Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version


The Effects of Japanese Income Tax Provisions on Women’s Labour Force Participation


Shibata, Aiko. 1992. “The Effects of Japanese Income Tax Provisions on Women’s Labour Force Participation.” In Women's Work in the World Economy, edited by Nancy Folbre, B. Bergmann, B. Agarwal, and M. Floro, 169-79. London: Palgrave Macmillan London.

Author: Aiko Shibata


At a session of the Congress of the International Institute of Public Finance in Istanbul in the summer of 1988, a gentleman from a small oil-producing country in the Middle East asked me: ‘Was there any effective governmental means of keeping wives at home?’ I was taken by surprise and didn’t know how to respond. However, I later realised that Japanese tax laws implicitly do just that. Designed to give a tax break to married taxpayers, they discourage housewives from taking jobs. Further, many private companies have adopted wage structures that also discourage housewives from working out-side their homes.

Keywords: marginal contribution, labour participation rate, spouse earning, high income group

Topics: Economies, Public Finance, Gender, Women, Governance, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: Japan

Year: 1992

Gender in Japan: The Unseen Aspect of Natural Disaster Risks


Petraroli, Irene, and Jane Singer. 2020. "Gender in Japan: The Unseen Aspect of Natural Disaster Risks." Paper presented at the 3rd International Conference on Gender Research, University of Reading, April 2-3.

Authors: Irene Petraroli, Jane Singer


During a natural disaster, the role of gender is a sensitive but unexplored topic. Research is needed not only to improve existing policies in disaster risk reduction, but also to inspire new ways to strengthen disaster resilience through gender equality. This project based on disaster preparedness in Japan not only adds to the conference focus on women empowerment in a specific context, but also gives the opportunity to discuss gender beyond the dominant Western paradigms. The focus on disaster prevention is not casual. The scarcity of information and fora of discussion on gender is one of the reasons for Japan’s low level of gender equality. However, since disaster prevention is a universal concern, disaster education is the ideal opportunity to educate the public about gender awareness. In the current Japanese disaster education, gender is under- or mis-represented and the image of disaster differs from a realistic gendered experience. These problems led to the question “what is the public perception of gender-based disaster risk?”, and “does gender impact the perceptions of gender-based risks?”. To answer these questions, a survey based on behavioural-cognitive theory was designed to assess the public interest and the available information on gender during a disaster. Then, the responses were expanded and contextualised through observations, interviews and workshops. The results showed high interest for a gender perspective on disaster, but also significant differences between male and female respondents. The study also suggested a “cultural” understanding of gender in disaster based on the gendered stereotypes and expectations relied upon in case of disaster. 

Keywords: gender disaster risk, disaster risk communication, gender studies in Japan

Topics: Education, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: Japan

Year: 2020

Violence Against Women and Children Following the 2011 Great East Japan Disaster: Making the Invisible Visible Through Research


Yoshihama, Mieko, Tomoko Yunomae, Azumi Tsuge, Keiko Ikeda, and Reiko Masai. 2019. "Violence Against Women and Children Following the 2011 Great East Japan Disaster: Making the Invisible Visible Through Research." Violence Against Women 25 (7): 862-81.

Authors: Mieko Yoshihama, Tomoko Yunomae, Azumi Tsuge, Keiko Ikeda, Reiko Masai


This study reports on 82 unduplicated cases of violence against women and children after the Great East Japan Disaster of March 2011. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire from informants who worked with the disaster-affected populations. In addition to domestic violence, reported cases involved sexual assault and unwanted sexual contact, including quid pro quo assault perpetrated by nonintimates. Perpetrators often exploited a sense of fear, helplessness, and powerlessness and used threats to force compliance with sexual demands in exchange for life-sustaining resources. Findings point to the urgent need to develop measures to prevent and respond to postdisaster gender-based violence.

