By Yukiko Tanaka
As Japan shifted from an agricultural nation prior to 1950 to an industrialized state in much less time than the other constructed kingdom, ladies felt the strain of the shift. Husbands labored longer hours, leaving the entire loved ones chores and baby rearing to their better halves whereas pleasing their responsibilites as company squaddies. The economic system used to be fueled via a diligent, well-educated, low-paid team, yet gender position department grew to become much more inflexible. family earning rose and development in components resembling diets, transportation, and relaxation have been made; glossy home equipment additionally made it attainable for moms to have part-time jobs. yet pollutants additionally rose, as did costs, and crowded dwelling stipulations started to impinge on family members existence. Tanaka, who has spent a long time on reflection at her state from an American standpoint, examines marriage, motherhood, employment, independence, women's routine, and previous age for ladies in Japan over the past 50 years.
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Extra resources for Contemporary Portraits of Japanese Women
Instead, the extended family of the custodial parent often steps in, feeling responsible. When my friend Sasaki Saeko divorced seven years ago, her parents took her and her daughter, then age six, into their modest house; in her neighborhood, she knew of other cases with similar arrangements. As Saeko did not have a regular job at that time, this was the only way for her and her daughter to survive. Japanese society, now more accepting of divorce, assumes that neither women nor men are gravely disadvantaged by it.
While it is well known that abortion is widely practiced in Japan, what is not so well known is that this is Wives 35 a relatively recent development. When the Eugenic Protection Law was amended in 1949, it included generous provisions to allow for abortions under a variety of conditions. The reason of "economic hardship" continues to be used by women seeking an abortion (giving a reason is required by law). 8 A Buddhist ceremony exists to help relieve the guilt women may suffer over abortion, and some temples capitalize on this situation by offering, for a fee, special services for unborn fetuses.
Consider the case of Mitsuko, a fashion designer in her mid-thirties, whose story of divorce was recounted in the popular women's monthly magazine Fujin Koron (Women's Forum, June 1982). Although her husband understood her need to work and although she loved her son, Mitsuko wanted a divorce. Work was her real life, and she wanted to become a better designer. In recent years, she had felt a surge of creativity, but her sense of duty as a wife and mother seemed to pull her away from her work. Going to a disco with young people, for instance, was part of her professional development as a designer, and yet, on such occasions she could not get rid of the nagging feeling that she was not where she ought to be.