IGWS Newsletter Vol. 44

  • Report of the 34th IGWS Seminar
  • Students’ Feedback on the 34th IGWS Seminar
  • Report of the 1st Performance Presentation, “Expression Exercise of Gender Diversity”
  • Essays from Alumni, “My conclusion after consideration on being ‘as I am’”
  • Reflections on gender in everyday life

Report of the 34th IGWS Seminar: “Relationship between Mother and Daughter: Domination named Love”

Speaker: Ms. Sayoko Nobuta (President of Harajuku Counseling Center)

 Ms. Sayoko Nobuta is an experienced counselor on psychological matters dedicated to addiction or dependence in family relations, especially in the relationship between mothers and daughters. She cited the social background of a declining birthrate and aging population as reasons why mother-daughter relations had become problematic in Japan since the 1970s. While the social trend toward delayed-marriage or non-marriage among the young is growing, a daughter burdened with unreasonable expectations from her mother cannot abandon her family role and end up taking care of her parent by herself. In addition, as she cannot completely separate from her home even after her marriage, the mother and daughter will maintain a close relationship. Ms. Nobuta said that behind such a problematic mother-daughter relationship there is a co-dependent relationship, which we can call the relationship between an enabler and enabled person. In order to break the pattern of co-dependency, Ms. Nobuta explained, it is necessary to keep a distance from the other person. Her speech is based on numerous examples and very convincing. Actually, there were more general public audience participants than expected to attend the seminar, which seemed to represent the depth of interest in this problem among the public.

Report of the 1st Performance Presentation, “Expression Exercise of Gender Diversity”

 Here is the outline of the subjects “Expression Exercise of Gender Diversity I & II.” This is a newly established class from this year and it had its final performance presentation.
 This class aims to deepen the understanding of gender and diversity and to express them as plays. As the classes are taught in omnibus format, three teachers, Prof. Sumida Tatsuo of ASU, playwright and director Mr. Kaosu Karuma, and choreographer Ms. Tamami Yamada are in charge. Fifteen classes were in the spring semester and another fifteen were held as an intensive course in the summer. Though all the classes were challenging, this time 25 students participated until the end.
 Working on the issues assigned by the teacher, these students cultivated their own consciousness concerning gender, sexuality and diversity during the spring semester. At the same time they learned how to make up the body for performance and communicate with others on stage. In the latter intensive course, a play was built up from some topics invented by the students themselves. In the process, the students surprisingly showed their cooperativeness and tenacity as well as aggressive attitudes. Finally, Sixty-seven audiences came to see the performance presentation held on September 2nd and it ended with good reputation.

Essays from Alumni “My reflections on being who I am”

Ms. Seiga Yamada, who graduated from the Faculty of Media Theories and Production in 2013, contributed an article about her identity.

 Three and a half years have passed since I left my university. Meanwhile I had lost sight of who I was and felt a disconnect between my body and mind, but I was eventually able to regain a sense of self thanks to the support and encouragement from others. I discovered that both identity and femininity are created by free choice and not dictated by others.
 The turning point of my life was a trip to Okinawa with my seminar members. I met people who lived there and their ordinary lifestyles was impacted by the existence of a US military base. The miserable history of Okinawa and the shocking reality before my eyes deeply wounded my heart. Since such an experience, I have gone to Okinawa as many times as possible.
 In this society, there are a lot of things we have to know and take action so that nobody will never be dominated or insulted anymore and both women and men with all kinds of gender can live “as they are.” I would like to participate in this society.

Reflections on gender in everyday life

Ms. Cho Sulsop, professor of our Department of Global Culture and Communication, wrote an essay about gender.

 Speaking from my experience, in a traditional patriarchal society women have been burdened by the expectation of sacrifice and obedience rather than human rights. Escape from such a society has been gradually progressing thanks to women’s education conveying gender equality thought and social or political enlightenment movements aiming to create a new society. Like in many countries, gender equality has not yet been achieved.
 “Why is gender equality in Japan so difficult?: The Global Gender Gap Report 2016 introduced by the World Economic Forum.” (The Asahi Shimbun, 02/06/2017) Reading the Japanese newspaper, my eyes immediately catch the article regarding gender. It is certainly a topic that is important to me.

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