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Translation - English From the Perspective of Women’s History Research
Table of Contents
A Revolution in Views of History
Our Women’s History
The Significance of Women’s History
A re-examination of Japanese history is in order. I would like to take this opportunity to provide some brief reflections as a researcher in women’s history. As many have stated before, historical research in Japan is narrow, shallow, and skewed in favor of political history. There is no doubt that we must use defeat as an opportunity to reflect on these issues.
The fundamental question is that of academic freedom and the pursuit of truth. Scholars cannot escape political suppression.
In my experience, women’s and other kinds of history have tended to be thought of as forms of dangerous thought that seek to rebel against men and society. I have had to struggle against quite unpleasant forms of oppression and vulgar opinion.
In the thirteenth year of the Shōwa era (1938 AD), after about eight years of hard work, I published the first volume of my history of women, Studies in Matriliny. I cannot deny that the title, among other things, carried a negative impression, particularly from the standpoint of the patrilineal thought of the family system of that time. It is unfortunate that the sentiments that prompted Confucian scholars of the Edo period to argue that Amaterasu Ōmikami was a man are still with us and continue to impede scholarly research.
It is outrageous that, upon publication, the authorities went to the trouble of sending me a list of precautions through my publisher.
One last point that I would like to add concerning academic freedom relates to historians themselves. It has been said that many historians of our country lack a spirit of independence and, even with regard to research methods, uncritically adopt foreign historiography and methodology without attempting to create any themselves. As a consequence, deductive and explanatory attitudes are common, while inductive and positivist methods are generally lacking. This requires reflection.
A Revolution in Views of History
Women’s history constitutes the attempt to develop a wholly new field of study. It is naturally expected that, as research progresses, it will correct many errors in past historical views.
I have only been committed to this field for the past fifteen or sixteen years, but more than a few examples of that sort have come to my attention. Since the publication of my first volume, Studies in Matriliny, I have been immersed in the second, Studies in Uxorilocal Marriage. The manuscript is not yet complete, but the question of uxorilocal marriage is also quite thought-provoking.
Because uxorilocal marriage has become cemented as academic terminology, I use it for the sake of convenience, but from the standpoint of the literal meaning of the word, either matrilocal marriage (boshokon) or the classical term, duolocalism (tsumadoi), would be more correct. However, in Japan, practices of the same form are called duolocalism (tsumadoi) or taking in the groom (mukotori) depending on the era. That is, duolocalism (or nocturnal visitation [yobai]) is found in texts from the Record of Ancient Matters (Kojiki), the Chronicles of Japan (Nihon Shoki), the regional gazetteers (Fudoki), the Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves (Man’yōshū), up through the Tales of Ise (Ise Monogatari), and is thenceforth replaced by taking in the groom (mukotori) from The Tale of Genji (Genji Monogatari), A Tale of Flowering Fortunes (Eiga Monogatari) and so on up through Essays in Idleness (Tsurezuregusa) and so on in its final phase.
There is a reason for this. The former term refers principally to the era of marital separation and the era of marriage which the husband would - much like Morgan’s pairing syndyasmian - literally visit the wife. The latter belongs to the era in which the principle of monogamous cohabitation with the wife’s home as the center had been established. When seen from the perspective of the history of political economy, the former principally reflects clan communal ownership, and the latter is based on manorial private ownership.
That is, uxorilocal marriage is a prominent phenomenon that persisted over a long period from prior to the establishment of the country until the Muromachi period, and underlying this is the total transition from the matrilineal family system to the patrilineal.
The details will have to be left to my forthcoming work, but in any case as these facts become clear, it will also become clear that the family system is, like other systems, developmental, and the myths contained in such slogans as “our particular family system” that bestow the present family system with its fixity and eternity in the public mind will also disappear.
Indeed, the unscholarly attitudes that have led the historians of our country to dispose of uxorilocal marriage as a special and limited phenomenon, to view it as an undesirable custom, and to deliberately ignore it will also be corrected.
