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About this website

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 5 months ago

This website was initially created by University of Chicago undergraduate students enrolled in Feminist Struggles in Japan I in Winter 2006. The Winter 2006 class was a split-level class that included graduate and undergraduate students and was led by Norma and Tomomi. The course served as an introduction to various issues in Japanese feminism (see below for topics). As this class progressed, students realized that there was a dearth of English websites about Japanese feminism. This site is our attempt to make information on feminism in Japan accessible to more people.


In addition to our discussions in the classroom and online, the class took a field trip to Northwestern University to see the exhibit Remembrance and Reconciliation: The Art of Tomiyama Taeko. Another highlight of the class was the visit of a group of Japanese feminists who had been featured in YAMAGAMI Chieko and SEYAMA Noriko's documentary Thirty Years of Sisterhood. This visit gave us the opportunity to ask Japanese women who had been involved in the 1970s women's liberation movement about their experiences. It also prompted us to re-examine many of the questions with which we had been struggling: what is the link between scholarship and activism? Can men be feminists? Is there only one "feminism"? How can feminism bring together women of various ages, classes, sexualities and ethnicities?


The Spring 2006 course, Feminist Struggles in Japan II, gave graduate students who could read Japanese the opporutnity to continue their inquiries into Japanese feminism. We focused upon topics pertinent to our research interests, which included: minorities in Japan; feminism and the environment; eugenics, abortion and feminism; women's reading groups and the proletarian writer Hirabayashi Taiko; and feminism and sexuality. Graduate students in this course have picked up where undergraduates left off and added supplemental information on certain issues.


Topics we studied in Winter 2006 included:

Legal Changes and Political Issues

The Constitution and right-wing efforts to amend it

Court cases involving sexual harassment

The Women's International War Crimes Tribunal on Japanese Military Sexual Slavery

The politics of national symbols

The textbook controversy

Postwar Women's Grassroots Activism

The women's peace movement

The housewives' movement and debates about being a housewife

1970s Women's Liberation Movement

Origins of the movement

Sexual Liberation

Economic liberation

Labor Activism

The History of Women Workers

The Equal Employment Opportunity Law

Sexual Harassment in the workplace and on campus

Gender and Sexual Identity

The movement for gender equality

Sexual liberation

Social Issues

Domestic Violence


The trafficking of women

"Comfort Women"


Women and war

Reproductive Issues






Ethnic identity

Feminism and art

Feminism and literature

Feminism and scholarship

Japan's World War II Legacy

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