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CompleteMartialArts.com - Kickboxing Geishas: How Modern Japanese Women Are Changing Their Nation

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Manufacturer: Free Press
Average Customer Rating: Average rating of 3.5/5Average rating of 3.5/5Average rating of 3.5/5Average rating of 3.5/5Average rating of 3.5/5

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Binding: Hardcover
Dewey Decimal Number: 305.40952090511
EAN: 9780743271561
ISBN: 0743271564
Label: Free Press
Manufacturer: Free Press
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 288
Publication Date: 2007-01-09
Publisher: Free Press
Studio: Free Press

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Editorial Reviews:

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 years of returning to Japan and interviewing Japanese women, the more 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.

Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5
Summary: Great concept, fun book...but...
Comment: After perusing for recent books on gender roles in Japan for a paper, I finally landed this book. The title was catchy and was a quick read.
However, reading it made me want to immediately contact whoever edited the thing. Not only is some of the information blatantly incorrect for the time (hello, Aiko will not become empress and no law was put into effect making it possible for a woman to ascend to the throne), there were obvious grammar and spelling mistakes. One of the most annoying thing was the inconsistent spelling of the famous street in Tokyo, Omotesando. Shown as Ometesando and Ometosando numerous times, neither was correct. Chapters were obviously not well thought out and contiunity problems arose often. Women that were interviewed earlier in the book were referenced to like complete strangers to the reader. Many things were explained twice which gave me a sense of deja vu while reading quite a few times. I'm no editing whiz or grammar nazi by any means but it seems like this book was not edited at all.
All (terrible) editing issues aside, the book brings up quite a few modern issues. I had done quite alot of reading on the matter and Chambers seems to have some of the most approachable writing for the subject. The bond she shares with each woman interviewed becomes apparent and helpful to the overall flow of the book. Her commentary is colorful, fun and is relatively objective (despite what the other reviews I've read state). The research that has gone into making the book comes out quite easily without being overstated. However, the research seemed shallow. It seemed like she gathered information solely from the internet and then went straight to these women. The preparation involved seemed minimal other than developing well thought out questions for interviewees.
One thing that Chambers excels at is developing overarching themes. The idea of the office lady serving tea is constantly re-introduced in a plesant way. However, the continuity issues with the chapters reiterates the ENTIRE CONCEPT at least twice and becomes redundant.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: At , last, a look beyond stereotypes
Comment: Very good book. Reccommended for anyone interested in Japan, or travelling in Japan -- esp for people who might be travelling or living there an extended time. We lived in Tokyo for nearly three years during the late nineties, and the complexities and surprisingly strong push for change that you notice if you talk a lot to women are very accurately described in this book. This book really belies the largely Western stereotype of submissive, traditional women. The book is also quite sympathetic and insightful in describing some of the difficulties of Japanese men in a changing society. Anyone interested in getting a feel for possible future directions of Japanese society should read this book.

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