"Ayako Ishigaki on Problems for Women in Marriage and Work in 1950's"
last update: 20151224
Ayako Ishigaki on Problems for Women in Marriage and Work in 1950's
The purpose of this study is to confirm Ayako Ishigaki's perceptions of the problems for women in
marriage and work in 1950's Japan.
Ishigaki was a female critic who enlightened women's way of life in postwar Japan. Her
representative article, "Shufu as the second occupation," preached that "Shufu"[housewives] should
have an occupation outside the home.
In this study I pay attention to her descriptions of an ideal form of marriage and work for women.
She pointed out the difficult situation of women in both marriage and work in the Japanese society
of those days. Due to various causes, for example, a high female-to-male ratio, social customs, and
limited economic opportunities, many women were forced to remain unmarried, and their living
conditions were bad. In addition, she made clear that women's problems in marriage and work were
related mutually. She concluded that the social system had to be changed, and she urged women to
make strenuous efforts to work outside the home in order to realize social change.
Based on my analysis, Ishigaki's thinking, while keeping conscious of social stratification among
women, emphasized a general message aimed at the advancement of women.
Key Words: 1950's, Women, Marriage, Women's work, Ayako Ishigaki