The Kojiki is a collection of ancient Japanese myths and other stories that dates back about 1500 years. There are aspects of the text that have connections to Japanese culture and society now. One male individual in the extract below states that “It is not proper that the woman speak first.” This kind of overtly sexist statement can be found in other texts from other cultures around the world at the same period of time. A line could be drawn connecting present day sexist views and ones from texts that are hundreds of years old. Japan is quite far behind in terms of gender equality (https://www.oecd.org/japan/Gender2017-JPN-en.pdf) an an argument could be made linking ideas in the Kojiki with the situation women in Japan face now.

“Kojiki.” Traditional Japanese Literature: An Anthology, Beginnings to 1600. Ed. Haruo Shirane and Sonja Arntzen. New York: Columbia UP, 2007. 16. Print.

May 2020 Prescribed Title #6 ask students to discuss whether or not current knowledge is “wholly dependent” on previous knowledge. “Wholly” seems an exaggeration in this case as not everyone now holds the kinds of sexist views found the Kojiki.


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