IGWS Newsletter Vol. 33

  • Report on the 25th IGWS Seminar at Aichi Shukutoku University
  • Students' feedback on the 25th IGWS Seminar
  • Looking back at the time when IGWS was founded ― An essay written by Junko Kuninobu, Aichi Shukutoku University, Professor Emeritus
  • My memory of Ms. Junko Kuninobu
  • The 5th Meeting of Discussing Graduation Theses Written from a Gender Perspective
  • After participating in a Seminar of Reproductive Health and Rights (a group seminar of the gender-equal promotion program 2011, by Nisshin City's Civic Collaboration Department).
  • Announcement about the 4th Lecture Series
  • Gender & Women's Studies: Open lectures (2012)

Report on the 25th IGWS Seminar

"Viewing Korean Dramas from a Gender Perspective"
( Speaker:Ms. Yeongae Yamashita. Lecturer at Ritsumeikan University)

 Ms. Yamashita, who has published and translated the books on the "comfort women" issue, talked about Korean dramas. She lectured on the following three topics: 1. Korean dramas and women, 2. Relocation of patriarchal culture, 3. The necessity of drama literacy activities.

 Ms. Yamashita first talked about the influence of Korean dramas in Japan. She then explained that women in Korean dramas are depicted passively, whereas men are described as ideal, which is far from the reality. Korean dramas often deal with the strong family bonds and convey a family-oriented Korean culture. Therefore, we find nostalgia and purity in Korean dramas because Japanese people miss these nowadays.

 Next, she showed some typical scenes from the drama and explained what those scenes signified. For example, she showed one story where a wife who has devotedly worked for her family for a long time suddenly declares "a halt to her being a housewife." This story indicates the backlash against the division of labor by gender roles. Ms. Yamashita also pointed out the cultural translation: in Japan people watch Korean dramas without understanding the difference between Japanese and Korean cultures. When people translate them into Japanese, they don't translate Korean cultures properly into Japanese ones.

 Lastly, she introduced the activities of monitoring the contents of Korean dramas. Since the late 1990s, women's movements and civil organizations began monitoring the dramas earnestly. Among them, the Media Campaign Headquarter of Korean Female Friends Association is proposing "Guidelines of deliberative broadcasting from the equal gender perspective."

 As we saw the actual scenes of Korean dramas, we also learned how to analyze dramas. Approximately 100 people including participants from outside the university, eagerly listened to Ms. Yamashita's meaningful lecture. A lively question and answer session followed afterwards.

Looking back at the time when our Institute was founded: An essay by Junko Kuninobu (Professor Emeritus, Aichi Shukutoku University and the first director of IGWS. She retired in September, 2011.)

 It goes back to 1991 when my involvement with this institute began. Ms. Mitsuko Ohno, a then-professor of Department of English Literature, asked me to get in charge of some classes when our university began a comprehensive course called "Modern Society and Women."

 The opportunity of establishing an institute came to us when making a textbook for this course. We made a textbook called "Modern Society and Women: Development and Women" (by Mitsuko Ohno and Junko Kuninobu, 1993, Aichi Shukutoku University) for the comprehensive course, sold it inside and outside of the campus, and dedicated its proceeds to the university. The university returned the proceeds, saying there were no items on the appropriate accounting for the proceeds. Therefore with that money we founded this institute, which had been our faculty's longtime desire. We would like to remember that IGWS was the first institute of gender and women's study in the Tokai area, as well as the first research institute in the coed-universities in Japan.

 Exchanging information with international women's societies was useful. We had a strong relationship with the teachers of Women's Studies at the University of California at Berkeley where I had stayed and done my research work for 2 years. We decided our seminar themes in consultation with Berkeley and the curriculums of their feminism activities.

 On our campus, we tried to make our students interested in gender issues. We let them monitor their gender troubles and let them make presentations in the classes. In and outside the campus, we held seminars. When we hold a seminar on changing roles of housewives, quite a few women outside of the university attended it even in the evening.

 It is important to search new study fields on gender issues from global view points. It is still our important social responsibility to nurture young people who have sensitive gender perspectives in any field of knowledge.

The 5th Meeting of Discussing Graduation Theses Written from a Gender Perspective

 The 5th meeting was held on Friday, January 20, 2012. This year there were two reports from Faculty of Culture and Creative Arts, and one from Faculty of Literature. The researches on the preceding studies on the gender related subjects and the report on the survey from gender perspectives were presented. The meeting became an inspiring occasion to share their challenging experiences of writing their theses and hunting for jobs at the same time. They also shared thoughts to make their research useful for their future plans. The names of students and the theses are as follows:

  • KAWASAKI, Shiori. Faculty of Culture and Creative Arts. "Break the ice with "Friendship"
  • SASAKI, Takuma. Faculty of Letters, Department of Education. "The Relation between Extra Curriculum Education and Gender"
  • KATO, Yuka. Faculty of Culture and Creative Arts. "Working-poor in Japan: From the Prospective of Part-time Workers".

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