Gender Roles in Japanese Culture Essay

2946 Words 12 Pages
Gender roles are stereotypical labels placed on males and females within a specific culture. In addition, gender stereotypes for males and females are products of cultural aspects rather than their physical differences (Kincaid, 2013). As time inevitably progresses through history, a coherent pattern can be identified in regards to changes in gender stereotypes. These changes in gender roles are directly correlated with the alterations in societal advancement. The changes in societal and cultural development over the course of history can be thoroughly recognized in specifically Japanese culture. Although gender roles in Japanese culture deviates from western norms, perpetual emphasis is placed in adopting desirable characteristics for men …show more content…
Within Japanese culture during this time period, desirable traits within males and females were explicitly emphasized through Confucianism. The Confucian ethical system teaches people loyalty, piety, and respect towards superiors; it also stresses intrinsic aspects within an individual such as integrity, righteousness, and warm heartedness (Yoko and Katsurada, 2002). Although expressed and articulated into different aspects of life depending on an individual’s sex, loyalty was a trait that both women and men were expected to exhibit with absolute certainty. Men were primarily taught to be loyal to their lords, whereas, women were taught to be loyal to their family and husband.

Significant differences in ethics and mannerisms between western or European cultures and Japanese cultures were conspicuously observed. The unequivocal characteristic of loyalty in Japanese culture was perceived as only a contract within legal and governmental systems in European society. Japanese, and even Chinese, cultures believed loyalty to be much more than just a regulation for government and systems, but also as an ethical conduct. The loyalty expressed in Japanese culture is indisputably witnessed throughout all of Japan. It is interesting to also take note that the gender role differences in Japan were not as distinct as the Western or European cultures.

The contrasting…