It is surely the duty of scholars to cease to ignore and especially to scorn uxorilocal marriage, but to instead to humbly take it up as an object of scholarship and, further, to raise it to the level of human historical relations and universalize it.
We must learn from Morgan, the American sociologist who, using the customs of little Hawaii, imagined mankind’s primitive society and established a revolutionary historical point of view.
Our Women’s History
There is, in connection with the aforementioned family systems, a major characteristic of women’s history in Japan.
According to Spencer, women’s history is to be understood as the history of liberation from oppression. While this may be the case in the history of Europe, which begins with patriliny, in Japan, three stages can be discerned. During a long period after the beginning of history, the social position of women was high. In the medieval period, it was low, and in modern times women are once again beginning to be liberated.
This accords with the theory of women’s high social position in prehistoric society postulated by sociologists in line with the matrilineal theory suggested by Morgan and others, and attests to the fact that what was there prehistoric society remained extant in Japan for an extended period following the beginning of history.
That is, as I have mentioned before, the reason for the high social position of women in our ancient history is to be sought in the fact that the matrilineal family system continued to serve as the basis of the patrilineal system even while developing and securing it within itself.
In this respect, I think that Spencer’s theory is incorrect. However, many have uncritically applied his theories to Japan, recklessly argued that the status of women was low in our antiquity, and, comically, even attempted to justify the denigration of women on that basis.
Nevertheless, even they cannot completely ignore the high position of the women that appear in our classical literature. With the same mindset that has led others to turn Amaterasu Ōmikami into a man, they treat the female chieftains and other figures that appear in the section devoted to Emperor Keikō in the Chronicles of Japan, the description of the people of Wa in the Book of Wei in the Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms (Wajingishiden), as well as in other texts, as a local aberration, and have completely lost their scholarly conscience.
In Chinese histories, we find that there was an era of spiritual chieftains (kunidamashī), when “spirit” (tama) was a name of office. That female spiritual chieftains likely existed in this era can be seen in the sections on Emperor Jinmu in the Ise Gazetteer (Ise Fudoki), and the fact that there were female clan chieftains (kuninomiyatsuko) in the age of clan chieftains from Emperor Sujin until the Taika Reform is proven by the Record of Ancient Matters and the Harima Gazetteer (Harima Fudoki).
These customs were for a long time passed down in the provinces. The fact that female estate stewards can be found under the Kamakura system of estate stewardship in the Eastern Mirror (Azuma Kagami) is also an example of their retention.
Further, free love goes together with women’s high position. Just as with China’s women’s bedchambers (gui/kei/neya) and the women’s quarters of Ancient Greece, the oppression of women begins with the confinement of chastity, but, whether one looks at the Record of Ancient Matters, the Chronicles of Japan, the Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves, or Heian literature, it is undeniable that free love was a generalized phenomenon.
Spouses were regarded as equals. Each called the other tsuma (side) - that is, each called the other one’s half and regarded themselves as a single body. Consequently, their chastity was mutual, expressed by the tying of a cord, and was not unilaterally coerced. A clear distinction can be drawn between this and the medieval and later views of spouses as master and servant, the unilateral coercion of chastity, and the lack of free love - in other words, the low position of women.
Confucian scholars of the Edo period derided relations between the sexes in antiquity as filthy and base in their language. But the culture of the Edo period was full of harlotry. Licensed prostitution flourished and the streets abounded with streetwalkers. Here there is lust, but no love. As the briefest examination of Edo-period popular literature and the Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves should serve to make clear, there can be no debate over which is the baser.
The high position of women can also be demonstrated in the sphere of culture. In the Heian period, we have the twin stars of Japanese literature, The Tale of Genji and The Pillow Book (Makura no Sōshi). We also have the Japanese-language national history, A Tale of Flowering Fortunes. Can these towering works be attributed solely to the particular genius of their individual authors?
