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CGS Newsletter 014 Available Now!

The fourteenth issue of the CGS Newsletter is now available both in print and online. Click the URL to download the PDF version.
Newsletter 014 Available Now!

Contents of the CGS Newsletter 014

Etsuko KATO
CGS Director, ICU Senior Associate Professor

【The article below is the same as the article that appears in the fourteenth issue of the CGS Newsletter.】

 In the 2011 spring term, CGS hosted a Self-Awareness Workshop Series as part of its welcome program for new students. "Self-awareness," an unfamiliar word in Japan, refers to being aware of one's own irreplaceability.
 The expression, ji-ishiki ga takai (being highly aware of oneself), still contains negative nuances in the Japanese language today. Even though such
expressions as "raise the power of selfconfidence" (jishinryoku o sodateru) have appeared in popular books on child-rearing and business in recent years, adults in Japan are rarely encouraged to value and take pride in themselves just for being themselves. This seems to come from the perception of the self in Japan and several other cultural spheres in the world.
 According to a study of cultural psychology, people in Asia, Africa, Latin America and South Europe tend to identify themselves in relation to their family members, friends and other acquaintances; that is, they perceive the self in an "interdependent" model. This contrasts with the "independent" model of self that is shared by people in North America and Western Europe, who tend to perceive the self as consistent and unaffected by surrounding people or situations. The view of an interdependent self can lead to many
positive outcomes, such as consideration for others or avoidance of conicts. At the same time, however, people with this view may fail to make an eort to get out of uncomfortable or painful situations,which can consequently invite further difficulties. They may, for example, accept their partners' invitation to have sex despite being unwilling and unprepared to do so. They may respond to a stranger who asks them for directions on a dark street, thinking that it is rude to ignore the person. Or they may unwillingly accompany their teachers or senior students when pressured to go drinking with them. All these acts can embroil such "considerate people" in various problems.
 The awareness of one's own weaknesses, the awareness that the self (jibun) is more important than the gaze or evaluation of others, the awareness that one has the power and knowledge for self protection - in the belief that such awareness can help protect
us, CGS held workshops that featured a different approach each month. In April, Chizuko Ikegami from NGO PLACE Tokyo introduced information on sex that is not covered by sex education in high school; in May, Christopher Simons, a professor of English literature at ICU, taught self-defense skills for body and mind; in June, Chisato Kitanaka from Hiroshima University discussed the knowledge and skills required to avoid becoming a victim or a perpetrator of campus harassment. Each workshop was based on up-to-date information and had a practical focus. Building on our insights from this year's workshop series, CGS hopes to offer students an even more fruitful opportunity to meet their irreplaceable self next year.

ICU Undergraduate Student
【The article below is the same as the article that appears in the fourteenth issue of the CGS Newsletter.】

 On April 25th, 2011, CGS held a lecture called "Now You Can Ask! The Common Sense of Sex," as the first part of its Self-Awareness Workshop Series. The Speaker was Ms. Chizuko Ikegami, a sexologist and the executive director of the non-profit organization PLACE Tokyo. The discussion was based on five questions put to the audience concerning topics such as birth control, STIs, sexual intercourse, and sexual dierence.
 One aspect of the lecture that interested me was Ms. Ikegami's emphasis on the importance of communication as a means of self-protection. Ikegami observed that the lack of credible information on birth control and STIs often gives rise to misunderstanding between people regarding what is "correct." In order to avoid such problems and for self protection, communication with one's partner is essential, even if one may feel reluctant to speak about certain subjects. Ms. Ikegami asserted those who are able to forge such relationships are good couples. In other words, self protection through birth control and STI prevention requires not only contraceptives but also communication between partners.
 Ms. Ikegami also gave us an opportunity to re-examine the definition of sex. Generally, people take the word "sex" as an action involving penetration and ejaculation. This is a very narrow interpretation. However, this lecture proposed the possibility of redening sex to include "non-penetrating sex," an action involving physical contact as the most basic means of pleasure. While some people in the audience were confused of her definition and raised their doubts in the Q & A session, there were also those who said it freed them from the fear of penetration and the image of forced ejaculation during sexual intercourse. The lecture prompted listeners to think seriously about sex and sexual dierence, and judging from their varied reactions I surmised that many of them have so far had few opportunities to do so.
 I had several reasons for attending this lecture, one of which was the advertisement for it, "Too busy with study and job-hunting? Don't put off thinking seriously about sex any longer!" It struck me especially because I am a sexual minority. To be honest, the lecture seemed to be targeted at heterosexual women, and I would have appreciated more information pertinent to sexual minorities. However, I do believe that the points emphasized by Ms. Ikegami are important regardless of your sexual preferences: to protect yourself by obtaining accurate information and to rethink your stereotypical views regarding sex. Most Japanese students like me graduate from college and find ourselves being called adults, without ever having thought seriously about sex. With limited information acquired from uncertain sources, we tend to have a certain fear of jumping into the adult world. Emphasizing the risks of STIs and pregnancy may be daunting, but I assume what Ms. Ikegami wanted to convey was not the fear of sexual intercourse, but the fact that we are able to obtain a sense of security by taking precautions and dispelling anxiety. This message was clearly summed up in her words after the lecture, "Taking precautions will increase your pleasure."

