Philosophy and gender
Through Japanese history, most philosophers are male and female philosophers are really rare. Women were hard to express their ideas publicly. In ancient Japan, women had lower social status than men because males thought females should stay at home and feed children. Also, “Women” were defined in terms of their ties to traditional Confucian family morals (JPS 1128) so males always thought education and thinking were not necessary to women. The unequal status of male and female leads the rare of women philosophers. Even increase education opportunities and the birth of specialized journals in Meiji Restoration there are still many males view of women as domestic “property”(JPS 1115).
The difference between male and female is not only in sexual but also in gender. Sexual difference is biological, but gender difference is socially constructed (Nov 20). Male and female have different body structure this means the sexual difference and the gender difference reflect in social status. I think the gender difference leads to the above appearance that male philosophers are much more than females. Is female’s status such lower at the very beginning? I think the answer is no. There is a famous god in Japan named Amaterasu who is the symbol of the sun and Link to imperial family and protector of Japan (Nov 20). There are also evidences to prove ancient Japan was matrilineal succession. So in the very beginning, women also have high social status. One example is shamanism, which thought women, had special power contact with the spirit world of ghosts and divinities, giving them the magical power to predict the future or cure diseases (Nov 20). It also let young girl to become maiden assistants in Shinto ritual.
In Heian period, women became prominent literary figures and I think it’s a process in women status. There are some famous literary such as Murasaki Shikibu’s...