Keywords: domestic and sexual violence, gender-based violence, disaster and humanitarian emergencies

Topics: Domestic Violence, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender-Based Violence, Sexual Violence, Violence Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: Japan

Year: 2019

Gender-Based Risk and Protective Factors for Psychological Distress in the Midterm Recovery Period Following the Great East Japan Earthquake


Ishiguro, Aya, Machiko Inoue, Jane Fisher, Mariko Inoue, Shoko Matsumoto, and Kazue Yamaoka. 2019. "Gender-Based Risk and Protective Factors for Psychological Distress in the Midterm Recovery Period Following the Great East Japan Earthquake." Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness 13 (3): 487-96.

Authors: Aya Ishiguro, Machiko Inoue, Jane Fisher, Mariko Inoue, Shoko Matsumoto, Kazue Yamaoka


Objectives: Women and men might experience psychological distress differently during a disaster. This study investigated gender differences in the factors associated with psychological distress among working-age people 1 to 2 years after the Great East Japan Earthquake. Methods: A cross-sectional household survey of victims who remained living in their homes was conducted between May and December 2012 in Ishinomaki City, Japan. Psychological distress was defined as a Kessler Psychological Distress Scale ≥5, and gender differences were examined using a logistic regression analysis. Results: Data were obtained from 2593 individuals, and 1537 participants were included in the analyses. Psychological distress was observed in 28.0% of the participants. Living in a household without a salaried income and a low frequency of leaving the house were associated with psychological distress among women. Young age, lack of occupation and no informational support were associated with psychological distress among men. Income change due to the disaster and health complaints were associated with psychological distress in both genders. Conclusions: For women, stable household income and frequently leaving the house can be protective factors. For men, intervention focusing on young people, occupational support, and informational support may be useful. Income change after the disaster and health complaints may be risk factors in both genders.

Keywords: natural disasters, Psychological distress, gender difference, working age

Topics: Age, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Health, Mental Health, Households Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: Japan

Year: 2019

Re-Masculinizing the Nation: Gender, Disaster, and the Politics of National Resilience in Post-3.11 Japan


Koikari, Mire. 2019. "Re-Masculinizing the Nation: Gender, Disaster, and the Politics of National Resilience in Post-3.11 Japan." Japan Forum, 31 (2): 143-64.

Author: Mire Koikari


Following the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquakes, Japan has entered into a new phase of cultural production where discourses on risks, dangers, and calamities mobilize varieties of individuals and institutions for the purpose of maintaining the nation's safety and security. In this phase, masculinity plays a salient role, leading to a series of discourses and practices that have to do with manhood and nationhood. Drawing on insights from Masculinity Studies, Disaster Studies, and Cultural Studies, this article examines the workings of masculinity in post-disaster Japanese culture by analyzing ‘national resilience’, a leading national initiative that demands a sweeping transformation of the nation. Calling for the revitalization of the nation, national resilience also insists on the need to re-strengthen men and manhood, providing a gendered vision of national security in post-disaster Japan. Unlike other, more politicized sites of controversies on nation and nationhood, i.e. constitutional revision, Yasukuni Shrine, and comfort women, national resilience is a yet-to-be marked domain of contestation where the public concern with safety frequently overrides and obscures its political intentions and implications. Yet, national resilience constitutes a potent site of politics, where discourses about men, the military, nation, and empire are repeatedly mobilized to promote the revitalization of Japan.

Keywords: masculinity, safety and security, Great East Japan Earthquake, disaster resilience

Topics: Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Discourses, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Security Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: Japan

Year: 2019

Gender, Disaster and Stories from Popoki: Learning from Women Survivors in Northeast Japan


Alexander, Ronni. 2019. "Gender, Disaster and Stories from Popoki: Learning from Women Survivors in Northeast Japan." Journal of International Cooperation Studies 26 (2): 17-37.

Author: Ronni Alexander


This paper critically explores the question of gender and disaster, suggesting that much of the current thinking and practice serves to reproduce understandings of gender rather than transform them. The first half of the paper looks at issues of gender and disaster, providing a short introduction to some of the issues involved followed by a discussion of the meaning of gender and resilience in the context of peace. The second half introduces the stories of four women who experienced the Great Northeast Japan Earthquake. These stories were compiled through interviews and conversations occurring between 2011 and 2018 in the context of the Popoki Friendship Story Project, a support project organized shortly after the 2011 disaster. The stories illustrate women’s involvement with community after disaster and speak to the range of women’s responses and challenges. While in some ways they can be said to have been empowered, their stories suggest that they do not necessarily want empowerment, and that inclusion does not necessarily lead to transformation. The paper concludes with a reflection on theory and practice, stressing the importance of gender equity and equality as a prerequisite to transformative practices in disaster support. Working to foster peace before crises occur is therefore important for making societies more resilient and for greater inclusion and diversity during and after disaster.