Lilla DENT
ICU Undergraduate Student

【The article below is the same as the article that appears in the fourteenth issue of the CGS Newsletter.】
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 Students attending Professor Christopher Simons' - perhaps better known as one of ICU's resident Literature professors - Self-Defense Workshop on May 31st were greeted by a gym full of large inflatable exercise balls. I know it crossed my mind: is it just me, or does this look suspiciously like a Pilates class? As it turned out, obliques and V-sits were not part of the program for the day, although the exercise balls were put to good use (more on this later), just one of the many slightly unconventional - but effective and entertaining - ways in which Simons managed to present the basics of self-defense to the group in the ninety minutes allotted to the workshop.
 As a veteran of a six-week self-defense class in high school, which had consisted mostly of being put in various uncomfortable strangleholds by the teacher and practicing punches on empty two-liter soda bottles, I was surprised and pleased to find this workshop starting on a very different note. Simons began with demonstrations of "aware" and "unaware" behavior in potentially threatening real-life situations - but these skits were more than just informative. Thus he and his assistants demonstrated two dierent skits: A person harassed by a cat-caller, and felt up on the train, before the students' own acting skills were put to the test: we practiced being approached by potential aggressors and proactively escaping, or putting a halt to the situation with simple tactics such as direct eye contact, a condent stance, and moving briskly away on sensing that the aggressor had entered one's "range," the distance within which they would be capable of easily attacking.
 The workshop turned a little more serious as Simons next demonstrated what an ordinary civilian can and should do when actually physically threatened by an aggressor. "You need to switch your brain into 'forward' mode," he explained: Whenever possible, ight is of course the best - and never a shameful - option. But if you are cornered, you need to conversely concentrate on the idea of moving forward and attacking back. "An actual ght will be nasty and chaotic," he continued, "but fortunately, you won't have to worry about breaking down your own moves into complicated blocks and attacks." Instead, the trick is to shift from the attacker's "center-line" - move off-center from them as they are facing you - and one move will take care of the rest. This move, the "wedge," acts simultaneously as both block and attack: It is simply an assertive and purposefully directed version of the natural "shape" we form when instinctively inging up our arms to defend ourselves, and it can be used by any person on any attacker, regardless of size or the relative strength of the combatants. The students then practiced deploying this move on each other, and seemed to be surprised at how eective - and easy - the move actually was. Finally, the bouncy balls got their turn in the spotlight, and the group was again surprised by their own power: Merely by applying the wedge technique we had just learned, students could send a ball bounced over by a partner literally ying across the room; judging by the laughter and the thunderous ricocheting of the hapless balls, this was perhaps the most popular part of the class.
 After the workshop, one of the participants came up to thank the professor. "We all learned a lot, I think," she enthused, "and a workshop like this is particularly useful in a culture like Japan where the majority of the population are practically trained not to oend others and shrink from confrontation." When we hear the word "self-defense," the rst thing that comes to mind for many of us still is a bunch of death-defying kung fu moves - but maybe there are some key self-defense concepts that you can pick up in ninety minutes. "Range" and awareness; the "forward" mentality; the "wedge" . . . In fact, the list goes on and on. There was something pretty serious to be taken away from all the laughs after all.

Takehiko KAMITO
CGS Member, ICU Lecturer

【The article below is the same as the article that appears in the fourteenth issue of the CGS Newsletter.】

 The third part of CGS's Self-Awareness Workshop Series was "Campus Harassment: Don't Become a Victim or Victimizer!" a lecture by associate professor Chisato Kitanaka, who is currently with the Harassment Counseling Oce at Hiroshima University. The lecture was held on June 14th, 2011, and co-hosted by the ICU Human Rights Committee.
 Professor Kitanaka started by outlining the concept of sexual harassment (hereafter SH), using specic examples to illustrate her discussion. While individual perpetrators can be held accountable in cases of chikan (groping on trains), many other forms of SH involve unequal power relations, where people in positions of authority (e.g. teachers, supervisors, interviewers) take unfair advantage of those in vulnerable or insecure positions (e.g. students, subordinates, interviewees). In such cases, accountability lies not only with the individual but also with the institutions and corporations that allow the abuses to take place. In addition, certain cases are often not recognized as SH, particularly if the victimizer is of the same sex, or of the same age-group (like a classmate). One example raised was that of drinking parties where people are pressured by their peers to reveal details of their sexual experiences. SH cases roughly fall under two categories, and a knowledge of this classication can help us to recognize SH when it occurs: 1) Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment, which arises when people exploit their position or power and usually occurs between two individuals; and 2) Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment such as the spreading of rumors in the workplace, is usually perpetrated by more than one person. It can be surmised that this latter type reects society's dismissive attitude towards women and sexual minorities.
 Furthermore, Professor Kitanaka observed that power harassment and academic harassment, which can also happen in the workplace and at university, are often interwoven with SH because power relations are at the root of many SH cases. Besides overt displays of aggression or threats, there is also mental and moral harassment, which can happen to anyone as an extension of things like strict guidance. Since one reason for the prevalence of such psychological forms of harassment is that the perpetrators often fail to see their actions as such, it is essential to educate both victims and victimizers to recognize and deal with harassment.
 A question that is often raised in discussions of SH is, "Where do we draw the line between acceptable behavior and SH?" Though the ostensible reason for such a question is the fear and anxiety of unknowingly committing SH, there is also the danger of people thinking that it is all right to indulge in certain kinds of oensive behavior as long as it is not regarded as SH. In response to this, Professor Kitanaka rst dened SH as "the abuse of power or position to violate an individual's sexual freedom or the self-determination of his/her sexual identity." Thus, she stressed that we should think of SH not in terms of the words or actions themselves, but rather, in terms of a person's social standing and behavior in certain contexts, including what constitutes inexcusable behavior after a sexual advance is rebued. It is therefore important to treat each case as distinct in the sense that it involves relations between individuals, rather than regarding it in terms of the law or generalizations.
 Finally, in order to avoid becoming an SH victim, it is important to be well informed, to consult with someone regarding any problems as soon as possible, and to keep a record of any misdemeanors. And while individuals should help each other and speak out about SH cases, these problems are usually linked to the prevalent power hierarchy so there is an urgent need for a system in which victims can seek redress and support from others.

