Before the 8th century, half of Japans reigning female sovereigns, such as the popular semi-legendary empress Jingu, were believed to have shaman-like powers. Japans sun goddess Amaterasu, to whom every emperor has had to claim direct descendancy, was also worshiped as a symbol of female mystical power. Her Great Shrine at Ise, cared for by high priestesses, still plays an important role in the lives of the japanese today. The more positive influences of Shintoism were weakened by the samurai culture and spread of Confucianism and Buddhism in Japan. Yet, in the heian era (950-1050. E.) women still held relative equity in marriage, education, and property rights.
Natural Law Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Written by the female historian Ban Zhoa (Han dynasty,. lessons became one of Chinas most durable sources of advice about female behavior. One nugget tells women to yield to others; let her put others first, herself last. In the song dynasty (960-1279. E a reinterpretation of Confucian teaching called neoconfucianism stratified the position of women even more. Augmented by ideas of wife fidelity and husband worship brought by the mongols, neoconfucian beliefs led to the egregious practices of footbinding, insistence on widow chastity, and the selling of unwanted daughters. Although footbinding illustrates the perceived need to limit language female mobility, the practice did not appear until the song Dynasty and was not universally followed. Women of most ethnic minorities, including hakka and Manchu women, did not practice it, nor did some peasants who had to work in the fields, nor did women in Japan. In Japan, the influence of Shintoism lessened the initial impact of neoconfucian on womens lives. Within Shintoism women held power as mikos, a type of shaman with divination abilities.
Chinese buddhism was at its height during the essay reign of wu zetian who promoted the religion and even justified her rule by claiming she was a reincarnation of a previous female buddhist saint. During Wus reign, and throughout the early to mid Tang period, women enjoyed relatively high status and freedom. Lovely tang era paintings and statues depict women on horseback, and as administrators, dancers and musicians. Stories and poems, like those from the pen of the infamous female poet yu xuanji, also attest to the almost modern openness of the period. In contrast, confucianism became the most pervasive doctrine to promote the belief in womens natural place. Confucius himself did not inherently denigrate women, although he placed them at the lower end of the patriarchal family structure. Yet, through the ages the assumption that mens and womens social places and expected behaviors were quite distinct was based on Confucian hierarchical precepts, and were reinforced by prescriptive advice manuals like.
Journey to the west, also expresses aspects of yin/yang beliefs. As yin, this goddess is compassionate, promising immortality; as yang, she is a force who had the power to disrupt the cosmic yin/yang harmony. This pervasive fear that women could bring chaos by upsetting the cosmic harmony was an obstacle for women who aspired to male political leadership. Those who succeeded were accused of breaking one of natures laws, of becoming like a hen crowing. Years after her reign, this derogatory presentation term was applied to Chinas only female emperor, wu zetian (Tang dynasty, 625-705. Buddhism as practiced in Japan and China also granted women some areas of empowerment. Women went on pilgrimages to buddhist temples, retreated to nunneries, sometimes gave public lectures, and led temple groups.
While this most often results in the subordination of womens position in society vis-a-vis men, it sometimes can be a source of womens special strength. In China, the concept of gender difference appears visually in the male/female aspects of the yin/yang taoist symbol. The dark swirl within the symbols circle is the passive, yielding, feminine yin; the light swirl the active, aggressive, male yang. Neither principle is considered subordinate to the other; each complements the other and is capable of expressing both female and male characteristics. Within taoism, then, women were able to seek spiritual fulfillment beyond their family duties. Some joined convents, others gathered with men to discuss philosophy and religion, a few became taoist adepts. Ancient Chinas highest goddess, Hsi huang mu (queen Mother of the west found in the classic tale.
Locke, john Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
The old man handed me some more beer to help me on with my storytelling. Men filled their essay long wooden pipes and knocked coals from the fire to place in the pipe bowls; then, puffing contentedly, they sat back to listen. I began in the proper style, not yesterday, not yesterday, but long ago, a thing occurred. One night three men were keeping watch outside the homestead of the great chief, when suddenly they saw the former chief approach them. Why was he no longer their chief?
He was dead, i explained. That is why they were troubled and afraid when they saw him. Impossible, began one of the elders, handing his pipe on to his neighbor, who interrupted, Of course it wasnt the dead chief. It was an omen sent by a witch. Underlying the beliefs of many cultures business is an assumption that, beyond biology, women and men possess essentially different capacities and functions. Understanding this assumption helps make sense of the perpetuation and even institutionalization of male/female difference with regard to behavior expectations, position within the family, legal rights, public status, education, and types of work.
