The Mountain is Moving: Japanese Women's Lives

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Are Japanese women happy with their roles as wives and mothers, content to leave the stress of fourteen-hour days in offices and commuter trains to men? Or are they frustrated by the limitations of this traditional arrangement? Why are Japanese women actively discouraged from pursuing careers when they have one of the highest levels of education in the world? Will a new generation of women be able gain equality at home and at work? With elegant prose, noted biographer and critic Patricia Morley tackles these questions as she explores the daily lives and the hopes and aspirations of dynamic Japanese women.

Based on hundreds of interviews, The Mountain is Moving looks at the many facets of women's lives, including education, marriage and child rearing, the workplace, eldercare, the political arena, and volunteerism. The interviews are complemented by readings of a diverse and compelling range of stories and novels by and about Japanese women.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Engaging and useful"

-National Women's Studies Association Journal

"May be the most comprehensive treatment of issues faced by Japanese women today available in the English language. Her intertwining of contemporary fiction, interviews, and socioeconomic data is most welcome. The extended attention to care of the elderly should be of special interest in many parts of the world today."

-Norma Field,Professor and Chair, Department of East Asian Languagesand Civilizations, University of Chicago

Women Studies Association Journal
Engaging and useful.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In an accessible academic study, Canadian biographer and critic Morley (As Though Life Mattered: Leo Kennedy's Story) focuses on the status of Japanese women since WWII, when the 1946 Constitution revolutionized the Japanese patriarchal class structure by stating that men and women were to be equal and marriage must be by mutual consent. Drawing on comprehensive research and interviews with hundreds of women, Morley analyzes marriage, education, the workplace and sexuality in Japanese culture in order to determine whether or not the freedoms promised in the Constitution have been realized. She documents some advances for women in all areas of her investigation but contends that the pervasive Japanese conviction that individualism is selfish, together with a strong cultural commitment to hierarchical organizations, has worked against true gender equality. Many women are still trapped in the home by marriage, while well-paid employment is reserved for company men who work extremely long hours. Although she is careful for the most part to remain objective, Morley's inference that the prevalence of pornography in Japan is directly related to sexual crimes committed there is based on theory rather than hard evidence. She believes that women are very gradually transforming their roles in Japanese society, a conclusion that is supported by the work of contemporary Japanese women authors who, through their writing, are providing a strong critique of male-dominated culture as well as an impetus for change. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814756263
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 8/13/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Author of numerous books, Patricia Morley is Professor Emerita of English and Canadian Studies at Concordia University and is a Lifetime Honorary Fellow at the Simone de Beauvoir Institute.

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