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Gender roles in Pre-Tokugawa Japan

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  • fsjlb4
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , May 2, 2000
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      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
      Period.

      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?

      Also, I have heard of women warriors and and I am trying to find more
      information on them. IIRC, Takeda Shingen had a woman whom he cared for that
      led troops into battle with his own. I do not remember the particulars,
      however. I also know that female ninja were fairly well-known, although I do
      not know if it was for fighting skills. There is a word for female ninja
      though: kunoichi.

      (Explanation: Ku-no-ichi comes from the way you write 'onna' [woman] in
      Japanese. I don't know if the characters will come through for everyone, but
      I'll give it a try: ‚­ƒmˆê— )

      Anyway, if you have any suggestions on where to look, I would be interested. I
      am interested in both men taking on women's roles and vice versa. I am also
      interested in how strict the social rules governing each gender were at
      different times.

      -Godric Logan
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