New project we (@JapasCervejaria) are collaborating on with @Komorebitranslations <3
In case you don't know, @komorebitranslations is run by Anna Ligia Pozzetti. It is a company that seeks to build bridges between Brazil and Japan through words, be it through translation or simultaneous interpretation or through workshops and content creation on Japanese culture and history. In other words, #Komorebitranslations has everything to do with our brewery, which aims to spread a little bit of all the lessons we extract from this mixture of cultures and connections between Brazil and Japan through each product we create, holding onto more and more of our history. It is precisely because of this history we embarked on this collaboration. Since the collage of labels are a trademark of @japascervejaria and the content is the signature of @komorebitranslations, we decided to unite these two fronts to create 3 exclusive posters, which will illustrate the story of 3 women who changed the history of Japan. The collages will be created by artist and Japas partner @ymcollage and will be available for free for you to download, print and hang your own poster at home, decorating your walls with history. <3
MEET THREE WOMEN WHO CHANGED THE HISTORY OF JAPAN
Higuchi Ichiyô . 1872 - 1896
Ichiyo is considered one of the greatest writers in the history of Japanese literature and is honored with the printing of her portrait on Japan's 5,000-yen bill. Despite her short life, Ichiyo made an important literary contribution by criticizing the social ills that accompanied the rapid economic growth of the Meiji Era (1868-1912).
In her texts, she highlights the hardships faced by women who were left on the margins of the patriarchal society of the time. Her characters suffer from poverty and disdain, situations that she herself endured. One of her major works is Nigorie (Troubled Waters, Muddy Water or In the Gutter), written in 1895. As researcher Rika Hagino explains, it is a metaphor for the living conditions of clandestine prostitutes and the poor in Japanese society at the time. In this work, masterfully translated into Portuguese by Hagino in her master's thesis, the author's indignation and sense of urgency are evident, since the text is based on the author's own experiences living in extremely poor areas of Tokyo. The book is based on the author's own experiences living in Maruyama Fukuyamacho, a Tokyo neighborhood known for its clandestine prostitution.
The activity was only sanctioned in the Yoshiwara district and a license was required to practice. However, the financial difficulties of many families at the time required the sacrifice of their daughters, who were sent into prostitution as a way to pay off debts incurred for survival. Higuchi's family moved to this neighborhood because the family faced financial ruin from to the debts left behind by her father. She fought for her family's survival by working, which put her in contact with these women whom she even taught to read and write, since many of them were illiterate. Ichiyô was the first writer of her time to address these social issues. She was a strong woman who criticized the injustices of a period where the great contradictions inherent in capitalism and the imperialist efforts of Japan generated an undeniable social sacrifice. Her compassionate lens on the poor and her condemnation through her texts continue to inspire many to this day.
Toshiko kishida . 1863 - 1901
The second woman in our series is Toshiko Kishida (1863-1901). She is considered one of the first feminists of Japan.
Master of impeccable rhetoric, she traveled the country making speeches advocating for gender equality, arguing that winning the fight for equal political and economic rights was the only true path to progress.
In fact, the laws of her time themselves limited this equality. In 1890, the government established a law (the Shūkai Oyobi Seisha Hō) that denied women the right to attend political meetings and even to discuss the subject under any circumstances. Additionally, due to the many references to Confucian notions of obedience and loyalty peppered throughout the Japanese Civil Code of the time, women were subject to the head of the family, either the father or the husband.
One of #ToshikoKishida's most powerful speeches on record led to her immediate arrest for being considered political. At the time, the expression "hakoiri musume" was widely used to refer to girls who lived in isolation as a form of preservation, which even prevented them from studying. According to Kishida, this situation was a limitation on their intellectual activity, and a detriment to society. In Kishida's view, raising girls in such an environment was like "growing flowers in salt." She argued that it was essential for girls to study before getting married so that they would not endure adversities.
Faced with this all-too-common reality, Kishida contended that Japanese girls were raised in "boxes," a metaphor for their physical and emotional limitations. She defended the idea that the only box a woman ought to be put in was as big and as free as the world. This way anyone inside the box could follow a path of their own.
Kishida is still respected for her fight for equality and continues to inspire women, even in the 21st century.
Fukuda Hideko . 1865 - 1927
Fukuda Hideko (1865-1927) is also considered one of Japan's first feminists. Her family owned a small school and her mother, who held progressive views on women and education, influenced her significantly. Hideko would later become a teacher, too.
After hearing a speech by Toshiko Kishida, Hideko felt the urgency of the struggle for freedom and gender equality. She founded three schools in her lifetime yet they did not last very long due to the hardships of the time. She always advocated that girls study before getting married, stressing the importance of having financial independence should they need it one day. She made mmassive efforts to keep her schools running and even organized evening classes so that more women could study, since Hideko believed that the only way out of poverty for these women was was through education.
Fukuda was arrested in what became known as the "Osaka Incident" (1885) for her connection to a plot to free Korea from imperialism while Japan and China fought for its control during the First Sino-Japanese War. As the only woman in the anti-imperialist movement she was hailed as a heroine and newspapers referred to her as the "Joan of Arc of Japan."
She created the magazine "Sekai Fujin" (Women of the World) in 1907. The magazine's slogan was "women's emancipation" in line with the argument that women needed to be well informed. The magazine raised questions about the patriarchal family system and published content about women's political rights, biographies of foreign activists and suffragists, political and social issues from around the world, problems related to arranged marriages, and even literature and cooking.
Fukuda's fight for women's education as the only route for women's emancipation remains a great inspiration for those who champion equality.