Tetsuro OKUBO
ICU Undergraduate Student

【The article below is the same as the article that appears in the fourteenth issue of the CGS Newsletter.】

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 On February 10th, 2011, a seminar called, "Thoughts on HIV/AIDS: Resistance against the Otherization of the Disease" was co-hosted by CGS as part of the Area Studies in Ethnology course at ICU. Akitomo Shingae of Nagoya City University spoke about the issue from the perspective of anthropology and immunology, and Keisuke Sakurai of PLACE Tokyo/JaNP+ related his own experience both as an advocate and as an HIV-positive person himself. From their separate viewpoints, these speakers discussed the image and reality of HIV/AIDS in Japan.
 Dr. Shingae's lecture focused on the efforts of the gay community in coming up with strategies to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. One idea put forward was the possibility of replacing the traditional top-down approach of the "community of practice," in which information is disseminated to encourage prevention by community leaders, with a "biosocial community," in which each member is proactive about exchanging information. However, I wonder just how much potential lies within a so-called community. As Dr. Shingae said, with the development of information technology, homosexuals have started meeting up through the Internet instead of through such "face-to-face" communities as gay bars. With regard to HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness for MSMs, I feel there is still a need to explore newer methods.
 Mr. Sakurai spoke so humorously about seemingly serious topics like discrimination and disease that I couldn't help but laugh. However, at the same time he made me think. What really struck me was his statement that, "People find it hard to understand that sleep apnea is actually a more serious problem for me than HIV." Until I heard Mr. Sakurai's talk, I also thought HIV was naturally a more serious disease, because at present it is impossible to cure completely. However, HIV infection can be controlled, whereas a serious case of sleep apnea that is left untreated has only a sixty-percent survival rate after eight years. I was reminded that even though the views of medicine and science may seem neutral and absolute, they are in fact inextricably tied to bias and the cultural context.
 At this seminar, the HIV/AIDS issue was mostly discussed in the context of MSMs. In fact, many people believe that the issue is restricted to the gay community. Certainly, out of a total of 12,623 HIV infections in Japan, 6,658 cases resulted from homosexual contact in comparison to 3,838 cases from heterosexual contact. If you consider the population ratio of both parties, the infection rate of heterosexuals may seem far lower than that of homosexuals/MSMs. However, there were 5,783 AIDS cases altogether of which only 1,923 resulted from homosexual contact in comparison to 2,259 from heterosexual contact. Even if you are infected with HIV, if the disease is detected in its early stages and properly treated, you can prevent the onset of AIDS. One major reason for the higher proportion of heterosexual AIDS cases could be the fact that heterosexuals are relatively less proactive about getting tested for HIV and only discoverg they are infected after the onset of AIDS. If you believe that HIV/AIDS is just a problem for the gay community, is the thought, "it doesn't concern people like me," lurking somewhere in the back of your mind?

ICU Undergraduate Student

【The article below is the same as the article that appears in the fourteenth issue of the CGS Newsletter.】

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 On May 20, 2011, Ms. Hana Washitani who specializes in lm studies and Japanese lm history gave a lecture titled "'Women's Action' in the History of Japanese Films." The event was co-hosted by CGS and "Approaches to Gender Studies," a foundation course in the pGSS major. Throughout the lecture, Ms. Washitani presented the dual nature of actresses in the masculine genre of action lms: As well as being xed in the patriarchal system, they are depicted as erotic gures with emphasis on their physical femininity.
 First of all, Ms. Washitani pointed out that early narrative cinema was based on plots in which a hero rescues a heroine. The structure of a dynamic hero who exerts righteous violence on a villain/villains, and a static heroine who awaits rescue by the hero is still a powerful narrative framework today. The heroine in such films is the object of desire, and this has enabled masculine representations of the hero. On the other hand, the early Showa period saw the emergence of "vamps," female characters who seduce men and also defeat them. The chanbara (sword-fighting) films featuring the actress Hibari Misora in male clothing gained popularity in the late Showa period. However, while these active and aggressive vamps are portrayed as wicked women sacricing men, they are also presented as objects of the masculine gaze and presented as erotic spectacles. Even Misora needed to be transformed: it was only by dressing as a man that her action scenes could be viewed as justiable battles.
 Ms. Washitani also pointed out that the "castration" of ghting women in cinematic examples from the 1970's onwards have functioned to dispel any anticipated fear of a threat to the patriarchal system. Even in Hayao Miyazaki's animated films, women appear to play an active role as protagonists, but the ghting women lose a part of their bodily functions in scenes of castration, as seen in the example of the character Lady Eboshi who lost her arms in Princess Mononoke. I think that this castration of ghting women is also found in society. For example, talking about working women presenting their ideas "from a female perspective" and praising the "beauty" of such women can also be forms of castration illustrating that working women do not threaten the central position of men in the labor market. The lecture made me see how films and other cultural media influence the framework of people's awareness, and how that awareness is in turn reected in such representations.
 At the end of the lecture, Ms. Washitani observed that the conventionally masculine domain of action in lm could be mimicked by women as a form of "make-believe play." Although women's action has been underestimated as a mere copy of the original (men's action), its very nature as mimicry serves to recongure the elements of conventional masculine representations and paves the way for the creation of new expressions. However, I was left with some doubts about this positive view of the possibilities of make-believe play or mimicry in women's action lms as a means of resistance. As Ms. Washitani herself repeatedly pointed out in the lecture, the patriarchal structure will prevail as long as women's action is regarded as a mere copy that does not threaten men's action as the original form. Yet, placing women's action at the center as the legitimate form still retains the same original frame work of original vs. copy. Rather, should we not be aiming for a framework that challenges these male/female and original/copy dichotomies?