Personal letters for the few who had relatives in the government or mission stations were kept until someone went to a large market where there was a letter writer and reader. Since my arrival, letters were brought to me to be read. A few men also brought me bride price receipts, privately, with requests to change the figures to a higher sum. I found moral arguments were of no avail, since in-laws are fair game, and the technical hazards of forgery difficult to explain to an illiterate people. I did not wish them to think me silly enough to look at any such papers for days on end, and I hastily explained that my paper was one of the things of long ago of my country. Ah, said the old man.
I protested that I was not a storyteller. Storytelling is a skilled art among them; their standards are high, and the audiences critical—and vocal in their criticism. I protested in vain. This morning they wanted to hear a story while they drank. They threatened to tell me no more stories until I told them one of mine. Finally, the old man promised that no one would criticize my style, for we know you are struggling with our language. But, put in one of the elders, you must explain what we do not understand, as we do when we tell you our stories. Realizing that here was my chance to prove. Hamlet universally intelligible, i agreed.
Cicero natural Law, natural Rights, and American
Sit down and drink. I accepted a large calabash full of beer, poured some into a small drinking gourd, and tossed it down. Then I poured some more into the same gourd for the man second in seniority to my host before i handed my calabash over to a young man for further distribution. Important people shouldnt ladle beer themselves. It is better like this, the old man said, looking at me approvingly and plucking at the thatch that had caught in my hair. You should sit and drink with us summary more often. Your servants tell me that when you are not with us, you sit inside your hut looking at a paper. The old man was acquainted with four kinds of papers: tax receipts, bride price receipts, court fee receipts, and letters. The messenger who brought him letters from the chief used them mainly as a badge of office, for he always knew what was in them and told the old man.
I was quite sure that. Hamlet had only one possible interpretation, and that one universally obvious. Early every morning, in the hope of having some serious talk before the beer party, i used to call on the old man at his reception hut—a circle of posts supporting a thatched roof above a low mud wall to keep out wind and rain. One day i crawled through the low doorway and found most of the men of the homestead sitting huddled in their ragged cloths on stools, low plank beds, and reclining chairs, big warming themselves against the chill of the rain around a smoky fire. In the center were three pots of beer. The party had started. The old man greeted me cordially.
sang or they drank and told stories. In any case, by noon or before, i either had to join the party or retire to my own hut and my books. One does not discuss serious matters when there is beer. Come, drink with. Since i lacked their capacity for the thick native beer, i spent more and more time with. Before the end of the second month, grace descended.
I eventually settled on london the hillock of a very knowledgeable old man, the head of a homestead of some hundred and forty people, all of whom were either his close relatives or their wives and children. Like the other elders of the vicinity, the old man spent most of his time performing ceremonies seldom seen these days in the more accessible parts of the tribe. Soon there would be three months of enforced isolation and leisure, between the harvest that takes place just before the rising of the swamps and the clearing of new farms when the water goes down. Then, i thought, they would have even more time to perform ceremonies and explain them. I was quite mistaken. Most of the ceremonies demanded the presence of elders from several homesteads. As the swamps rose, the old men found it too difficult to walk from one homestead to the next, and the ceremonies gradually ceased. As the swamps rose even higher, all activities but one came to an end. The women brewed beer from maize and millet.
Politics (essay) - wikipedia
An American anthropologist set out to study the tiv of West Africa and was taught the true meaning of Hamlet. By, laura bohannan, just before i left Oxford for the tiv in West Africa, conversation turned to the season at Stratford. You americans, said a friend, often have difficulty with Shakespeare. He was, after all, a very English poet, and one can easily misinterpret the universal by misunderstanding the particular. I protested that human nature is pretty much the same the whole father's world over; at least the general plot and motivation of the greater tragedies would always be clear—everywhere—although some details of custom might have to be explained and difficulties of translation might produce other. To end an argument we could not conclude, my friend gave me a copy. Hamlet to study in the African bush: it would, he hoped, lift my mind above its primitive surroundings, and possibly i might, by prolonged meditation, achieve the grace of correct interpretation. It was my second field trip to that African tribe, and I thought myself ready to live in one of its remote sections—an area difficult to cross even on foot.