“The Coming of the New Class Society: Gender Matters” Chizuko Ueno’s Presentation at ISA World Congress of Sociology (July 2014)

ISA World Congress of Sociology (Facing an Unequal World: Challenging for Global Society) was held in Japan from July 13th to 18th, 2014. The Congress is held once every four years and over 4,000 sociologists gathered in Yokohama, Japan this time.
Program Information

Chizuko Ueno, chairperson of WAN, made a presentation at the Opening Presidential Panel, under the title of “the Coming of the New Class Society: Gender Matters.”

Presidential Plenary I: Facing an unequal World
Her presentation is available online at http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/50029763 (starting from 00:59:00)

Original Article: Chizuko’s Blog No. 75
Adopted and Translated by Fumie Saito


Say No to Makoto Aida Winning the Ango Award: Report on the Symposium

Say No to Niigata City Giving the Ango Award to Mr. Makoto Aida
Geijutsu to Ieba Nandemo Yurusarerunoka Renrakukai (Liaison Committee of “Can anything be allowed under the name of art?”) reports here on the symposium Houtteokenai Dai 8-kai Ango-sho – Jinken no Shiten Kara (Unignorable the 8th Ango Awards – From the Human Rights Perspective) (on June 22, at Niigata City) as well as on the post-symposium situations.

[Report on the Symposium]
Mr. Makoto Aida is an artist known for his works containing violence against women such as “Dogs” series. This symposium was planned by the residents and non-residents of Niigata city who question the fact that Niigata City had given him the 8th Ango Award. The four panelists were Chieko Nishiyama (Lecturer of Aoyama Gakuin University), Tomomi Shibuya (Associate Professor of Tokyo Keizai University), Minori Kitahara (Representative of Love Peace Club), and Kazue Muta (Professor of Osaka University). The members of Niigata Gender Seminar took a role of MC. Just over 40 people attended the symposium including some from outside of Niigata city or prefecture such as Tokyo.
Unfortunately, none of the four panelists are Niigata City residents. Shibuya mentioned this in her opening statement telling how difficult it is for locals to criticize the Niigata City’s award-giving in an onymous manner and explaining about the barrier they face in expanding the Ango Award criticism locally.
Each panelist’s presentation was summarized below.
Titling Kensho: Dai 8-kai Ango-sho no Tsukurarekata/ Katararekata (Verification: How the 8th Ango Awards were Created and Told), Nishiyama presented the photos of street ads for Makoto Aida exhibitions, his works such as “Dogs” series, the outline of the Ango Awards, the information on the City’s website, etc. Then, she re-criticized the criticism against feminism found in the Niigata Nippo’s article reporting a symposium held by Niigata University of International and Information Studies. The local newspaper’s article had been posted just before the artist received the Award. She strongly insisted that Niigata City needed to withdraw the Ango Award from Mr. Aida as the City failed to inform their citizens of his works containing sexual violence and his language and behavior about his restroom peeping and yet praised his “way of being” as “dysphemism.”
Shibuya chose “Why is it a problem for a city to award an artist with tarnished image which makes people think that he may have committed sex crimes?” as her subject. Following this, she introduced Mr. Aida’s Twitter comment as he implied his restroom peeping in the past, “My image as an artist has been tarnished anyway. (Even if my past crime was revealed,) it would not hurt me at all.” She pointed out that the problem was not his behavior in the past but his current attitude to unapologetically take whatever he may have done into his own image as an artist. She also pleaded that one of the roles of government is to promote the state in which anyone is recognized to have equal freedom and dignity, and the award by Niigata City would simply abandon the role. She strongly appealed not to become accustomed to acceptance and it was the time to raise a voice of anger.
Kitahara criticized, in association with the works of Makoto Aida, the current situation of Japan with a serious amount of Lolita-complex products distributed. Lolita-complex goods are top-ranked in the sales of Amazon’s adult products. In child star video, girls of around 5 years old or older appear in a bathing suit and are consumed sexually. Bathing suit events of elementary and junior high school girls are held every week in Akihabara. As the Japanese society is tolerant to such male sexual desire, criticism against pornography raised from the women’s side, similar to the criticism against Makoto Aida, tends to be neutralized. She concluded that she wanted to establish a network in which women could raise their voice and discuss pornography.
The last presentation was brought by Muta titled “Expression of Sexual Violence and Sexual Crimes that Silence Women.” By explaining the social structure in which women are forced to be silent in a misogynistic society in case of pornography or sexual crimes, she indicated asymmetricity that “freedom from sexual taboos” has always been established on a unilateral basis by using the sex of women. She proposed four things we could do or we wanted to do: 1) Believe in what you think “normal”; 2) Look at artworks closely and see the substance of them; 3) Look at artworks from a female point of view; and 4) Show how you feel.
Because the symposium covered an ongoing issue in the local community, close to 20 quality feedbacks and questions (equal to roughly half of the attendees) were given and highly concentrated Q&A continued. Finally the symposium came to a close and the place of discussion was changed and brought into a post-symposium party.