pGSS Support, CGS Research Institute Assistant

【The article below is the same as the article that appears in the fourteenth issue of the CGS Newsletter.】

 The Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies (hereafter PGSS) was established at ICU in 2005. It was an interdisciplinary major program in the College of Liberal Arts, which was composed of six divisions at the time. When these divisions were integrated and a major system introduced by an academic reform in 2008, Gender and Sexuality Studies become one of thirty-two majors. Although it is no longer a program but a major, it employs a unique description, "pGSS" (pigusu in Japanese), retaining "p" for program. As of the 2010 academic year, twenty-two students have graduated with a PGSS major. Perhaps because the major system has made it more accessible, there are currently twelve students working on their senior theses with a major in pGSS this year. The major is certainly attracting increasing interest at the university.
 I also graduated from ICU with a PGSS major in 2008. I am now engaged in CGS's eorts to assist in the operation of pGSS and support its students in various ways. Therefore, I am constantly seeking new ways to convey the appeal of gender and sexuality studies to ICU students and to enrich their learning. Promoting the value of pGSS for life after university is particularly important, and in my view there are two major points to emphasize in doing so.
 Firstly, gender and sexuality studies can be very benecial for a students' future careers. The relevance of school and university curricula for employment has come under increasing scrutiny amidst growing concern over the employment of young graduates in Japan. CGS recognizes the importance of its mission to promote gender and sexuality studies based on constant communication with students through which we also gain an understanding of positive changes affecting student recruitment in the Japanese labor market and workplace. Although many Japanese companies have shown interest in gender equality, there are still only a few cases where fundamental change has been eected. I often hear from students who are majoring in pGSS and job hunting at the same time that gender studies is a topic of interest at their job interviews. As Japanese society gradually moves toward the realization of gender equality, students' perspectives fostered by pGSS will be evaluated as benecial to the reorganization of institutions and corporate systems.
 Secondly, pGSS can be appreciated as an essential principle of ICU's "curriculum with an emphasis on liberal arts education." In this sense, pGSS is one of the unique studies at ICU, which develops the ability to think on abstract levels and to appreciate diverse perspectives - skills that are beneficial not only for one's career but for every aspect of life. The realization of the daily struggle for accommodation and resistance within the structure and power relations of gender and sexuality leads to a deeper understanding of oneself and empathy for others. Liberal arts education in general aims to help students develop the fundamental ability to interact with others in society. I believe that my education at ICU helped me to acquire such diverse perspectives and critical thinking skills. I aim to support and guide pGSS students by sharing these ideas with them and stimulating their interest in issues of gender and sexuality.

Haengri LEE
Graduate School of Language and Society, Hitotsubashi University

【The article below is the same as the article that appears in the fourteenth issue of the CGS Newsletter.】

