Women of Japan

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From A.D. 552-710 over half of the leaders of Japan had been women. Ruling their country with much equality between men and women these queens were known for their strong will power and control (Sun). Unfortunately, new idea’s make there way to Japan causing the fall of women from top to the very bottom of their social class. These women went from living luxury to writing about luxury. The women’s social class fell quickly and women were seen more behind the scenes as artisans and housewives, also losing most equality to men. By the twelve-century the bushi warriors had claimed Japan and begin to conform to Buddhism, Confucianism, and new laws. The up rise of these new Japanese thoughts lead women to be degraded to nearly nothing. Only to be needed by men to bear their child and provide the family with a son. “She may have borne you seven sons, but never trust a women (Suns 22).” A women’s job was to be a submissive to her husband and his father. Any complications would lead to being chained up, beaten, or killed. From a very young age women learn about obeying the male figure and also learning the ideas of Onna daigaku. This shows the future of household skills, which will be used heavily in womanhood. Around the age of fifteen the daughter will be sent to a new home to serve the father-in-law of her husband. By proving proper ethics and character the women is taken into the family and serves as a servant to her husband also losing all rights to divorce. Urban women of this time had a different fate. Spending most of there time on a farm helping the family they would never learn the skills to become a wife of a bread winning son. Therefore, the father would sell them their daughters into prostitution to get money to keep their family running. These women prostitutes were normally caged behind bars and hopefully bought to become some ones wife (Sun).

To keep these new Japanese families loyal to the Japanese laws, the Meiji Civil Code was made in 1898. These laws stated the correct transactions of Japanese marriage. Such as the marriage is not legal until the husbands family thought the women was to their social standards to be apart of their family (Changing Japan 14). Other rights stated within the Civil Code allowed women to be the guardian to their children, adopt a son, and was allowed to make business decisions for the family (Changing Japan 15).

Not only were the Meiji taking charge by starting the Civil Code they were also trying to increase the Japanese population, fix social problems, and reform Japan (Sun 31). In 1872 one of the major focuses of this time was to increase the amount of education within Japan. At this time schools were coeducational, but only about 40% of males attended school and 10% of females attended at the elementary level classes. Here females would learn basics such as household and family maintenance where boys would begin learning basics for math and science (Changing japan 15-17). After elementary both boys and girls would separate into separate boys and girls secondary schools. There was still an unfair female disadvantage here because some females didn’t receive schoolbooks, and those who did were poorly written and lacked information (Suns 40). Both females and males continued to high school level classes. Where after females went to work as teachers, nurses, and other trained jobs offered. Where as most men went to universities to become doctors and engineers (Changing japan 15-17). Those whom were not as fortunate to be educated were sometimes taught at home, but most worked in more modern jobs such as those in a factory, a telephone operator, or ticket sellers. By the end of the Meiji era over 50% of women and 80% of men attended school.

Along with increasing education within Japan the Meiji wanted to increase the amount of productions going in and out of Japan causing a huge need of employs in the industrialization business. Making things...
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