[Post-symposium Report: The Niigata Nippo news, the comments of Niigata City Bunka Seisaku-ka (Cultural Policy Department) and Niigata City Mayor]
The Niigata Nippo (morning edition on June 26) reported on this symposium titled “Niigata City’s selection for the Ango Awards received criticism at the symposium concerning affirmation of sexual violence.” As the Committee members, Nishiyama and Shibuya, as described above, questioned Mr. Aida’s taking restroom peeping into his own image as an artist and accused the City government’s awarding his way of being. However, the Niigata Nippo’s article deleted this point of argument and did not even mention the fact that Shibuya was one of the panelists. It reported the citizens on this symposium focusing only on the artworks. This is an apparent information control. In the end of this article, it introduced the worn-out comment issued by the City’s Cultural Policy Department; “the selection committee highly evaluated (Mr. Aida’s) critical spirit as he accurately looks at today.”
Furthermore, Niigata City Mayor said at a press conference held on June 27 on the Ango Award criticism at the June 22 symposium, “With being an outlaw as one of the subjects, various conflicts cannot be avoided from happening. (The critical voices) will not affect the future selection for the Awards.” “I sincerely listen to criticism. I will not argue with the selection committee whomever they choose.”The Niigata Nippo morning edition on June 28
For the last time, I would repeat this as many times as I could, but our point regarding Mr. Aida’s restroom peeping (in fact, female genitals peeping) is not “Don’t award someone who peeped into restrooms in the past.” We are saying, “the city must not praise as an outlaw or award the artist who implies his own sexual criminal experience of women’s restroom peeping, takes it into part of his “artist image” claiming it would not hurt him at all, and continues to utilize it as he publishes a restroom peeping novel.
Currently, sexual discrimination and sexual harassment by taunting at assemblies are being called into question with severity. Similarly, sexual discrimination and sexual harassment by giving an award should never be allowed. The dispute in Niigata will heat up from this point on.

Original Article on the WAN Website: August 13, 2014
Translated by Kumiko Moriya


CFP: Asian Association of Women's Studies

Asian Association of Women’s Studies
[Phase 2] Korea-ASEAN Cooperation Project (KACP) on Education and Exchange Program for Young Scholars in Women’s Studies

  • Theme:     “Uncovering Korea-ASEAN Women’s Lived Realities through Feminist Research”
  • Date:         29-31 October 2014
  • Venue:      Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Penang, Malaysia
  • Host:           Asian Association of Women’s Studies (AAWS)
  • Organizers: Women’s Development Research Centre (KANITA), Universiti Sains Malaysia; Asian Center for Women’s Studies (ACWS), Ewha Womans University
  • Cooperating Agencies:  Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN); ASEAN University Network (AUN)

This project is supported by the ASEAN-ROK Cooperation Fund.

The Asian Association of Women’s Studies (AAWS) invites participants to the Korea-ASEANCooperation Project (KACP) on Education and Exchange Program for Young Scholars in Women’s Studies, which will be held at the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Penang, Malaysia on October 29-31, 2014. USM is popularly known as “university in a garden” and Penang has been designated as a UNESCO heritage site because of its rich tradition and culture.

Objectives of the KACP
In coordination with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the ASEAN University Network (AUN), AAWS designs and conducts Phase 2 of the KACP with the theme “Uncovering Korea-ASEAN Women’s Lived Realities through Feminist Research” in order to:
  1. empower young women scholars and disseminate Women's Studies to institutions where Women's Studies is not well established as yet;
  2. understand the lives and experiences of women, share information, and strengthen the network of women scholars;
  3. develop and practice academic and social leadership in the program; and
  4. promote collaborative research and publication on issues concerning women’s/gender studies and leadership.
Eligibility to Apply and Participate
  1. Identity as young women scholars in Korea and in ten ASEAN member states (i.e., Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam). Young scholars refer to the doctoral students, postdoctoral researchers, research fellows, junior teaching staff, and the like.
  2. Current affiliation with a university or a research institute
  3. Experience in conducting research or feminist research on women
  4. Holder of passport that is valid for at least 6 months

Participant Selection
Participant selection will be based on the evaluation results of these required documents:
  1. Application Form (downloadable from http://www.aaws07.org) = 50%
  2. Abstract (downloadable from http://www.aaws07.org) = 50%
Note: The Application Form and Abstract should be sent to the official email of KACP Phase 2: kacp014@gmail.com on or before the deadline of application on August 11, 2014 at 12 midnight (time in Malaysia).