 Ten years have passed since the Women's International War Crimes Tribunal on Japan's Military Sexual Slavery (hereafter, the Tribunal) fought to restore justice and dignity to victims of the Japanese military's sexual slavery by exposing the unlawfulness of its latent violence. This people's tribunal was held in December 2000 in Tokyo to adjudicate the Japanese military's enforcement of sexual slavery. On December 5th, 2010, "Ten Years after the Women's International War Crimes Tribunal on Japan's Military Sexual Slavery: International Symposium on the Tribunal's ndings and the changes it brought about - sexual violence, racial prejudice, and colonialism," was held at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. About 500 people participated in this event, which reected on the signicance of the Tribunal and summarized the situation and activism regarding the problem of "comfort women."
 In the first session, "What was the Women's International War Crimes Tribunal?" one of the Tribunal's chief prosecutors, Patricia Viseur-Sellers, declared that its ruling was epochal in stating that sexual slavery based on gender constituted a crime against humanity, because the issue had not previously been addressed at the Tokyo Tribunal (1946-1948). She also stressed the need for the compensation and reparations recommended by the Tribunal to be carried out by civil society.
 In the second session, "Testimony of the Victims of the Japanese Military's Sexual Violence in Asia," testimonies were heard from two Chinese victims, Wei Shao-Lan and her son Luo Shan-Xue. During Japan's invasion, Wei was taken by the Japanese soldiers, and forced to become one of many comfort women. Luo, who was born as a result of the countless rapes she endured, grew up being taunted and excluded by others for being "the son of a Japanese." The fact that he had to bear the blame for Japan's wrongdoing illustrates the deep-rooted problem of comfort women: not only are the survivors themselves traumatized by the past, but succeeding generations are also subject to suering and pain from it.
 At the third session, "The Tribunal's Ruling: How We Can Continue the Testimonies," a video was screened in which Lisa Yoneyama criticized the national Japanese network NHK's modied coverage of the Tribunal in 2001. NHK omitted references to the Tribunals' fundamental principle that "there can be no peace or reconciliation without clarifying responsibility," the testimonies of victims, and the nal verdict that found the Emperor Hirohito ultimately responsible for the sex slave policy. Furthermore, it failed to convey the Tribunal's critical feminist ideology, the view that gender relations are constrained by colonialism, racism and social discrimination. Yoneyama then posed the following two problems: 1) the question of how the listeners would face the testimony, and 2) the need to reflect more deeply on the idea that "there can be no peace or reconciliation without justice."
 The difficulty for survivors is not caused simply by the lack of awareness in society regarding sexual violence or by Japan's unwillingness to acknowledge its responsibility for war crimes. Other important factors are the split between North and South Korea caused by colonial independence, and the economic and social gulf that exists between Japan and other East Asian countries. Amidst a backlash against questioning the history of Japan's invasion and its colonial rule, the Japanese government is pushing for a multi-national military policy, which will strengthen its militarism. Without criticizing this continuation of colonialism, these problems can never truly be overcome.
 In order to realize the ndings of the Tribunal in Japan, we must continue to investigate the relationship between sexual violence, racism, and colonialism, which was discussed at this symposium, and to conduct further research with a view to problem resolution.

Society of Humanities, Graduate School of Miyagi Gakuin Women's University/Regular Member, Sexualities and Human Rights Network ESTO

【The article below is the same as the article that appears in the fourteenth issue of the CGS Newsletter.】
(ESTO Logo)

 I still cannot forget the overwhelming terror I felt when the Great East Japan Earthquake struck. The ground shook violently for what seemed like an eternity, and the size of the tsunamis that hit the Tohoku region beggared belief. As a recipient of the aid that has since been pouring in from all over the country and the world, I would like to express my sincere gratitude. It has enabled us to start rebuilding our shattered lives.
 For some time I have been concerned with the problems of sexual minorities (hereafter LGBTIs), and I am a member of the sexual and human rights network ESTO. Our organization recently hosted a discussion in Sendai on natural disasters and sexual minorities, where participants shared their experiences and thoughts of the disaster and its aftermath. When one survivor who has GID (Gender Identity Disorder) spoke about having to wear the same nabe shatsu (chest-binding undergarment) for a week, ESTO collected and delivered donations of nabe shatsu from far and wide. Although there are many other organizations besides ours supporting the aected regions, there is still a long way to go. Here I will focus on the needs of LGBTI survivors.
 One of the primary problems after a disaster is that of identication for accessing medical facilities or safety conrmation. People with GID or DSD (Disorders/Divergence of Sex Development) nd it hard to use medical facilities because the gender mentioned on their health insurance cards may not correspond to their physical features. The fact that there are few medical practitioners with proper knowledge of LGBTIs in the make-shift hospitals further compounds the problem. Moreover, if the patient is unconscious with a condition associated with his/her physical gender, there may be unnecessary delays in treatment because such decisions are likely to be based on physical appearance. Proper identication poses a similar problem for safety conrmation. Notication regarding deceased persons is based on physical appearance, which may differ from the sex noted in his/her official family registry (koseki). Since homosexual partners are not legally considered to be family members, they are denied the right to make vital decisions for medical treatment or to receive the bodies of their deceased partners.
 Another issue is the sex segregation of living quarters in most evacuation centers. People with GID are categorized as male or female based on their gender identity or their biological sex. This system is far from perfect: The former case leads to problems in using communal baths and changing rooms, and the latter case subjects them to needless stress. The living conditions at evacuation centers are therefore very dicult for LGBTIs because their existence is not recognized.
 Finally, the problem of identication also arises when applying for fin ancial aid. People with GID or DSD are scrutinized and exposed to awkward questions when they submit documents that note their gender.
 These are just a few of the problems faced by the LGBTI community in the aftermath of the disaster. I feel that there is an urgent need not only for us to appeal to society, but also for intermediaries who are well-versed in the needs of LGBTI to act as a pipe-line between relief efforts and the victims. The problems I have listed here pose a grave threat to the protection of basic human rights, and cannot be ignored. There remains much to be done in order to ensure quality of life for LGBTI victims of this natural disaster.

