> I am curious if anyone has any information regarding gender roles prior to the
> Tokugawa Bakufu. Most particularly I am looking at the Sengoku Jidai (Warring
> States Period) but I am interested all the way to the beginning of the Heian
You might want to look at Edith Sarra's "Fictions of Femininity" (She's my
current kobun prof.)
> The first question I am trying to answer is to how rigid 'gender' and 'sex'
> (biologically male/female) were regarded. From what I know of Japan, I would
> guess that they were fairly strict, but I wonder if it was possible to take on
> the role of the opposite gender at all. Are there any records of such a
> social role-reversal?
I wouldn't know. It seems such studies are becoming more popular these days in J.
historical/anthropocircles, and personally I find it... well, the flavor of the
month. Doesn't do a thing for me, and in fact I usually avoid any such
Sorry, it's just not my cup of cha. But I know there are studies that exist.