openPR Logo
Press release

Cannot ignore women's role in history, says Lady Samurai

06-22-2018 03:16 PM CET | Politics, Law & Society

Press release from: Japanese Embassy

/ PR Agency: PR Worx
After teaching a course entitled “Lady Samurai in Medieval Japan”, Dr Tomoko Kitagawa was dubbed the Lady Samurai by her students. This title has stuck as she has pursued her two greatest passions: history and mathematics. Her incredible journey has seen her become a role model for young women in Japan and throughout the world.

Born and raised in the small city of Omuta in Japan, Kitagawa decided to study overseas once she had completed her high school. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Columbia in Canada in 2003, she enrolled to study history at the same university and graduated with a master’s degree in Asian studies in 2006.

“I then enrolled at Princeton University in the United States to pursue a doctoral degree in East Asian Studies. I completed my course work in my first year of study and then went to Japan to conduct field work and research at the Historiographical Institute at the University of Tokyo,” says Kitagawa.

During her time in Japan, Kitagawa worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for eight months and her interest in diplomacy and specifically the role of women in diplomacy (and history) was sparked. “I also spent three months in New York working for the Mission of Japan to the United Nations before I began teaching at Harvard University in 2009,” she adds.

At Harvard, Kitagawa taught Japanese history in her first year, the history of mathematics in her second year and both subjects in her third year. “It was during this time that I decided to offer a course entitled “Lady Samurai in Medieval Japan”, which explored Japanese women’s history – their lives, choices, art and writing.

Kitagawa points out that male Japanese warriors were not the only ones considered worthy of the samurai title. She references two late 16th/early 17th century women who could be called the Lady Samurai through acts of tremendous bravery and diplomacy by using the written word to avert war and promote peace.

“History is traditionally male dominated, so the Lady Samurai course lifted the veil on women’s history in Japan. When I published a book covering the same themes in Japanese in 2012, it became a national bestseller,” says Kitagawa.

From Harvard, Kitagawa moved to Cambridge, UK, and conducted a research on the history of mathematics. She also went to Bonn, Germany where she spent time as a guest researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Mathematical Sciences in 2015, and spent almost two years as a researcher and writer at the University of California, Berkeley. This year, she accepted an invitation to conduct research on global history at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.

On the topic of diplomacy, she says women’s history has been missing from many societies. “The history of women needs to be recovered. This is especially relevant now that the women’s movement is expanding globally. There needs to be a gender balance in historical narrative. We cannot simply ignore women’s presence, specifically the diplomatic role they fulfilled in history through writing, communicating and fostering good social relations.”

Her advice to young women who want to transcend difficult circumstances and make a success of there lives is to challenge the stereotypes of what a woman is expected to do. “It’s very important to challenge the status quo and to talk to people who can help you to attain your goals. Grasp the opportunities that come your way, even if they are not what you had expected – they could just be the first steps on your journey!”

Here, again, diplomacy can play a role. “Look for the people who can help you, whether it’s a family, friend, neighbour, or school teacher. Actively seek out education. If you follow your passion, you will find a way,” she urges.

Japanese Embassy in South Africa

1 Sirius Road
Sunward park
1459

This release was published on openPR.

Permanent link to this press release:

Copy
Please set a link in the press area of your homepage to this press release on openPR. openPR disclaims liability for any content contained in this release.

You can edit or delete your press release Cannot ignore women's role in history, says Lady Samurai here

News-ID: 1094374 • Views: 1581

More Releases for Japan

Global Car Navigation ECU Market Outlook to 2023 – AW Software (Japan), Contin …
An automotive navigation system is part of the automobile controls or a third party add-on used to find direction in an automobile and the ECU is the core part control it. Car Navigation typically uses a satellite navigation device to get its position data which is then correlated to a position on a road. According to this study, over the next five years the Car Navigation ECU market will register a
Data Lines 2017 Global Market Key Players –Sharp(Japan), Sony(Japan), …
Data Lines Market 2017 The global Data Lines market is valued at XX million USD in 2016 and is expected to reach XX million USD by the end of 2022, growing at a CAGR of XX% between 2016 and 2022. Japan plays an important role in global market, with market size of xx million USD in 2016 and will be xx million USD in 2022, with a CAGR of xx%. This report studies
Agrochemicals Market in Japan
ReportsWorldwide has announced the addition of a new report title Japan: Agrochemicals: Market Intelligence (2016-2021) to its growing collection of premium market research reports. The report “Japan: Agrochemicals: Market Intelligence (2016-2021)” provides market intelligence on the different market segments, based on type, active ingredient, formulation, crop, and pest. Market size and forecast (2016-2021) has been provided in terms of both, value (000 USD) and volume (000 KG) in the report. A
Consumer Electronics in Japan
Summary Consumer electronics saw annual retail volume decline throughout the review period. This was linked to consumers’ economic uncertainty, population decline and an ongoing shift towards smartphones as an all-in-one device. Smartphones are increasingly used to go online, communicate, play media, capture images and read e-books, with many consumers thus ceasing to buy a wide range of consumer electronics. 2016 however saw the softest retail volume decline of the review period,
Overseas Trade into Japan
Action Storage Systems is actively seeking distributors overseas in an attempt to grow the business in these difficult economic times. In October this year they have set up a new distributor in Japan for the sale of their eXtreme Plastic Lockers®. Koyo specialise in the sale and manufacture of locker systems from their base in Nagano and were established in 1961. Koyo sell throughout Japan and employ fifty sales
Japan Boosts Stimulus
The Bank of Japan has eased monetary policy by expanding asset purchases in a bid to boost growth, and left interest rates unchanged at between zero and 0.1%. The Bank of Japan has eased monetary policy by expanding asset purchases as the yen's strength and slow progress by European leaders in solving the region's debt crisis cloud the outlook for the country's fragile economy. The Bank of Japan (BOJ) has expanded