The late Daisetsu Suzuki, world-known for his interpretation of Zen Buddhism, has written that the father is at the root of Westerners’ thinking and feeling, but the mother is deep-seated in the essence of the Oriental nature. Though not everyone agrees with his verdict, Kiyoaki Murata, then editor of the Japan Times, wrote in 1980 that, ‘Japan has been, still is, and is even more so today than before, a matriarchal society.’ Should ‘matriarchy’ imply descent through the female line, the term ‘mother obsession’ may better describe the powerful maternal influence in Japan’s social system. Mother obsession is a common theme in Japanese literature, ancient and modern.
KeywordsJapanese Woman Entrance Examination Ministry Survey Ancient Social Structure Japanese Parent
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