Pick of the Day: Onna-Bugeisha

Chris is working on a Bowie post about the song, “It’s No Game”.  In this song, Bowie says he wanted to “break down a particular type of sexist attitude about women [and] thought the [idea of] the “Japanese girl” typifies it, where everyone pictures them as a geisha girl, very sweet, demure and non-thinking, when in fact that’s the absolute opposite of what women are like.”

I sometimes get to help with research for Chris’ blog and this song, he felt, was right up my alley since I lived in Japan and have experience the culture firsthand.  Coffee was my only assistant as I listened to the oh-so-good song and helped out with the question of language and gender roles, or why it meant so much that a Japanese woman spoke like a Japanese man.

Best was remembering a history lesson from my adopted ojisan (grandfather) where I learned about onna-bugeisha, women of the bushi (samurai) class in feudal Japan, trained in the use of weapons to protect their household, family, and honor in times of war.  Kind of a good example that no matter who says so, society or otherwise, women are always standing in the front.

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