HIEA 112 — Week 4 Discussion

The implication of ordinary Japanese people in committing these acts were in ways both conscious and subconscious. Conscious in the sense of hearing rumors and believing them to be justifications of their actions from the masacres to the violence. During that time there were many censorships of the happenings and when things are one sided, commonly there is the notion of misunderstanding and just following everyone else. With this being said, the subconscious side of it would be the herd mentality aspect. Many people in history fall into decisions driven by their need to fit in. In societies such as Japan during this time, straying from the crowd makes you stand out, and not in a good way. To ensure your own safety, one might just follow along, listening to others as a way to protect oneself from harm.

The link I found between Ayako and Koizumi Kikue were how similar their roles were. Both were depicted as housewives but their ways of living showed that despite the difference in status, there were still similar emotions and feelings such as being conflicted and having to adjust to different cultures. With that said however, I think something else that links the two is how they are perceived by those around them. Both followed the guide for what women were meant to be in imperial Japan and while their overall experiences were different, the perception that women were part of society as much as men, even if in less savory ways, really shows how women survived in such a heavily patristical time.

The different representations of the late 1930s femininity in imperial Japan connected with the masculinity explored in the readings as they gave insight on how men were suppose to be as well as how women were suppose to act in order to maintain the household for the men who were out. As men were soldiers, women were not perceived to be equals an in this case lead to fuelling men’s ego and masculinity as there were no one opposing them and with the nationalistic movement providing them more power, the social imbalance between men and women became obvious with their roles only aiding in this imbalance.