The Exclusion Of Women During The Meiji Period

1524 WordsMay 5, 20177 Pages
Women could be empowered by their role in the kitchen, as it could be seen as a mission “that transcended petty partisan politics.” The exclusion of women from politics is oppressive in the way that it paints them as incapable, and also forces women into a narrowly defined role not allowing for anything else. On the other hand, their exclusion can be justified by the fact that they are respected enough to have important duties, rather than by a negative judgement of their physical or mental capacity. Women were excluded from politics, and were instead expected to be good mothers and wives, pushing them further into the kitchen in Japanese history, and these restrictions can be seen as contrasting views of oppression and empowerment.…show more content…
In turn, the Japanese government raised expectations of women and their role as mothers to serve the nation and the wartime effort; Helen Lee sums up that “the home and motherhood were central vehicles for the building and management of the japanese empire.” Japan’s power-hungry imperialist attitude demanded the main goal of any Japanese citizen to be service to the government and the empire [capitalize empire ever???]. In Korea specifically, the government wanted to eradicate indigenous cultures and uproot the cultural identity of the Koreans, forcing them to be loyal to Japan, going as far as forcing the use of the Japanese language, and mandating name changes, which a majority of Koreans actually complied with. Diet was a major factor in preserving Japanese identity for Japanese colonizers residing in Korea, and became a key element in Japan establishing an identity as a colonizer. In Korea, the supply of Japanese food was decreasing, threatening the ability of settlers to maintain a Japanese diet and not submit to using the food of the colonized. Lee explains that, “In this context, rituals of displaying Japanese cultural membership in the motherland at the family dining table took on a greater importance.” Japanese mothers felt that the body of the Japanese nation was at stake. The meals Japanese mothers fed their families were supposed to cultivate a national identity, and at the
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