Hegemonic Masculinity In Japan

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Over time, the Japanese family has evolved, so today it seems somewhat inaccurate to conceptualize the Japanese family as a monolith. Regardless, there is a particular model of family that has prevailed over the years, and based on the given readings, I believe that this family model has served to reinforce a spirit of cultural homogeneity and hegemonic masculinity in Japanese society. The very roots of the modern family model are intertwined with the desire to homogenize Japanese culture. As noted in the White reading, the family model that emerged during the Meiji era was chosen for the purpose of becoming the “national family,” which would be used to represent Japan in a time when the state had just begun its efforts to prove Japan’s modernity to the rest of the world. White notes that this idealized modernity was contingent upon the existence of a homogenous culture, and as…show more content…
Hendry describes several characteristics of the ie family model, specifically its adherence to primogeniture and the subordination of women. As such, the family model that is legally legitimate in today’s Japan remains tied to this patriarchal model through the koseki, albeit less strictly than in the past. However, it should also be noted that even now, only heterosexual couples are recognized by the koseki. Under the koseki, a heteronormative, patriarchal model of family is legitimated, thus reinforcing hegemonic masculinity in society. Furthermore, social norms support this model just as much as the law. As Mackie writes, the normative pressure against “sullying” the koseki discourages deviation from the traditional family model. Additionally, the prevalence of social norms which promote a gendered division of roles within the family also deter the subversion of this model. As a result, the antiquated ideals of family that privileged heterosexual men still persist in today’s

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