We already know that the oldest of the classics, the Record of Ancient Matters, is said to have been based on the recitations of Hieda no Are. It is likely that she is one of the court bardesses who oversaw the establishment and preservation of our national culture.
It is precisely because of this tradition that, with the later invention of the syllabary, it was able to flourish.
However, the so-called interpreters of our national literature have one and all, as if ignorant of this tradition, been intent solely on exegesis and commentary.
In particular, one more thing from a woman’s perspective that I would like to add is that the essence of this female literature is based on motherly affection, and establishes a great and pathetic (mono no aware teki) worldview in which all things are viewed through the lens of love. For instance, many examples can be given in the vein of warm philosophical views of the vicissitudes of human fortunes, as well as particular views of nature, children, birds, and so on.
For ages it has been said among women to “look again and listen again,” that is, to view as good what seems bad, and to take as good what comes across as foul rumor. In this way is motherly affection emphasized in all things. The pathetic worldview was, in the last analysis, born of this sentiment. When one takes this position and reexamines things, does this question not contain hints concerning the past and, at the same time, the future of “the state of women’s culture?”
The Significance of Women’s History
At the beginning of this article, I offered its conflict with the present family system as the reason why studies of matriliny have not been welcomed in Japan. Women’s lives are at present greatly constrained by this system, and its supporters have, in order to rationalize and cement the subordinate position of women, made the contemporary patriarchal system into a primordial particularity of our country. Studies in Matriliny has been poorly received because it contains a critique of this idea. Their claim that patriarchy existed at the beginning of our history rests on two pieces of evidence. One is the existence of patrilineal genealogical records in antiquity, and the other is polygyny.
However, these patrilineal genealogical records arose out of convenience for the purposes of chieftainal succession (which requires more detailed explanation), and is connected in form with the Iroquois hereditary chieftainship described by Morgan. The powers of the patriarchs of Japanese antiquity are therefore largely similar to those of the Iroquois.
Further, Japanese polygyny was not like that of Rome, China, and other places, where several wives and their families cohabited with and were subordinate to a single husband. One man would visit the women of various houses, and his wives and their relatives were spread out over and subordinate to each house, without them being dependent on either their husband or their father. Therefore, even if patriliny was possible, patriarchy was not.
Further, if one were to consider patriarchal systems in China and elsewhere, kinship organizations are consanguineous, with a number of families consisting of spouses and their children contained in each. In Japanese antiquity, there were classificatory kinship organizations such as parent and child (oyako), husband and wife (imose), elder and younger sibling (eoto), within which were contained the mother’s immediate family consisting of the mother (iroha), the elder brother (irose), the elder sister (irone), the younger brother (iroto), and the younger sister (iromo). We know that these families lacked fathers by the fact that no word for father (irochi) can be found anywhere in the classical language.
Next, let us give one more example. In the patriarchal systems of places like China and Rome, men, not women, carry out familial rites. However, in Japan, the women of the head house led the rites of both their clans and the provinces, which were themselves amalgams of clans. The fact that Imperial Princesses served as heads of Ise and Kamo Shrines should also serve to make this clear, and, regarding clans, one might give the examples of Princess Miyazu, the priestess of the Owari Clan’s Atta Shrine, and Ikagashikome, the priestess of the Monobe Clan’s Isonokami Shrine. Later on, in an entry from the second year of the Chōhō era (1000 AD) in The Diary of Fujiwara no Yukinari (Gonki), Fujiwara no Michinaga gives as the reason behind his request that his daughter, Shōshi, be made Empress, the fact that the rites of the Fujiwara Clan are carried out by a clan princess, but that, since the present clan princess, Empress Teishi, had taken the tonsure and was no longer able to perform the rites, Michinaga, as the head of the clan, had been leading the rites in her stead, which was in violation of the will of the gods. It is clear that he requested an Imperial Edict making Lady Shōshi Empress in order to have her lead the clan rites.