Council Member, Nakano Ward Council

【The article below is the same as the article that appears in the fourteenth issue of the CGS Newsletter.】

 "I can't help feeling that they [sexual minorities] are lacking in some way. It's probably because of their genetics. I pity them for being minorities." Behind this remark by Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara lie two thinly veiled delusions: 1) there are genetic dierences between the sexual majority and minorities; and 2) to live in contentment, one must be a part of the majority.
 The approval or indifference with which many Tokyoites responded to this remark by a public official reveals the widespread view that homosexuals exist only on television programs, or that they are different, unhappy people who should be pitied. Perhaps those laboring under such delusions are afraid of the realization that they could be unhappy themselves one day, or that they may already be unhappy. So perhaps they look for people like minorities who seem particularly unhappy to persuade themselves that their lives are at least happier in comparison.
 Yet in reality, we are all lacking in some ways and gifted in others. Misery or misfortune may befall any of us at any time. Regardless of majority or minority status, each and every person is diverse and foreign. While we may experience conict at times, we should try to remain open and accepting. By complementing each other's strengths and weaknesses, and living in harmonious coexistence, we have the potential to achieve greater results than a single "complete" individual.
 A demonstration was held in Nakano on January 14th, 2011 in protest against the aforementioned remark by the governor. Nevertheless, in the Tokyo gubernatorial election held three months later, Ishihara won his fourth consecutive term. This resulted from a lack of continuous and eective campaigns against Ishihara, and the fact that 40% of Tokyo citizens did not take up their voting rights. These issues must be resolved for the creation of a true gay-friendly society.

(A Photo from the Protest Meeting ©Rainbow Action)
(A Photo from the Protest Demonstration ©Rainbow Action)

 In a society where citizens are legally authorized to vote for a leader, it is essential that we also consider how to go about debating and negotiating with the elected leader. Even if one despises the the current social system, problems will never be resolved by abdicating one's right to participate in the political process. Rather, one should utilize the law, government officials, and city council members, in order to disseminate one's ideas and opinions throughout society. It is a right that we all possess, and we must nd ways to make full use of it.

An Exchange Student from the People's Republic of China

【The article below is the same as the article that appears in the fourteenth issue of the CGS Newsletter.】

 On April 3rd, 2011, police stormed into Q Bar, a gay bar in the Bund area of Shanghai, and detained more than sixty patrons and employees for nearly twelve hours. It is reported that they were held at Xiaodongmen police station without food, drink, or blankets. Police cited a "pornographic show" at the bar as their reason for the raid, but many of the detainees deny that such a show was being staged.
 There are a number of alternative explanations for this raid. Firstly, homophobia prevails in the People's Republic of China. Sodomy was decriminalized in 1997, and homosexuality was officially removed from a list of mental illnesses in 2001. However, homosexuals, and sexual minorities in general, are still subject to discrimination in the wider community. Even though such attitudes are gradually fading away among the younger generation, I have myself experienced the deep-rooted prejudice that still exists among their parents' generation and society as a whole.
 The nature of politics in the People's Republic of China may have been another contributing factor. As seen by recent events in which a number of pro-democracy campaigners were detained and arrested, the government tends to restrict the freedom of its citizens without examining their political assertions or social positions if they are judged to be a threat to political stability. This was illustrated by the fact that only the Chinese patrons and employees at Q Bar were taken into custody, while foreign citizens were allowed to leave (although this is also partly because police can only detain Chinese citizens by law). Other cases involving politics and perhaps also homophobia are the major police raid on a Shanghai gay bar in 2007, and the last-minute police intervention that led to the cancellation of Beijing's gay and lesbian culture festival in 2005. Furthermore, the Shanghai Pride festival was rst held in 2009, but organizers were compelled by authorities to cancel some events at very short notice, and the planned gay parade was not allowed to take place. Activities for LGBT empowerment are often suppressed when they are considered to clash with city and provincial governments. As the situation for LGBTs in the People's Republic of China is a complex mix of political, cultural, and historical contexts, there are obviously a number of other factors to be considered besides those listed above. It should also be noted that the situation diers in Beijing and other cities, as well as Taiwan and Hong Kong.
 For now, I wish to conclude by expressing my hope for the realization of a world in which LGBTs in the People's Republic of China and across the globe are no longer discriminated for their sexual orientations.

Natsumi IKOMA
CGS Steering Committee Member
ICU Senior Associate Professor

【The article below is the same as the article that appears in the fourteenth issue of the CGS Newsletter.】

