Friday, February 22, 2008

The Modern Japanese Woman

The front cover illustration of "Goodbye Madame Butterfly" courtesy of Pingmag.

This month the Tokyo based online magazine Ping Mag features an interview here with Japanese author Sumie Kawakami. In an unusual deviation from their regular topic of design, the article instead focuses on the relationship between sex and marriage in Japan.

Kawakami’s latest book entitled “Goodbye Madam Butterfly: Sex, Marriage and the Modern Japanese Woman”contains accounts of the sex lives of eleven Japanese women.

While the term ‘modern’ is used in the title, Kawakami's interview seems to point to a situation which for the women themselves seems to be anything but. Having not read the book I am unable to comment further, but Kawakami seems to suggest that the lot of the Japanese woman could only be modern in the sense of being current.

It is an interesting interview that relates the lack of sexual activity after marriage to the long working hours of the Japanese business man, and the sense of identity that Kawakami says Japanese society ‘demands’ of Japanese couples after having children.

Take ten minutes to read the article for a brief introduction to sexless Japan.

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