This custom remained extant up through the Muromachi period. According to Konoe Masaie’s The Diary of Konoe Masaie (Gohōkōinki), generations of first-born daughters were called Goreisho and Okugosho and served in the family shrines. The same was true of commoner houses. The word “ofukuro” now refers to one’s mother or the lady of the house, but its original meaning is “priestess.”
From about the Warring States Period, the common people began strengthening the miyaza, that is, the village community’s parishioner organizations. At about this time, and in reflection of the period, priests came to the fore, but upon closer examination, prior customs continued to exist in many places.
This overwhelming phenomenon of priestesses would be absolutely unthinkable under the patriarchal society they describe.
From the few examples given above, the significance of women’s history should be recognized. It is my hope that, with the appearance and participation of many more women’s historians, we will be able to contribute to the creation of a new history.
Arabic to English: Islam and Modernity General field: Social Sciences Detailed field: Religion
Source text - Arabic مواكبة الإسلام للحداثة
لكن هل يستطيع الإسلام مواكبة الحياة المعاصرة؟ فشموليته قد تكون نافعة لزمن التنزيل, ومع وجود المتغيرات التي تزيد عن 1400 سنة, هل يعقل تطبيق ما كان يصلح في الزمن الماضي للوقت الحاضر؟
يسهل اجواب إذا عرفنا الثابت المتغير في الإسلام. فقد اعتمد الإسلام على قواعد وأحكام ثابتة لها علاقة بفطرة الإنسان وطبيعة تكوينه, وتنسجم مع متغيرات الزمان. فالصلاة عبادة لصقل النفس الإنسانية في أي زمان كانت, والصوم تقوية للإرادة من أجل الإخلاص تمهيداً للتقوى حتى يستقيم المرء في حياته, والزواج مطلوب لإرواء العزيزة وإعمار الكون ضمن ثوابت تحمي النسل الأسرة والعلاقات الرحمية, والظلم مرفوض سواء أتى من ملك أو إمبراطور أو حاكم أو قائد زعيم عشيرة أو منتخب من الشعب, والعدل مطلوب من الفرد والمجتمع, والمحافظة على الأخلاق الفاضلة أساس لاستقرار وراحة المجتمع الإنساني.
إن المتتبع للأحكام الإسلامية الثابتة في كلياتها أو جزئياتها, يلاحظ انطباقها على الإنسان كفرد, بما يلائم مصلحته, بصرف النظر عن المكان والزمان.
أما المتغيَر فكثير جداً, ويعالج الاجتهاد المفتوح في الشريعة كل متطلبات الحداثة, ويجيب عن الأسئلة والحوادث الواقعة, ويعيد النظر بما مضى من اجتهادات, ويأخذ الظروف المستجدة وأحكامها بعين الاعتبار, ما يوجد متسعاً لمواكبة التطور والمتغيرات.
فقد وضع الإسلام قواعد للحاكم الصالح, لكنه ترك المجال مفتوحاً لشكل إدارة الدولة, فانتخاب الرئيس يمكن أن يكون مباشراً من الشعب أو من مجلس النواب أو بالتمثيل النسبي. وترك كيفية تشكيل الحكومة سواء بوجودها أو بعدد أعضائها أو توزيع وظائفها أو الصلاحيات الممنوحة لها, كما لم يتدخل في طريقة تشكيلها بالاختيار لكل فرد من أفرادها في مجلس النواب أو بالاختيار الجماعي أو بأي شكل آخر, ليفسح في المجال أمام الاختيارات المتناسبة مع كل زمان.
ورسم قواعد النظام التربوي في واجب المعلَم والمتعلَم, ومسؤولية الأهل والمجتمع في تنشئة الأجيال, لكنه ترك المجال واسعاً لعملية التنسيق والتنظيم والإدارة بما يتلاءم مع كل عصر, فسواء أكان التعليم تحت الصنوبرة أو في المسجد أو في المدرسة أو في أبنية متنقلة, أو كان من خلال الكتاب أو الفيلم أو الكمبيوتر أو الأنترنت, فهذه من المسائل التي تعتبر في دائرة الاختيار المشروع لتحقيق الأهداف.