 On January 29th, 2011, the Center for Gender Research and Social Sciences at Hitotsubashi University organized and held a workshop, "Childcare Support Services at Universities." Among the eighty diverse participants were a pregnant graduate student and several male faculty members rearing small children, and the room was filled with enthusiasm and a sense of urgency. Panelists from Tokyo Gakugei University, Tohoku University, Utsunomiya University, and Niigata University reported their respective experiences in setting up childcare support systems and the oor showered them with practical questions and commentary filled with respect and envy for those who have achieved so much in the face of resistance.
 Although CGS has emphasized the necessity for childcare support services at ICU since 2007, ICU has not been enthusiastic about introducing such a system because of the small size of the university and, consequently, the absence of continual demand. But the voices of those in urgent need are often not audible as they are too busy taking care of their children.Under such circumstances, it is encouraging that Hitotsubashi University has started to move forward. However, now that many universities are considering the introduction of childcare support, it is worrisome that ICU is falling behind. With the decreasing population of 18 year-olds, ICU needs to increase the number of mature students as well as students from abroad who may regard such support as a necessity. Future candidates for educational or administrative positions may also hope for a working environment with childcare support. Whether or not ICU has a childcare support system will greatly influence its competitive power and may decide its future. ICU can still appeal to society by setting up a unique system now, but it needs to act promptly.
 The governmental and institutional policies of post-war Japanese society pushed care work - for children, the elderly or the handicapped - upon households. This liberated workers and soldiers from the burden of care work and directed their societal contribution towards economic growth. Yet one simple fact has been forgotten, as Fumika Sato (Hitotsubashi University) pointed out at the workshop, "that there comes a time in every life that one must depend on others to live." Not only is the society unbalanced and male-centric, the problem itself has been rendered invisible.
 Recently, however, the economic crisis has given rise to a need for female labor power in society, and to secure it, many enterprises have started to support childcare. But for the most part, society remains male-centric with the male worker as the only model, and consequently, many female workers have ended up taking on care work on top of their jobs.
 According to an article in the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper on February 14th, 2011, a study by Cardiff University has revealed that the Japanese, among other nationalities, have an extremely low level of desire to have children, and that the burden of childcare is particularly strongly felt by Japanese women. For many women in Japan, it is too much of a burden to work as hard as their male colleagues and to answer for childcare singlehandedly at the same time, and this causes them to hesitate to have a child. Obviously, a childcare allowance is not a fundamental solution; financial support is not the only thing that is needed. The problem lies in the fact that most childcare work is imposed upon women, and that it is regarded as a personal problem rather than a public issue. In pre-modern Japan, with its large households and strong local networks, care for children and the elderly was generally shared amongst members of the community. However, in today's society where households have diminished to nuclear units and local networks have been lost, care issues are beyond the power of the individual, or the family unit. Therefore, the anachronistic male model needs to be replaced by a new model in which care work is supported by the whole society/community/enterprise. Otherwise, the future of our society is certainly bleak.
 Universities are supposed to be the conscience of society. In reality, however, they are male-centric and are based on the old model in which the paid work of male researchers is supported by the non-paid (or lower-paid) work of female staff. The same is true in the case of ICU where the ratio of male to female professors is 7:3. The fact that there is now an increasing number of universities considering the introduction of a childcare system is more than welcome, as it can lead to the improvement of the society as a whole. Incorporating, instead of excluding, childcare from workplaces or places of learning has educational signficance because it will demonstrate to students who are going to be the central force in society in the future that childcare is an important part of the society and is supported by the whole society. The current low birth rate is a huge problem for universities. As an effective countermeasure against the low birth rate, they should take immediate progressive action to improve their own environment and reduce the stress related to childcare. Considering the pedagogical importance implicit here, ICU should become a progressive model for others to follow.
 Though ICU church has a kindergarten, it does not function as a place for the children of full-time faculty or administrative sta. I would like the university to change this situation, and to consider the possibility of adding a childcare facility to the kindergarten. My proposition is as follows: 1) The kindergarten retains its program and organization, 2) a new childcare section is run by external professionals, 3) the childcare section guarantees enrollment for children of ICU students and sta, 4) those who enroll in the childcare section can attend the programs offered by the kindergarten. This would oer a wonderful alternative among existing childcare options. Political initiative to integrate kindergartens and childcare centers in Japan has been ineective so far, despite the number of parents who hope for childcare combined with early education. ICU kindergarten has developed a unique early education program and it should be utilized more.
 The establishment of a facility described above may take some time. In the meanwhile, we propose the introduction of the following small-scale childcare support services that may be more realistic and feasible for the ICU community.
 We would like the university to offer a quiet room with a few baby-beds, a sofa, water facility, a pot, and a microwave. A large room is not necessary, as, on sunny days, the huge campus itself can become a place to take care of the attending children. It is also important that a multi-purpose restroom with a diaper-changing facility be installed in every building on campus; such facilities should be as common as the care considerations for the handicapped and for minorities.
 Regarding the choice of service providers, it would be advisable for the university to enter into a contract with insured external childcare professionals or NPOs. Preferably, the university should offer support to reduce costs for student users. The quiet room would be for occasional not continuous use, and users should arrange the care themselves when they need to take their children to campus. For those who are using some kind of childcare system in the vicinity of their residence, this is the most practical way. The room itself can be used as a place for breast-feeding and diaper-changing as well. To maintain security, users should be registered beforehand. Following the example of Niigata University, students who have completed an external training course can register as assistant sitters. This would oer valuable work experience to those studying education or developmental psychology. Student sitters may also work as paid carers for older children (a system that is already in place at Niigata University). The cost for an NPO-care provider and a student sitter should be differentiated so that each user can choose according to their financial (and other) situation.
 This system would make childcare on campus more visible and enable students to participate in it. Further, it will be a meaningful experience for students to see childcare as an important and fundamental practice for every human being. It is certainly possible for a university as small as ICU to offer a unique childcare support system. We believe that such a progressive system would make ICU a model for other universities in Japan to emulate.

 The following is a selective list of universities in the Kanto area and other regions that oer original childcare services. The number of these universities in Japan is growing every year and it is hoped that ICU will soon join their ranks. Some American liberal-arts colleges, similar to ICU in size, are also listed for comparison. (US information was collected by Samantha Landau.)


Japan Women's University: The university kindergarten has a childcare section for children of faculty, sta and students.

Keio University: A public childcare center at the Hiyoshi campus. It is open to external users as well, and operated by an external service provider (Benesse).

Musashino University: The university kindergarten offers additional childcare services.
Niigata University: The baby-sitting service utilizing student sitters is oered.

Sophia University: a private nursery for children of faculty, staff, and students, operated by an external service provider (Poppins Corporation). The university oers a subsidy to users.

Tokyo Gakugei University: A childcare facility at the Koganei campus, open to external users as well. It is operated by an external service provider (Success Academy), and fees vary according to status (full-time undergraduate/graduate students, part-time students, faculty and staff, local residents).

