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Womens Gender Roles In Japanese Religious Traditions

            From the time of her birth in Japan, a women, will have a much different religious experience than one of her counterparts from another society. This is partly due to the rigid and strict society in which she lives, but also due to the rich and generous blend of religious traditions that make one entirely unique experience. Japan is a country without a truly native religion. The people of Japan are all members of several different traditions and each person may be more religious in one area at different times in there life. The blend is mainly made up of Shinto, Buddhism, Confucius, Taoist and Folk Traditions. The people all belong to both a Shinto Shrine and Buddhist Temple. The country is run through the Confucius and Taoist theories and the Folk Traditions are most visible in village celebrations and the new traditions that have sprung up in the few previous centuries. And like the society of Japan itself, its religious traditions have specific gender roles that maintain the separate spheres of men and women. I am not going to discuss to much about the gender roles of males in the traditions of Japan because it is the roles of women I find to be much more important to the continuation of certain traditions along with being much more intriguing. Several other researchers also seem to felt the same admiration for these women as I do because of the vast number of books and articles I came across during the course of my own study. Many of these I found to be fascinating however, for use in my paper I could only chose a few to help me explain the roles of women in Japanese religious traditions. The first book I choose was an article written in the book Ceremony and Ritual in Japan by D.P. Martinez. The book deals with the rituals in Japan and specifically the roles of women in both Shinto and Buddhist practices. Martinez main focus in the articles is on that of the outsider feeling women have in both society and religion in Japan.

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