Topics: Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Equity Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: Japan

Year: 2019

Disaster Recovery from a Gender and Diversity Perspective: Cases Following Megadisasters in Japan and Asian Countries


Tanaka, Yumiko, Mikio Ishiwatari, and Atsuko Nonoguchi. 2019. "Disaster Recovery from a Gender and Diversity Perspective: Cases Following Megadisasters in Japan and Asian Countries." Contributing Paper to GAR 2019. United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, Geneva.

Authors: Yumiko Tanaka, Mikio Ishiwatari, Atsuko Nonguchi


In the aftermath of disasters, local governments are primarily responsible for implementing quick recovery programs, including the relocation of affected people from areas at risk to safer places, rehabilitation of destroyed infrastructure, as well as the recovery of health, livelihood, social security and protection. The concerns of local administrations concerned, however, often face difficulties in reflecting diverse needs and perspectives into recovery programs, due to limited capacity and experiences dealing with a large number and variety of recovery programs under severe time and personnel constraints.
Recovery programs need consensus building among various groups, especially women, youth, the elderly and people with disabilities; and an integrated approach to multi-sectors, such as environment, ecosystem and town planning. Local communities need to express their voice in planning recovery programs, often with support from external experts and various aid organizations, including national and international CSOs. In reality, however, the inclusion of various groups in recovery planning is little concern of local governments, thus they end up to making one standard plan or one-size-fits-all plans, to avoid favoring one area/group over another. In addition, local people, especially women, youth, the elderly and people with disability, are often regarded as only victims or beneficiaries of humanitarian and emergency aid, rather than as actors and agents of change.
The Sendai Framework Recovery for DRR stresses enhancing disaster preparedness in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction as a priority area. The aftermath of disaster poses a great opportunity for women, youth and other local groups to be empowered and exercise their agency and leadership, therefore, the governments as well as aid organizations and international society should utilize such a chance to increase their community disaster governance and transform a society to be more equal, inclusive, resilient and sustainable. Their recovery policies and approaches should involve various stakeholders, particularly vulnerable groups, in decision-making processes. As shown in cases in the Philippines and Sri Lanka, development assistance agencies should include capacity building activities in leadership for women and other vulnerable groups. (Summary from United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction)

Topics: Age, Youth, Development, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Governance, Humanitarian Assistance Regions: Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Japan, Philippines, Sri Lanka

Year: 2019

Women and the Economic Miracle: Gender and Work in Postwar Japan


Brinton, Mary C. 1994. Women and the Economic Miracle: Gender and Work in Postwar Japan. Berkley: University of California Press.

Author: Mary C. Brinton


This lucid, hard-hitting book explores a central paradox of the Japanese economy: the relegation of women to low-paying, dead-end jobs in a workforce that depends on their labor to maintain its status as a world economic leader. Drawing upon historical materials, survey and statistical data, and extensive interviews in Japan, Mary Brinton provides an in-depth and original examination of the role of gender in Japan's phenomenal postwar economic growth.

Brinton finds that the educational system, the workplace, and the family in Japan have shaped the opportunities open to female workers. Women move in and out of the workforce depending on their age and family duties, a great disadvantage in a system that emphasizes seniority and continuous work experience. Brinton situates the vicious cycle that perpetuates traditional gender roles within the concept of human capital development, whereby Japanese society "underinvests" in the capabilities of women. The effects of this underinvestment are reinforced indirectly as women sustain male human capital through unpaid domestic labor and psychological support.

