Male chauvinism in Japan still remains deeply.

Dark side of Japanese culture revealed:


My previous blog post shows the image of Japan and Japanese culture.
The world does not seems to have much negative impression toward Japan and Japanese products. However, the survey is more focused an image of Japanese products. How about culture? Well, from media, Japan and Japanese culture might be seen as “clean”, “kind”, “respectful”, “high technology country”, “modern”, “cultural”, etc… and many media show positive sides of Japan and Japanese culture which is everywhere on internet.

Gender discrimination in Japan.

Recently, there was a news on gender discrimination act in Tokyo metropolitan assembly.
A male member Akihiro Suzuki (liberal democrats) hooted and jeered at a female member Ayaka Shiomura during her speech on a late marriage issue. Suzuki said “Why don’t you get married now?” and some other male member said “after you give a birth” to her. The topic proposed by the female member was increasing of late marriage causes lots of issues for females such as pregnancy and childcare.

I strongly feel Japan is still masculine society. The existence of  word “男尊女卑” /danson jyohi/ means “respect for men, contempt for women” which cannot be translated into specific English word. I believe that this word means a bit different from masculine society or male chauvinism in Japan.

Comparing to the world:

1 ) The graph shows the % of the number of female CEOs in the listed companies (Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) 1st Section) in Japan and 1000 fortune companies in the US.

number of companiesnumber of female CEOs%
the U.S1000505%

US: the 2014 Fortune 1000 lists

In the Japanese companies, females in the CEO positions or board members are rarely found. This is because the concept of the “house wife” still exists in Japanese mind positively and tacit understanding not only among males but also females.

2) Number of female members of national parliaments.

the Inter-Parliamentary Union provided the % of female members in the world nations by National Parliaments by 1st May 2014. According to the result, Japan was ranked 132 in the world.

The list below is top 10 countries of the highest % of female member.

rank/countryseatsfemale member%
1   Rwanda 1066158%
2 Andorra281450%
3 Cuba61229949%
4 Sweden34915745%
5 South Africa45319743%
6 Seychelles321443%
7 Senegal1506543%
8 Finland2008542%
9 Nicaragua923942%
10 Ecuador1375741%

How about Japan? and Other East Asian countries?

rank/countryseatsfemale member%
132 Japan7227811%


rank/countryseatsfemale member%
62 China298769923%
92 Democratic People’s Republic of Korea68711216.3%
95 Republic of Korea68711216.2%
99 Mongolia741114.9%

This shows that strong domination of males in politics in Japan, and might have caused the gender discrimination act in the Tokyo metropolitan assembly.

Moreover, world economic forum shows interesting facts of gender gap in the world. This report is based on economic, political, education- and health-based criteria of 136 countries.

As you can see, almost all countries mapped to red are Islamic countries, BUT Japan. This strongly tells that the incident in Tokyo metropolitan assembly is not personal anymore, but entire country have a problem on this gender issue. As the title says, male chauvinism in Japan still remains deeply in politics, education, and economics.

I don’t know exactly where is this mindset started, but historically and traditionally speaking, Japanese culture has been growing together with females such as 天照大神/Amaterasu Oookami/ (The highest God in Shintoism and we believe that she created the world). I bet the transition is where the Samurai culture started because it is the time when Buddhism wide spread into Japan, especially into Samurai and later to peasants.