Date of Submission

Spring 2012

Academic Program

Political Studies

Project Advisor 1

Ken Haig

Abstract/Artist's Statement

This thesis delves into the evolution of women’s political power in Japan over the course of a century. Inspired by the blame placed on women today for the depopulation rate, I trace back the roots of female empowerment in order to understand how women in the past have approached political activism. As women abandon prevailing expectations of marriage, I question whether this is an escape or a political act in which they are resisting old traditions. This project is divided into three sections: the women’s suffrage movement in the pre-WWII period; the politics of housewives in the post-WWII period; and the political acts of resistance employed by women in this day and age. Japanese women wield power in unorthodox ways, but they are always making a statement and defending their position in a society that does not defend them.

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