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Re: Status of Women

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  • James Eckman
    ... I need to get over to San Jose State again so I can access JSTOR... ... Even in China that ideal wasn t always followed, the Empress Wu comes to mind. This
    Message 1 of 4 , Dec 30, 2006
      > Posted by: "Solveig Throndardottir"
      > Noble Cousins!
      > Greetings from Solveig! For those of you who may feel at all
      > discouraged by the recent claims about the "deconstruction" (the term
      > was used improperly) of "female samurai" a month or so ago. The
      > status of women remains an active research topic and is not at all
      > settled in favor shuffling women off into the shadows. There is an
      > article entitled "Gender in Early Classical Japan: Marriage,
      > Leadership, and Political Status in Village and Palace" by Yoshie
      > Akiko in Monumenta Nipponica (60)4 Winter 2005.

      I need to get over to San Jose State again so I can access JSTOR...

      > The issue of the
      > status of women in pre-modern Japan is greatly clouded by exogenous
      > Chinese cultural ideals which do indeed place men and women in
      > sexually stereotyped roles with men farming and women weaving. Or men
      > herding and women weaving as in the case of the two stars which meet
      > each Summer on Tanabata.

      Even in China that ideal wasn't always followed, the Empress Wu comes to
      mind. This was in the late 600s, so it's possible that some of her
      attempted reforms/abominations may have been known in Japan. To
      traditional Chinese culture she was a monster, for example, Lin Yutang
      in his historical fiction paints a pretty nasty picture of her. On the
      other hand she tried to raise the status of women in general and of
      course her own and her mother's clan as well.

      > Regardless, Yoshie cites a recent (1993) discovery of
      > "mokkan" (written records on strips of wood) in which district chiefs
      > transmitted orders to female officials who were to organize corvee
      > labor. Essentially, the work by Yoshie supports and extends the
      > earlier work by Mass.

      That's an interesting discovery! I know that the Chinese used strips of
      bamboo for a very long time. I hadn't known about the Japanese version.

      > I forget whether or not I mentioned this fairly recent article
      > before. I just managed to get in my final grades about a week ago and
      > am still trying to catch up on paying bills and other pressing business.

      Take care!
      Happy New Year everyone.

      Jim Eckman
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