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Women in Medieval Japan

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Darcie Schlink

on 20 October 2015

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Transcript of Women in Medieval Japan

The social Position
of Women in Shogunate

By Darcie Schlink
Women In Medieval Japan
in a Male dominated era...
Over the course of the medieval period, women lost many rights over men; it was suddenly expected of them to be obedient to all the men in their life. It was their duty to marry, raise a family, entertain and sometimes even fight to defend their homes. Their position varied an amount from what their social status was, but they were still obedient to the same core morals and belief as the other classes. These classes include peasant women, samurai women, upper-class women (geisha's and samurai) and Buddhist nuns. Through this presentation we will learn about their feudal placement and significant roles in their life.
Peasant Women
The lower class.
The women in the peasant class actually held more
freedom than the noblewomen; they had less strict morals and rules to abide of. The women often worked with their husbands farming, planting, threshing and hulling, or cooking and cleaning for wealthier families. Compared to the socially higher ranking women, peasants had more freedom in their choices and lifestyle.
Primary Source
This is a woodblock colour
print that was painted in
1830 by Katsushika Taito
II. It exhibits four women
(peasants) gathering and
collecting shellfish on the
river bank. This primary
source supports the infor-
mation in the last slide
because it is evidence
that peasant women worked
in the medieval era. We
can be certain that this is
a primary source of evidence
because it was painted in 1830,
which was inculded in the
Shogunate period.
Samurai Women
The fighters.
Samurai Women were still expected to act towards men
in a docile, humble and submissive way, but the contrast was that they were trained to fight. From a young age they were taught how to fight in battle, however they only very rarely fought alongside men in a conflict. Instead, women were trained so they were experienced and prepared to defend their home and children in times when her husband was away. So the moral of caring for her family is the same, just amplified.
Primary Source
This is an antique Japanese Naginata
that was used in the 1200-1800s. It
was carried by Samurai women to
defend their homes against enemy
attacks. It is a long spear that includes
a wooden handle and case, where the
blade would typically be made out of
sharp steel. This depicts the information
because this what the japanese samurai women used to use to defend themselves, and their homes in times of need. We know that this is a reliable primary source of
evidence because this photo is of a naginata that was used in the 1200-1800s, and those years are classified as the 'Shogunate' period.

The entertainers.
Secondary Source
This is a photo that was taken in a Japanese festival in 2010. It exemplifies
two young women who are dressed
in traditional kimonos, wearing the
customary make-up and hairstyle. This
secondary source of evidence supports the information stated in the previous
slide because it is displaying clearly
the ancient dress that Geisha's wore
in celebration. We can be positive
that this is a secondary source because
this is a photo of a commemoration of ancient Japan, and ancient Geisha's. It
was not taken in the medieval period because it is a reenactment, so therefore it is not primary evidence.

The Japanese character for 'gei' means art or performance and 'sha' means person. Literally translated, geisha means 'a person of the arts or performance'. Geisha's were trained all their lives to dance, sing, play various instruments, paint, to write poetry & calligraphy, do flower arrangement and also learn social adequate, graces and conversing skills. They are amongst the most respected women in society, even though they stood no lower than a peasant and no higher than a samurai. To become a Geisha, a girl had to be a daughter of a geisha, like samurai, although very beautiful young girls from lower classes were sometimes sold to tea houses to serve the customers. Within the 16th century, they became very popular. The traditional makeup is a thick white base, red lipstick and black accents around the eyes and brows, and to wear a kimono that's appearance varies with the seasons. A Geisha's identity is easily recognized because of their contrast with contemporary beauty across the world.
Buddhist Nuns
Women took an active part in the religions of early Japan. When Buddhism first appeared, it was only practiced and appealed by upper-class women. The conversion to become a nun gave them the
aversion to marriage, and it also opted few leadership roles for the
women. Visits to the temple offered an escape from their homes
and families also. Japanese women often joined sisterhood if
they had been recently widowed, and their children had grown
Religious beliefs.
Secondary Source
This is an exert from a website named ' A guide to Japanese Buddhism' , which
describes the uses and practices for the
religion in Japan. It covers the cultures,
teachings, the various temples,
schooling and the difference types of Buddhism throughout Shogunate and Modern Japan. The link above the picture sends you to the homepage (displayed in the
picture to the left). This collaborates with
the information given in the past slide
because the website describes Buddhism, which is the topic that was discussed.
We know that this is a secondary source
because the site was established after
the Shogunate period, so therefor the
opinion is not primarily from that time.

My Haiku
To summarize....
Women in Japan
They were expected to serve
To marry, to care.
Full transcript