Guidelines for Abstract Submission
Abstracts should deal with any of the following general themes in the contexts of Korea and ten ASEAN member states:
a.Women’s Education and Empowerment
b.Feminist Research and Ethical Issues
c.Women’s Activism and Scholarly Work
d.Women’s Creative Leadership
  1. Abstracts should be limited to 300 words only.
  2. All submitted abstracts will be reviewed. Results will be announced on August 29, 2014.
  3. All authors of accepted abstracts will automatically become presenters and participants during the International Workshop on Women’s Studies on October 29-31, 2014 at the Universiti Sains Malaysia in Penang, Malaysia.
  4. All authors of accepted abstracts will be asked to submit their full papers on or before September 29, 2014. Failure to submit the full paper on the deadline will mean a cancellation of participation to the international workshop.

Guidelines for Full Paper Submission
  1. With a minimum of 10 pages and a maximum of 12, full papers should be based on the accepted submitted abstracts.
  2. All papers may be written as case studies, comparative researches, investigative papers or narratives.
  3. All authors of submitted full papers should be aware of the danger of plagiarism. Proper citation and acknowledgement of sources should be observed.
  4. More specific technical requirements will be given to accepted abstracts only.
  5. All authors of submitted full papers may be asked to refine or develop further their work for possible publication.

All KACP participants will be given full financial support for a roundtrip transportation (air/land/water), accommodation, and meals for three days (October 29-31, 2014).

Important Dates
11 Aug 2014      : Deadline for Application & Abstract Submission
29 Aug 2014      : Notification of Acceptance/Participant Selection
29 Sep 2014       : Final Submission of Full Papers
15 Oct 2014       : Final Submission of Powerpoint (ppt) Presentation File

For more related information and inquiries regarding the KACP, please visit the website, email, or call the organizers at the addresses provided below.

 Asian Association of Women’s Studies (AAWS)
Website: www.aaws07.org

Women's Development Research Centre (KANITA)
Universiti Sains Malaysia
11800 USM, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Tel: +604 653 3436/3445/3433
Fax: +604 656 6379
Website: http://kanita.usm.my

Asian Center for Women’s Studies
Ewha Womans University
11-1 Daehyun-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, 120-750, Korea
Tel. +82.2.3277.2964
Website: http://acws.ewha.ac.kr

[Phase 2] KACP Official Email:

Posted by Eiko Saeki  


Another Story Pecoross’ Mother and Her Days, a Japanese Drama Film about Nursing Care, Depicts

Directed by Azuma Morisaki
(TC Entertainment, 2/7/2014)
Buy this DVD (jump to an Amazon page)

Written by Yuichi Okano
(Nishi-Nippon Shimbunsha, 7/7/2012)
Buy this book (jump to an Amazon page)

Pecoross' Mother and Her Days (the original Japanese title: Pecoross no Haha ni Ai ni Iku, which literally means “Pecoross Visiting His Mother”) is a well-reputed Japanese drama film directed by Azuma Morisaki, which was voted as the best Japanese film of 2013 by Kinema Junpo, one of the most prestigious movie magazines in Japan. I guess many people have watched the film in a movie theater. This film is based on a manga of the same title by Yuichi Okano, who wrote it from his own experience of caring his mother. A “pecoross” in the title means a small onion, but it is also the pen name of Okano.

The film depicts many different events happening with relation to the care of Yuichi’s demented mother Mitsue, sometimes amusingly, sometimes calmly and empathetically. Yuichi’s cynical and humorous attitude toward Mitsue and the people around her often makes you giggle, and adds a comical taste to this film with the serious theme of nursing care. I believe most of the episodes are familiar to anybody who has experiences of caring. 

