition for the role of a males to be more dominant then a female; especially adult males in particular. Japanese men were trained to be strong, more educated and taught to have control over children and women; even if the women is just as old as the man, men still have more power. The tradition in the Japanese culture when both genders combine in marriage is that, males are the leaders and is the main supporter of the family; in comparison to the United States a man in that position would be called the “breadwinner”.

In Japan culture, women play roles of a house wife and supporter of husband and children; even thou females were subordinate to males. Japanese women were encouraged to be followers of their husbands in marriage and be equally rank in the same category as children. They were still granted the opportunity to be eligible to inherit property, also depending on the family rituals/norms; women were sometimes expected to have a certain amount bravery and loyalty. In other rituals women were also given the decision making and financial control power at home, in order for men to be discharge for household conflicts.

            In Japanese culture there are two roles a woman can choose to live; one is living a life being subordinate to their husband and family. Such as being the housekeeper, advisor of the family financial conditions, monitor of children’s education and assistant/supporter of their husband’s career occupation. It is a ritual for married Japanese women to downgrade themselves into domestic chores. Another role a woman can choosing ambition, in other terms to be competitive and educated just as much as a man and enters the workplace. This encouraged the Japanese women to live life assertive, to give women a chance to enjoy their lives. After they established a good income, they might possibly consider getting married sometimes in their late 30s; truly depending on how successful they are in the workforce. The only downfall for choosing this lifestyle is the gender wage gap. Japanese Women working full-time would only earn a little more then half of what men can earn a year.

 

 

the Samurai’s model. As stated by “The American Heritage College dictionary”, by Diane Ackerman. The word Samurai means, 1. The Japanese feudal military aristocracy; 2. A professional warrior belonging to this class.

 

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