Women in Japan

Is Japanese language becoming less discriminatory towards women?【Women in Japan Series】

The status of women in Japan is changing and the Japanese language is being modified along with it. Let’s see how women are viewed these days by surveying some of the modern Japanese words used to describe them.

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How to lady: Fascinating Meiji Era women’s book features hairstyles, history lessons, etiquette

“From birth to death, a woman must never forget to display fondness and affection … a woman will surely experience a life of sorrow without it.”

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5 reasons why Japanese expats say “sayonara” to their homeland for good

Japan may be an awesome country, but for some Japanese people who’ve experienced life abroad, it’s just not for them anymore. Here are five reasons why.

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Three reasons why it’s okay to be a girly girl in Japan

Want to wear Hello Kitty accessories and still be taken seriously? In Japan you can. Here’s why.

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What Japanese women really think about the gender gap in Japan【Video】

During our Women in Japan series, we discussed some of the powerful reasons to be a woman in Japan. From a Westernised viewpoint, it’s sometimes hard to accept the fact that, while Japan is still very much a patriarchal society, many women (not all, but many) here don’t actually want to be out there smashing glass ceilings and “leaning in” at the office when instead they could be doing things that women were traditionally appreciated for in Japan, namely cooking, housekeeping and raising the kids.

If you’re still in doubt as to exactly what Japanese women think of the gender gap in their country, this informative street interview video from YouTuber Yuta Aoki should provide some answers.

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Try not to cry at this series of short films showing struggles working mothers face in Japan

In Japan, it’s still considered quite normal for women to give up their jobs once they get married and focus on running the home and raising children. Not only is motherhood a respected career in itself, there really isn’t enough support for working mothers, making returning to work a prospect many women don’t aspire to.

And, as this new series of videos shows, working mothers who are also married often don’t get enough support from their spouse or co-workers. We challenge you not to tear up just a tiny bit at this video depicting the struggles of a hard-working mother whose sick child asks her “Mommy, are you okay?”

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“The bills! The bills!”: A Japanese woman’s experience giving birth in the United States

Receiving any kind of medical treatment in a foreign country can be a daunting experience. And when one of the writers from our sister site Pouch gave birth to her second child in the United States, where she was living at the time, she was naturally expecting the procedures to be different from her native Japan. But there were a number of things that shocked, amazed and downright confused her about giving birth in the US – not least the incredible cost incurred.

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Is One Piece sexist? Twitter user posts scathing essay about Japan’s favorite manga

One Piece is the top-selling manga of all time, with over 350 million volumes sold in Japan alone. For fans of the series, it’s a no-brainer why the comic is so popular. The author/artist Eiichiro Oda is a master storyteller, turning what could have been a run-of-the-mill shonen manga into something special. One Piece often tackles deeper themes including racism, abuse of power, justice, moral ambiguity, and of course, big dudes with sweet powers slamming into each other.

What’s even more surprising are the readership demographics. Nine out of ten people who buy One Piece are adults, and over half of the manga’s readers are women. This might make it seem like it appeals to everyone, but apparently that is not the case. Japanese Twitter user @ykhre recently tweeted a controversial essay, making her case for why One Piece, despite its broad appeal, is sexist.

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Why aren’t there more female entrepreneurs in Japan? Pull up a chair… 【Women in Japan Series】

According to the Global Entrepreneur Development Index (GEDI) that measures favorable conditions for women entrepreneurs, the US and Australia are ranked first and second respectively, while Japan places fifteenth, just behind Peru. Yet Japan fulfills many of the requirements to create a successful female entrepreneurial environment such as education, skills and access to capital.

In addition, women in Japan can overcome obstacles such as low salaries, long work hours and scant child-rearing options by owning their own businesses and calling the shots. So, what’s holding Japanese women back? It turns out that a large part of it may be Japanese women themselves.

