I fully realize that a post about gender relations in Japan is both dangerous and fertile ground for comedy. After all, as far as I know, Japan is one of the few developed nations on earth where the majority of people hold the idea that that a woman should automatically quit her job after marriage. This is amazing, but not nearly as amazing as the fact that it's also financially feasable for women to do so. I say "women" because the idea of a "stay at home house-husband" is probably as foreign to most Japanese as I am while discussing the Tragically Hip after about six beers, eh?
Anyway, fortunately for you, dear reader, pontificating isn't on the menu tonight. We're going to go on mostly unrelated observation.
Japanese is a very interesting language, and I know that many of you don't have the fonts installed on your computers... so here is a super quick primer and a basic observation that is about as original as the last pick up line you heard.
Japanese characters are ideograms, with each one representing an idea or several ideas put together to represent a concept. For example, these two characters represent common ideas...
You can combine ideas to make new concepts.... for example, a man is *powerful* in the *rice field*. Thus...
The Kanji character for "woman" is supposed to represent a kimono.
It's good to note that MEN = WORK, WOMEN = CLOTHES was figured out thousands of years before the advent of Chatelaine magazine for women.
And... of course, we also have to consider that the character for woman is used for quite a few interesting ideas (many of which are rather negative).
For example... this character.
hrmm... There are many more examples of the 女 character being used negatively (though this is not a rule)... still, I'll happily extend an offer to 私の日本の友人 (j-friends) to post any they can think of in the comments section or email them to me.
Lastly, if you don't trust the language, you should always trust the confectionery.
Here in the land of the rising sun, people know that men need their OWN damn chocolate.
the Tragically Hip - an incredibly good Canadian band that no one outside of Canada knows about. And yes, as a nation, we are VERY angry that people around the world know who Celine Dion is but don't know who The Hip are.
confectionery - candy/chocolate