Western Ideals

Topics: Japan, Sociology, Meiji period Pages: 2 (723 words) Published: August 14, 2011
The Western Evils
The infiltration of western ideals into the Japanese Culture had forever changed customs and traditions of the Japanese society as a whole. Yet was it as it was stated in a 1941 pamphlet issued by the Japanese Ministry of Education entitled “The Way of the Subjects.” “this country has been widely seeking knowledge in the world since the Meiji Restoration, thereby fostering and maintaining the prosperity of the state. With the influx of European and American culture in this country, however, individualism, liberalism, utilitarianism and materialism began to assert themselves, so that the traditional character of the country was much impaired and the virtuous habits and customs bequeathed by our ancestors were affected unfavorably” Had the infiltration of individualism,liberalism,utilitarianism and materialism corrupt the once glorious and honorable society of Japan? Or perhaps had it enlightened their society to a new way of thinking? To answer these questions I'd like to give a brief highlight of how women were viewed in Japanese Culture prior to the infiltration of the western ideology. To do so I will be referencing Andrew Gordon's book entitled: A Modern History of Japan.

To start off I'd to address the role of women prior to the infiltration of western ideology. More precisely the the views of the Orthodox in the Tokugawa society, that being that “women should be kept ignorant and in the kitchen.”[1] However that wasn't the case rather it was that this belief was more to keep women as submissive an obedient . It was further brought out that women worked as managers of farms for the wealthy in addition to their regular household duties.[2]

So exactly how did this system change after the infiltration of the western ideology? Well to answer this question I'm going to reference Funichiro Tanizaki's book entitled: Some Prefer Nettles and Nakano Makiko's book entitled: Makiko's Diary. When we look upon the example set by Makiko in...
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