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Japanese business women who’ve beaten the system 【Women in Japan Series】

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s “womenomics” scheme aims to get more women into the workforce in order to combat the shrinking and aging population and help spur the Japanese economy. While I believe women can save Japan, I don’t think it’ll be through womenomics. As any Japanese woman can tell you, it’s not as easy as it should be for females to work full-time in this country. In the Japanese business world, companies are loath to offer working conditions that males and females alike enjoy in other developed countries, such as reasonable work hours (40 hours a week with optional overtime), work sharing, flexitime and working from home. Whereas in the West the attitude is that as long as you get your work done on time, it doesn’t matter how you do it, in Japan emphasis is more on the hours put in at the office to show your loyalty to the company. Add to that additional cultural biases against gender, age, experience and returning to work after raising children, and you have a recipe for “eternal housewife.”

Clearly, the problem is deeper than merely hiring more women, or adding more day care centers, both actions Abe is pushing. But the good news is that there is a group of women who are beating the system, and who have been for some time now.

This week, as part of our Women in Japan Series, we introduce you to three female entrepreneurs who have successfully forged ahead in the business world by defining their own terms. They can support themselves financially, are able to live more freely, have time for their children and families, and work fewer hours than they’d have to in the corporate world. And the best thing about it? They’re regular women, just like you, me, or your partner. Drum roll please…

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5 Japanese women who can kick your ass (in martial arts)【Women in Japan Series】

We at RocketNews24 previously told you about the awesome Wushu World Champion women fighters. While Japan has plenty of women who participate in Wushu (and have done rather well) more Japanese women have made names for themselves in karate, judo and taekwondo.

Japan leads the world in women’s judo and karate. Both are gendai budo martial arts, or modern Japanese martial arts that started from or after the Meiji Restoration (1866–1869). The ancient martial arts, such as jujitsu or naginatajutsu, predate the Meiji Restoration.

Women’s Judo, an Olympic sport, wasn’t instituted until the 1992 Barcelona Olympic games. While karate is not an Olympic sport, Japanese women have achieved top results in the Asian Games, the Karate World Championships, and the World Games. Japan also has a top woman in the traditional Korean martial art of taekwondo.

Let’s take a closer look at these leading Japanese martial arts practitioners who, even on a bad day could kick our collective arses.

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Top 10 Japanese women throughout history 【Women in Japan Series】

Every nation has women who are remembered throughout history for the impact they had on their country. Today we present you with 10 Japanese women–game changers, if you will–who fundamentally altered the way the nation sees or experiences the world today. Most of these women have achieved fame abroad as well, another hallmark of success in Japan.

Many names you’ll recognize, but a few may be a surprise. But they are all well-known among the Japanese and are looked up to and praised by women and men throughout the country. Ready to test your knowledge of influential women in Japanese history?

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10 things that make Japan female-friendly【Women in Japan Series】

We at RocketNews24 previously told you about 10 Things Japan Gets Awesomely Right. Now we want to tell you about ten more things that are equally awesome, but especially for women in Japan. It doesn’t mean that men don’t also find these things impressive, but we’re betting that some of these have never been noticed by men, because, well, they were designed with women in mind.

Every woman likes to be pampered every now and then, and in Japan it’s just too easy to get used to some of the every day niceties we enjoy! Of course the Japanese are known for being polite, which helps tremendously to get through any stressful day, but Japan goes that extra step sometimes to make things that much nicer. After all, it’s the little things in life that matter, right?

So here’s our list of 10 things that make it so darn nice to be a woman in Japan. Get ready, ’cause you’re gonna love these!

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Reasons why it’s harder to raise kids in Japan than in other countries…or not

The act of raising a child is never easy. Some countries offer parents enough rights and protections to make childcare a bit less of a burden, but the struggles and uncertainties that come with supporting another tiny human should never be disregarded.

That being said, everyone’s favorite opinionated Japanese blogger, Madame Riri, has a few things to say about how raising children in Japan is “ten times more difficult” than it is in foreign countries. Keep in mind that Madame Riri has only ever traveled to France and does not actually have any children of her own. But who knows? Perhaps there’s some truth buried beneath the mounds of limited observation, hearsay, and conjecture!

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