But despite the film’s comical interpretation, the nursing care is basically not a laughing matter at all. In those everyday exchanges among the people who are involved with Mitsue, I saw a lot of challenges and difficulties surrounding nursing care, which stirred strongly my emotions. The people in the film also experience swings of emotions, where they one moment feel the joy of living together with Mitsue, but the next hope this endless-looking situation to be finished. The film’s overall lighthearted descriptions even more made me realize the sorrows and uneasiness they are feeling time to time.

This film has another point beyond nursing care. That is the life history of Mitsue, who was born in the 12th year of the Taisho era (in 1924) and now has been losing her sense of time. And in this film, she relives her past life and the audience re-experience it, which was really moving. The beautiful descriptions of times and life which Mitsue and her family have lived also make this film brilliant. In her life, Mitsue had a friend she grew up with and lost her. And Mitsue had a husband who was alcoholic and committed violence against her. 

I felt tears in my eyes as her memories of these events become more and more vivid toward the ending. I cannot forget the overwhelmed expression of Kiwako Harada, who played the young Mitsue, at the time she lost her friend. This scene embodies the injustice of life many women must have felt in the early years of the Showa era (1920s-40s), when they had no other ways to live but to obey somebody else’s will or to serve their husbands. There would also be another findings when you watch this film from Yuichi’s point of view. I totally recommend this film to everybody.

Original article written by Natsuko Nakamura
Translated by A. Tawara

Women Who Confronted with Their Days--- 8 Women in the Tumultuous Meiji Era

This is a biography of eight women who lived the tumultuous Meiji Era(1868-1912): Chiyo AOYAMA, Nioko WAKAE, Empress Haruko (the wife of Emperor Meiji), Kakei ATOMI, Osamu TAKABA, Ei WADA, Etsuko SUGIMOTO, and Kikue YAMAKAWA. They all had strong will and a sense of responsibility to get through the period.

 ‘Never Abandon the Desire to Learn’ Chiyo AOYAMA: a member of the inaugural class of the Tokyo Women’s Teacher’s School (the current Ochanomizu University). She is the mother of Kikue YAMAKAWA.

 ‘Objection to the Meiji Government’ Nioko WAKAE: The private tutor of Empress Haruko. She advocated the exclusion of foreigners as a Cofucian and was expelled from Kyoto by the founders of the Meiji Government, such as Tomomi IWAKURA.

 ‘To Be the “Model” of the Japanese Modern Women’ Empress Haruko: The empress dowager praised as the “spirit of the Japanese royal family” in the dawn of the modern Japan.

 ‘Strategies to the School Administration!’ Kakei ATOMI: The founder of the current Atomi University. She introduced liberal arts to her school while implementing the traditional Japanese-style education for women.

 ‘Training Rough Guys with Spirits of Rebelliousness’ Osamu TAKABA: The head of a private school called Koshi-juku. She was a Cofucian and dressed as a man. One of her students was Mitsuru TOYAMA. Toyama went on to be the leader of Genyosha, one of the Japanese main political organizations at that time.

 ‘Taking the Responsibility for the Encouragement of New Industry’ Ei WADA: A daughter of an official of the Matsushiro Domain. She worked for Tomioka Silk Mill and wrote The Tomioka Diary.

 ‘Working as a Cultural Bridge Between Japan and USA’ Etsuko SUGIMOTO: A daughter of an official of the Nagaoka Domain. She taught Japanese language and culture at Colombia University and wrote A Daughter of the Samurai.

 ‘Expressing Herself in a Bold and Frank Way’ Kikue YAMAKAWA: The wife of Hitoshi YAMAKAWA, who introduced Marxism to Japan as a communist. She stood in her political belief despite the suppression by the authority and became the first Director of the Women’s and Young Workers’ Bureau after World War II.

Some of them were so unique that they might have caused you some troubles if they had been your sisters or friends. Some did much more effort than no one ever could. You get overwhelmed by their remarkable energy and vitality, and moved by some tragedies beyond our imagination and dramatic events in their lives.

They went a little beyond the “conventional norms” before they knew it. Not all of them enjoyed honor and high social status or made their dreams come true. But when you imagine their lives from the anecdotes by those who knew them well, you can feel compassion for these women from the bottom of your heart. “Compassion” is not enough to describe the feeling you have when reading about them; it’s a kind of “co-vibration.” It should be a waste not to know such evocative stories of their lives.

This book includes 80 pictures and figures, as well as three columns, so that it would be accessible by those who may not be familiar with the Meiji Era. This book will provide you with a good opportunity to discover about these women.

Original Article written by Chizuru SAKAKIBARA (The author of this book)

Translated by N. TAJIMA