By the late nineteenth, early twentieth centuries, serious challenges to accepted beliefs about gender were mounted in both Japan and China. Although concerns about womens position had been expressed earlier, the concept of womens liberation became a major motivating force within the eras nationalist, reform, and revolution movements. Male nationalists initiated the discussion by arguing that an improvement in the status of women was essential to their countrys acceptance by other technologically advanced nations. A core of educated women in both Japan and China joined the call by speaking and writing in public for the first time. Conservative nationalists and traditionalists in Japan and China at different times reacted by mounting long campaigns against any change in gender roles. Ultimately female activists were labeled unseemly, unfeminine, and too western.
Strong Legendary and Real Heroes: Counterbalancing beliefs about womens place is the historic veneration of some powerful, albeit exceptional, women. Stories of warrior women such as Hua Mulan and various militant Ninja types appear regularly in classical Chinese fiction. In Japan, samurai women appear, like Tomoe Gozen who supposedly rode into battle alongside her husband during Gempei Wars, or Hojo Masako (1157-1225), wife of Japans first shogun, who directed armies and in effect ruled the Shogunate from the convent where she had retired after her husbands death. Later, bands of women armed with the exclusively female sword called naginata, were called upon to defend their towns or castles. Japanese girls today still learn to use this long sword.
Essay on the gender difference in history: women in China and Japan.
The more positive influences of Shintoism were weakened by the samurai culture and spread of Confucianism and Buddhism in Japan. Yet, in the Heian era (950-1050 C.E.) women still held relative equity in marriage, education, and property rights. Gender difference in this period favored literate women who were free to write in the expressive, popular vernacular language, while men most often wrote in the more formal, inaccessible, classical Chinese. Both the independence and the gender limits of women of the pampered elite are wonderfully illustrated in the lively, gossipy writings of , Sei Shogonon, and other Heian female writers.
1920s American History Essay - Marked by Teachers
Ancient Chinas highest goddess, Hsi Huang Mu (Queen Mother of the West), found in the classic tale Journey to the West, also expresses aspects of yin/yang beliefs. As yin, this goddess is compassionate, promising immortality; as yang, she is a force who had the power to disrupt the cosmic yin/yang harmony. This pervasive fear that women could bring chaos by upsetting the cosmic harmony was an obstacle for women who aspired to male political leadership. Those who succeeded were accused of breaking one of natures laws, of becoming like a hen crowing. Years after her reign, this derogatory term was applied to Chinas only female emperor, (Tang dynasty, 625-705 C.E.).
American History Free Essays 1 - 30 - Brainia
In postwar America, it seemed as if everyone wanted to have their own unique holiday card. Families printed idealized photos of themselves, businesses combined season's greetings with advertising, and political organizations lobbied for support. During the turbulent 1960s even the Chicago Seven and Black Panthers sent out cards ("Merry Christmas to the People," reads one). In the 1970s a jovial black Santa with a bag full of presents smiles under his traditional red hat, which is decorated with the flag of Pan African Unity.
history 2 essay questions american Study Sets ..
In China, the concept of gender difference appears visually in the male/female aspects of the yin/yang Taoist symbol. The dark swirl within the symbols circle is the passive, yielding, feminine yin; the light swirl the active, aggressive, male yang. Neither principle is considered subordinate to the other; each complements the other and is capable of expressing both female and male characteristics. Within Taoism, then, women were able to seek spiritual fulfillment beyond their family duties. Some joined convents, others gathered with men to discuss philosophy and religion, a few became Taoist adepts.