Family Work in Modern Japan

The Reproduction of Sons and Mothers
  • Louise H. Kidder
  • Nobuko Kosuge
Part of the Critical Issues in Social Justice book series (CISJ)


A few years ago a student in our university wrote about the life of a Japanese movie star for her Psychology of Women class. She believed the actress, Miyagi Mariko, personified the “essential mother nature,” even though she was not married and had no children. Miyagi Mariko spent much of her personal wealth building a school for mentally retarded children, and she took pleasure in giving time and attention to the children. The American professor who taught the class wanted to explore the ironies of this case and develop a more structural analysis—had the actress really become a “mother,” her movie career would most likely have been curtailed. Or perhaps philanthropy and good works are different from the daily commitments of motherhood. But the student held fast to her psychodynamic theory, convinced that the actress, a highly successful, resolutely single woman, was still the embodiment of an essential mother nature. On the day for individual conferences, the student came to school wearing a T-shirt that said “MILK” in large pink letters across the front.


Japanese Woman Entrance Exam Family Work Youth Affair Japan Time 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Louise H. Kidder
    • 1
  • Nobuko Kosuge
    • 2
  1. 1.College of Arts and SciencesTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Temple University JapanTokyo 161Japan

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