Brinton provides a clear analysis of a society that remains misunderstood, but whose economic transformation has been watched with great interest by the industrialized world. (Summary from Google Books)
Table of Contents
1. Introduction
2. Women in the Japanese and U.S. Economies
3. Human Capital Development Systems
4. The Evolution of a Gendered Employment System
5. Gendered Work Lives
6. Gendered Education
7. Conclusion


Topics: Age, Development, Economies, Education, Gender, Gender Roles, Households, Livelihoods, Post-Conflict Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: Japan

Year: 1994

Men and Nature: Hegemonic Masculinities and Environmental Change


MacGregor, Sherilyn, and Nicole Seymour, eds. 2017. “Men and Nature: Hegemonic Masculinities and Environmental Change.” RCC Perspectives: Transformations in Environment and Society (4), 1-93.

Authors: Sherilyn MacGregor, Nicole Seymour


Drawing on ecofeminist theory, environmental politics, and queer theory and ecology, this volume sheds light on the connections between masculinities and environmental change. The essays in this collection examine how hegemonic masculinities are performed and how they are reproduced under conditions of climate change, often perpetuating racial and gender inequalities and unequal power relations. The contributors reveal the making and negotiating of masculinities in very different cultural and economic settings, from central Africa to Central America, to the USA and Japan. Together, these scholars, academics, artists, and activists explore how masculine roles, identities, and practices shape human relationships with the more-than-human world. (Summary from Environment & Society Portal)
Table of Contents:
Foreword: Masculinities in the Sociocene
Raewyn Connell
Sherilyn MacGregor and Nicole Seymour
1. Representing Disaster with Resignation and Nostalgia: Japanese Men’s Responses to the 2011 Earthquake
Naoki Kambe
2. Excuse Us, While We Fix the Sky: WEIRD Supermen and Climate Engineering
Jim Fleming
3. Of Storms, Floods, and Flying Sharks: The Extreme Weather Hero in Contemporary American Culture
Susanne Leikam
4. Masculinity, Work, and the Industrial Forest in the US Pacific Northwest
Erik Loomis
5. Every Day Like Today: Learning How to Be a Man in Love (An Excerpt from the Manuscript)
Alex Carr Johnson
6. Inventing Bushcraft: Masculinity, Technology, and Environment in Central Africa, ca. 750–1250
Kathryn M. de Luna
7. “The Love of the Chase Is an Inherent Delight in Man”: Hunting and Masculine Emotions in the Victorian Zoologist’s Travel Memoir
Will Abberley
8. Rural Masculinities in Tension: Barriers to Climate Change Adaptation in Nicaragua
Noémi Gonda
9. Taking Up Space: Men, Masculinity, and the Student Climate Movement
Jody Chan and Joe Curnow
10. Boys Will Be Boys (An Art Installation: Staged Wilderness and Male Dreams)
Nicola von Thurn

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Race, Sexuality Regions: Africa, Central Africa, Americas, Central America, North America, Asia, East Asia Countries: Japan, Nicaragua, United States of America

Year: 2017

Sexual Violence, Masculinity, and Agency in Post-Surrender Japan, 1945


Kramm, Robert. 2019. "Sexual Violence, Masculinity, and Agency in Post-Surrender Japan, 1945." Journal of Women's History 31 (1): 62-85.

Author: Robert Kramm


In the immediate post-surrender period in late summer 1945, thousands of American servicemen entered Japan. Despite Japanese authorities’ tactical planning of a “female floodwall” with brothels and other recreational facilities to distract the occupiers from the Japanese population, especially from Japanese women, and the occupiers’ demonstration of military power, the first physical encounter of occupiers and occupied in the “militarized peace” of occupied Japan was nevertheless accompanied by violence—sexual violence in particular. Contrary to the often-portrayed peaceful image of the American occupation of Japan, this article highlights sex and violence as significant markers for the asymmetrical power relations during the occupation period. It analyzes the arena of sexual violence in which Japanese police officers and administrators, as well as Japanese civilians, struggled to prevent and control, but also to articulate and instrumentalize, the occupiers’ sexual assaults.

Topics: Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Masculinism, Livelihoods, Sexual Livelihoods, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Post-Conflict, Sexual Violence, Violence Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: Japan

Year: 2019


© 2021 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at

Subscribe to RSS - Japan