Kickboxing Geishas: How Modern Japanese Women Are Changing Their Nation

Kickboxing Geishas How Modern Japanese Women Are Changing Their Nation Forget the stereotypes Today s Japanese women are shattering them breaking the bonds of tradition and dramatically transforming their culture Shopping crazed schoolgirls in Hello Kitty costumes and th

  • Title: Kickboxing Geishas: How Modern Japanese Women Are Changing Their Nation
  • Author: Veronica Chambers
  • ISBN: 9780743271561
  • Page: 480
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Forget the stereotypes Today s Japanese women are shattering them breaking the bonds of tradition and dramatically transforming their culture Shopping crazed schoolgirls in Hello Kitty costumes and the Harajuku girls Gwen Stefani helped make so popular have grabbed the media s attention But as critically acclaimed author Veronica Chambers has discovered through yearsForget the stereotypes Today s Japanese women are shattering them breaking the bonds of tradition and dramatically transforming their culture Shopping crazed schoolgirls in Hello Kitty costumes and the Harajuku girls Gwen Stefani helped make so popular have grabbed the media s attention But as critically acclaimed author Veronica Chambers has discovered through years of returning to Japan and interviewing Japanese women, the interesting story is that of the legions of everyday women from the office suites to radio and TV studios to the worlds of art and fashion and on to the halls of government who have kicked off a revolution in their country Japanese men hardly know what has hit them In a single generation, women in Japan have rewritten the rules in both the bedroom and the boardroom Not a day goes by in Japan that a powerful woman doesn t make the front page of the newspapers In the face of still fierce sexism, a new breed of women is breaking through the rice paper ceiling of Japan s salary man dominated corporate culture The women are traveling the world while the men stay at home and returning with a cosmopolitan sophistication that is injecting an edgy, stylish internationalism into Japanese life So many women are happily delaying marriage into their thirties labeled losing dogs and yet loving their liberated lives that the country s birth rate is in crisis.With her keen eye for all facets of Japanese life, Veronica Chambers travels through the exciting world of Japan s new modern women to introduce these kickboxing geishas and the stories of their lives the wildly popular young hip hop DJ the TV chef who is also a government minister the entrepreneur who founded a market research firm specializing in charting the tastes of the teenage girls driving the country s GNC gross national cool and the Osaka assembly woman who came out publicly as a lesbian the first openly gay politician in the country.Taking readers deep into these women s lives and giving the lie to the condescending stereotypes, Chambers reveals the vibrant, dynamic, and fascinating true story of the Japanese women we ve never met Kickboxing Geishas is an entrancing journey into the exciting, bold, stylish new Japan these women are making.

    One thought on “Kickboxing Geishas: How Modern Japanese Women Are Changing Their Nation”

    1. "The thing about Japan is that it's a developed country and a developing country all in the same breath. It's such a contradiction."- Veronica Chambers, Kickboxing GeishasMy selection of this book is proof that I am often drawn to a book because of its innovative title. I was definitely intrigued by the subject matter finding myself more interested in feminism, and also because I work at a Japanese company and know quite a bit about Japanese culture due to my Japanese co-workers. Given what I've [...]

    2. On the positive, Kickboxing Geishas is very readable, and in many chapters, thought-provoking. However, it shouldn't be taken as a researched scholarly work, or even as journalism.Chambers injects, not only a lot of her own story, but a lot of wishful thinking into the pages. The result is a shaded story, a one-sided conversation with obvious bias.Which, again, was quite interesting to read. But read it with a grain of salt.-Elizabeth ReuterAuthor, The Demon of Renaissance Drive

    3. This is the first book I read that tackled the lives and struggles of the contemporary Japanese woman in society. One of the aspects I liked best was that we also see this in relation to Western sensibilities. I really wanted to hear the observations and impressions from a woman with similar sensibilities and concerns that I would approach this topic as well. It was very enlightening as we are exposed to vignettes and instances of different types of women and how they have either tried to balanc [...]

    4. I didn't hate this book, but it read like some insufficiently edited blogs. There weren't mistakes per se, although I doubt some of the figures presented (like Japanese men having $10,000 a day to spend on food and entertainment). It was more like unusual analogies or descriptors would be repeated within two pages of each other, which is jarring, and far too many pop culture references. I blame the first on introduction material being added to explain the grouping of shorter essays (and no one b [...]

    5. "Kickboxing Geishas" was written ethnographically, so the author was very present in the story - most of the time, too present. Her observations were shallow and perpetuated the "ugly American" stereotype. I appreciate Chambers' use of narrative and I enjoyed some of the individual stories of women in Japan, but there wasn't enough "meat" to support her claims. It's been a long time since I've abandoned a book before finishing it, but I just can't make it through the last two chapters.

    6. This book is readable nonfiction. If you are not into that this book is not for you; be warned. Personally, I started out with a four-star view of this book. Strong facts and stories, interestingly interwoven with the author's own experiences, and a genuinely interesting look at the lives of many different people-- men and women alike-- throughout Japan.Unfortunately, this book has a lot of typos. I mean, a lot of typos. I actually took a photo of a page which said something along the lines of " [...]

    7. By rights this should get 3.5 stars.I liked it very much, but it wasn't quite what I had expected. There are lots of interesting stories about women working in Japan and making their own way. Chambers gives an insight into the current situation for women, too, setting the scene.While the stories are based on interviews, it is not an interview format and so the voices blend with the text. Also, the stories of individual women are very short, so there is not always the kind of backstory that would [...]

