The Role of Women in the Japanese Society "The River Ki" by Sawako Ariyoshi and "The Waiting Years" by Fumiko Enchi.

Essay by efagan1University, Bachelor'sA+, May 2003

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The Role of Women in the Japanese Society

The first book I read for this assignment was The River Ki by Sawako Ariyoshi. This book is the one I like the most thus far in our reading for this class. The book explicitly described the life of three generations of people within one family. It was really interesting to see how the world changed around them and this caused the different generations to think differently as well. The people's thoughts and ideas change throughout the different generations but their need of family and their support for their family remains constant throughout the generations.

The title of this book plays a very important role. The River Ki is a river that the family lives near. Throughout the book the family makes many references to the River Ki. This river is very important to them and they believe certain myths about the river.

Sawako Ariyoshi writes, "The River Ki flows from east to west...she will have to travel from west to east against the flow of the river. Brides from families along the Ki must never travel upstream. (p. 13)" Toyono knows that the River Ki flows from east to west and she believes that this direction of flow is important in their life. She believes that her granddaughter must follow the flow of the river when she is married. If her daughter goes against the flow of the river, there will be extremely bad circumstances that follow.

Later on in this book, it seems as though Fumio goes against the flow of society. Hana feels that this is a bad situation and negative circumstances will follow. This goes along with the previous example of Toyono and Hana's belief in going with the flow of the river. If the flow...