Translation - English Islam and Modernity
But is Islam compatible with contemporary life? Its comprehensiveness may have been effective for the time of the revelation, but, with the presence of changes exceeding 1400 years, does it make sense to apply to the present what was appropriate in the past?
The answers are easy if we know what has remained constant and what has changed in Islam. Islam has relied on firm principles and rules that bear a relation to the instincts of man and the nature of his creation and are in harmony with the changes of time. Prayer is a form of worship that polishes the human mind in any age, and fasting strengthens the will for devotion in order to facilitate piety in order that man lead a proper life. And marriage is necessary for sating one’s wife and populating the world on sound bases that preserve one’s descendants, one’s family, and one’s kinship relations. Oppression is rejected regardless of whether it comes from a king, an emperor, a ruler, a leader, the head of a tribe, or a popular representative. Justice is required from the individual and society, and the preservation of sound morals is a basis for the ease and stability of human society.
He who follows sound Islamic rules, whether in part or in their entirety, will notice their applicability to man as an individual as befits his interests regardless of time or place.
Regarding changes, there have been many. Open ijtihad in the shari’ah deals with all the requirements of modernity, answers real questions and events, gives consideration to prior ijtihad and takes into account recent conditions and judgements concerning them, such that it is broad enough to accompany development and change.
Islam has set down rules for good rulers, but it left the field open regarding the form of state administration. The election of the president may be directly from the people, or from the House of Representatives, or by proportional representation. It also left open the means by which the government is to be formed, its whereabouts, the number of its members, the distribution of its appointments, and the powers granted to it. It likewise does not interfere with the means of its formation, whether each individual appointee is to be chosen from the House of Representatives, by popular election, or any other means, in order to open up space for decisions appropriate to each time.
Islam has sketched the rules of an educational system in the obligations of the teacher and the taught and the responsibility of the people and society for the raising of each generation. But it has left space wide open for the process of arrangement, organization, and management, such as is appropriate for each age. For whether education takes place beneath the pines, or in a masjid, or in a school, or in mobile structures, or by means of the book, or film, or the computer, or the internet, all these things are considered to be within the sphere of choice permitted for the accomplishment of one’s aims.
Japanese to English: Generational Compatibility in Pokemon Games General field: Other Detailed field: Games / Video Games / Gaming / Casino
Source text - Japanese 本シリーズに共通しているゲームシステムを述べる。
Translation - English We will now discuss the gameplay features that this series has in common.
We will focus particularly on the series's representative elements in our explanation, namely, training, battles, and communication.
From the first versions, Red and Green, and until the present, a common element of the series, with the exception of a few spin-offs, has been the selection of one from among three types of Pokemon - water, fire, and grass (some generations have included other types) - at the beginning of the game.
These first three Pokemon in particular are sometimes called "The Big Three."
Although games within a single generation may differ in their story and other elements, the basic game mechanics are the same, so there is a great deal of compatibility.
For example, "Diamond and Pearl" and "HeartGold and SoulSilver" differ entirely in story and setting, but each can engage in Wi-Fi battles and trades.
On the other hand, compatibility between games of different generations is low.
Pokemon that appear in the first generation and, with the exception of Hidden Machine moves, know only first generation moves, can travel between first and second generation games.
All data compatibility is lost between the second and third generations.
From the third generation onward, Pokemon from older generations can be transferred to games from subsequent generations.
Data compatibility is low because with each new generation, new Pokemon, moves, and items are added.
On the contrary, if there were no new generations there would be no addition of new items and Pokemon.
However, there are some exceptions. For instance, the Griseous Orb was added during the fourth generation (Platinum).
Because of that, the item has a number of special restrictions, e.g. it cannot be traded.
Even within the same generation, there are cases where it is not possible to transfer items, moves, and forms from later releases to earlier releases.
Moreover, Pokemon with different forms that are sent from an earlier release to a later release are often shown in their original forms.
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