*** World War II Japan Japanese Home Front--Women

World War II: Japanese Home Front--Women

World War II Japanese women
Figure 1.-- World War II even before the arrival of the Americans revolutionized Japan with the impact on women. You can see the role women occupied in family portariats. Men and children commonly wear Western dress. The women, however, wear traditional clothing. A Japanese reader tell us that the banner read. "Congratulations!. Going gto War and the individuals nam Shinoda Masaharu. Click on the image to see the translation. Also interesting is the salutations--"Congratulatiions" for going off to War. That is not what we in the West would say. And as best we can tell, it is the eldely gentleman who is being congatularted while is sons, grandchildren, and nephews are staying home. We suspect this means that it was early in the War or even before Pearl Harbor.

World War II even before the arrival of the Americans revolutiinized Japan with the impact on women. Much has been written about about the impact of the War on women in Amerca and Britain. The impact on Japanese women was even more dramatic. Rural women had since ancient days worked with their men in the field. The situatiin was different in Japan's rapidly expannding industrial cities. Women mostly remained quietly at home, carrying out domestic duties and traditiinal activities like the tea ceremony. They did not vote or engage in public discouese in any notable way. Working-class women were to some extent involvd in the wider economy, working in the silk, textile, and weaving factories. They were, however, either very poor or youths after finish school. After marriage they retired to the home, no longer working for wages. They would only venture out to the local markets or family outings. Japanese men expected their wives to be subservient and obedient. Few Jaoanese women questioned this role. Some authors even report that traditional roles grew even more rigid in the early-20th century. You can see this in family portrits. Men and children commonly wear Western dress. The women, however, wear traditiinal clothing. Japan began wageing war nearly a decade before the outbreak of war in Europe. The japanese military seized Manchuria (1931). This was a relatively limited undertaking because the Chinese Government did not resist. This changed when Japan invaded China proper (1937). Even so the military-dominated Government had no intention of fundamentally changing Japanese society. As a result, despite increasing strains in the economy and the absence of men called up for military srvice, the Government did not mobilize women. This changed when Japan launched thePacific War by attacking the United States at Pearl Harbor (1941). This required a much greater national effort, especially because the war in China continued. The Government called upon women to support the war effort and to make sacrifices to achieve victory. And the effort needed along with the sacrifices only increased as the war after Midway (1942) began to go wrong. Japan mobilized for war to a greater extent than perhaps any other country, only the resources needed for war were not available. Although Japan conquered the Southen Resource Zone (SRZ) it so coveted, as the U.S. Navy recovered, most of those resources never reached the war industries on the Home Island as the Maru fleet was successfully targeted and destroyed. One resource at first untapped was the country's women. The militarists who launched the War had no intention of doing so, but they began a social revolution, as women and girls were mobilized for factory work-- forever altering the role of Japanese women.


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Created: 7:34 AM 12/31/2013
Last updated: 6:48 PM 9/14/2023