Regarding the Nov. 3 editorial “Women’s plight getting worse“: Poet and feminist Akiko Yosano (d. 1942), novelist Fumiko Hayashi (d. 1951) and novelist Sawako Ariyoshi (d. 1984) are just some of the great female voices that Japan has had in the modern era. There are more who yet live — all evidence of the great resources Japan has but systematically tries to shut down.
The worst happens in the schools. There we find the mindlessness of the system’s rules. There everyone gets stressed out by the depersonalization that comes from emphasis on cramming. Teachers have no personal priorities, but sink into orgies of “busy, busy, busy” — nearly 100 hours of overtime every month.
It’s the fear of the personal that stunts so many. Students could learn to write essays that would elevate some of the best qualities that women bring to society. But the stunted imaginations of the Japanese men who run the schools (as well as everything else) keep the emphasis on the deadly regimentations for the uber-rational.
I hate the consequent reporting on the downward spirals of many Japanese women, especially when reporters blithely keep ignoring the causes.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.