    8. Japan and it's culture is a fascinating and exciting study to me so I expected great things from Kickboxing Geishas. In the end, it took me much longer to read than I thought it would. I had to digest it bit by bit, not because it was unbearable but it was simply not what I expected. Veronica Chambers has taken a topic of great interest to me and turned it into a book worthy of reading if only for a little glimpse inside the world of women in Japan. At its heart, the book lacks a solidly built v [...]

    9. I was so excited to read this book. I love Japanese culture, and being a woman, I was especially interested in how Japanese woman's roles exist in Japan.Unfortunately, I gave up on it. I did get to chapter 4 I'm curious to know if anyone felt like the author was repeating things from one chapter to another? Up to this point, the book felt sort of disjointed. Like the author wrote each chapter individually, and then put them together without reading it through as a book to determine how the pace [...]

    10. I know it might be naive of me, but in a weird way I was looking for actual kickboxing geishas. But that is a metaphor for the stereotypical Japanese woman (geisha) breaking out of that role and re-defining it. It was a fascinating read about a culture I knew little of. I liked it and recommend it for anyone interested in the culture, women, and/or changing roles. The only thing I wish was addressed was the choice of women choosing to be wives/mothers. In presenting all the choices women are cho [...]

    11. My grandmother was married to an American soldier after WWII. She was disowned and they moved there family back to Texas when my father was 5 or 6. I've never been to Japan, but I am facinated by japanese culture. The subject of a woman's place in modern society there is not something I've heard a lot about, so it's kind of a shock to hear that so many girls aspire to be a housewife. I see a huge juxtoposition in the fact that life there seems so modern, but the values and expectations are descr [...]

    12. "Kickingboxing Geishas" was an interesting read. I have a strong intellectual interest in women's studies, especially gender roles and femininity constructs throughout the world. This book's main research sources were interviews with accomplished Japanese women and their perception of how gender roles are both changing yet remaining stationary. This book gave me a lot of things to reflect over in regards to how, as women, we can balance moving past societal constrictions while still honoring our [...]

    13. The main flaw with this book seemed to be that the author could not stop interjecting herself (her views, her life, etc.) at any given opportunity and I really didn’t find it fitting or appropriate at all. I don’t care to hear about how she did or did not befriend the people she interviewed, that’s not what the book was supposed to be about: a nf book on the lives of modern Japanese women. Instead, I got some of that, but a whole lot of an American woman’s personal experiences in Japan. [...]

    14. Interesting writing on a culture that I had no idea was so much like my own. I liked the author's outsider take - the quirkiness surrounding her struggle with customs and desire for acceptance in a country where she couldn't help but stand out. The stars of the book- the Japanese women determined to change their lives and their country are so inspiring. I especially related to the women moving towards slow living. Could have benefitted by better editing - a few errors really jumped out at me. My [...]

    15. This is an interesting collection of interviews with women throughout Japan. The women are artists and performers, housewives and corporate managers, small business owners and office ladies. The interviews are organized around various themes, and the women are thereby presented as facing a number of issues both specifically Japanese and universal. Chambers provides a great glimpse behind the Western stereotypes of what it means to be female in Japan.

    16. I'd give this book a 3.5. I had to read it for my Women in East Asia class. I kind of judged it based on the cover; I don't really like it. However, I liked the book. It was a lot more interesting than I thought it would be. It's an interesting look at how women live in Japanese society and the roles they play.

    17. I felt that this book was good, but more so if I didn't have a background of studying Japanese culture. While I admit that the style of the book, mostly written using anecdotes from the interviews, I had the feeling that it was just one long magazine/newspaper article (Veronica Chambers is indeed a journalist). More statistics would have helped in this case.

    18. Eh. The writing here was just okay, and thou the author did do her homework, you couldn't go a page without her making some meaningless outdated pop-culture reference. This was just okay. I didn't feel like I gained any insight into the culture that I didn't already have. Kind of disappointing, but not awful.

    19. A letdown, more fluff than substance. The tone sometimes gets condescending. The anecdotes and descriptions of Japan were really interesting for someone who's never been there, so it was worth the read for that.(And granted it's the first printing so I tried to understand the typos throughout, but I winced at the grammatical errors.)

    20. Good: Subject matter, peppering of personal stories with data and objective infoBad: After a while the one after the other stories (this woman did this, that woman has this life) get tedious. Also copy editing was obviously not a priority.

    21. Fun to read with some interesting stories about successful women in Japan that have been able to break the rules and go for their dreams. However, the author talked too much about herself, and I wanted to read about japanese women, not about Americans in Japan.The effort is appreciated, though.

    22. I really liked this book. Maybe it's because I can't actually visit another country in real life, so I'm stuck with armchair traveling. Regardless, I really liked her choice of giving in-depth information on a few people rather than reading generic statistics about all Japanese.

    23. I really enjoyed this book, especially since I've been to Japan three times. It was published in 2005, but I think it's still accurate. As the book points out, the change for women in Japan is very slow. I highly recommend this book.

    24. Whilst the conversational tone doesn't quite click, thus breezy book is packed with stories of intelligent women who are knocking (kickboxing down?) cultural discriminations that have existed for centuries.

    25. Japanese women and "men" are slowly but positively stepping out of their "traditional roles" and moving towards a different view of work and family.

    26. Brilliant book about Japanese culture and in particular the role of women in modern Japan.From reading this book, I discovered the Gwen Stefani song Harajuku Girls and now I am a Stefani fan.

    27. Interesting exploration of various aspects of modern Japanese female culture, from a non-otaku US perspective.

    28. It just got old. As an ethnic Japanese but cultural American, it just got old. I get it. Japanese women were repressed and now they are fighting it. I grew tired of it half way.

    29. This is a really interesting topic and the book did a respective job covering it. The book left me wanting to know more about the numbers behind the book's discussions.

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