University of Tokyo: 2 private (for University faculty, staff, and students only) and 1 public (for external users as well) childcare centers in the Hongo area, and 1 private and 1 semi-public (for external users as well) childcare centers in the Komaba area. The Shirokane and Kashiwa campuses also have 1 private childcare center each. 5 private childcare centers are under direct management of the university, but operated by external service providers (Success Pro Sta and Poppins Corporation).

Utsunomiya University: A public childcare center, open to external users as well.

Waseda University: A semi-public childcare center open to external users as well, and operated by an external service provider (Poppins Corporation). Its program integrates childcare with early education.


Allegheny College: A private childcare center on campus. The university provides the site for a fee.

Dartmouth College: An early education center for university staff. Fees are decided according to parents' income. The university web page has information on childcare support.

Rice University: A Montessori-method early education center for children of faculty, staff and students. In addition, there is a nursing room on campus with cooking facilities. Some slots at external childcare centers are secured for university-aliated users. The university website has extensive information on childcare support.

Swarthmore College: A system of referral to nearby childcare service providers. The university does not oer subsidies.

Fumika SATO
Financial and Administrative Director,
Center for Gender Research and Social Sciences, Hitotsubashi University

【The article below is the same as the article that appears in the fourteenth issue of the CGS Newsletter.】
p015_01.JPG p015_02.JPG
(Photos from the Workshop)

 National Universities, now termed "National University Corporations," operate based on mid-term objectives and plans that are determined every six years. In its second mid-term plans, Hitotsubashi University has finally stated its intention to "ensure support for childbirth and child-rearing in view of achieving a balance with research activities."
 Our Center for Gender Research and Social Sciences (CGraSS) has consistently positioned itself as an organization for education and research. This reflected our view that issues of welfare and administration should come under the purview of the university since our own activities are necessarily limited by a lack of human resources. Consequently, we must admit to feeling some hesitation in holding the open workshop, "Childcare Support Services at Universities: Toward a New Hitotsubashi University," in January 2011. However, no other organization seemed to be able to take the lead on this issue, and we couldn't just wait around hoping for concrete measures to fall from the sky. Thus, we decided to organize the workshop, aiming to learn from the various eorts of other universities and to share information.
 Due to a delay in publicity for the event, there were only a dozen or so participants registered at the beginning of the year. Overall, the responses we received from people seemed to dier according to their situation. Those who had somehow overcome such problems in the past tended to look back on their past experiences nostalgically but no longer seemed to feel any sense of urgency. In contrast, the problems seemed too distant for many undergraduate students who were yet to face them. Even some graduate students declared that they had more pressing issues to worry about. Moreover, many of those who currently have children did not have the time for such an event, even though they were the ones who most needed it. Therefore, we decided to set up a temporary day-care center on the day of the workshop in order to encourage participation by such busy parents.
 Calling on people to participate in this workshop was quite a different experience from our efforts for other events. I was rendered speechless by the contrast between the cold indifference of many women and the encouraging shouts from men, and I was disappointed by some people's lack of empathy for others in need. I also became doubtful about whether those who were supportive of our cause would be as passionate about other social causes. In the midst of my exhaustion, however, I was motivated by a message from one professor approaching retirement. She told us that in her youth she had eagerly collected information for the establishment of a childcare center at Hitotsubashi University. Despite several opportunities, the campaign had eventually failed because the university was deemed too small to accommodate their plans. She also expressed her appreciation to us for holding the workshop, which was "like a dream come true" for her. I was moved beyond words by the thought of the dream she had given up so long ago.
 As for the results, we fortunately had more than eighty participants filling the hall with excitement on the day. With our ardent appeals to the president and vice president receiving favorable responses, we succeeded in relaying the urgent voices of those in need. In light of our objective to bring scattered people together, I think we can call this workshop a success. Of course, this success is only the first small step in the long journey that lies ahead.

Haru ONO
Website administrator, Rainbow Family

【The article below is the same as the article that appears in the fourteenth issue of the CGS Newsletter.】
(Still of The Kids Are Alright ©2010 TKA Alright, LLC All Rights Reserved)

 I am a lesbian mother raising three children with my female partner. I have been given the opportunity to write a review of the film The Kids Are All Right from my perspective as an LGBT. For those who have not seen this film already, it is about two children who were born to a lesbian couple (Julianne Moore and Annette Bening) by articial insemination. Problems start when these children, now coming of age, contact their biological father. My initial reaction when I saw the lm was that it was quite dierent from its advertisements, which had given me the impression that it was a family comedy set in Southern California.
 I must first commend the acting in the film, especially by the two main actors. But in this review I will focus on the sense of incongruity I felt while watching the lm, which I believe reects the current state of LGBT families in Japan. (You may not know this, but there are quite a few LGBT families in this country!)
 The first thing that felt rather odd to me was how the film portrayed the family of a lesbian couple (like my own) as being no different from that of a heterosexual couple. This is probably due to the director Lisa Cholodenko's own background: She is a lesbian herself, and actually gave birth to a child through artificial insemination while shooting the lm. So I believe that the lm was targeted more for non-LGBTs rather than the LGBT community. In fact, many heterosexuals empathized with the lm and felt that it was about a universal familial love. The film strongly conveys the director's message that all families are basically the same, regardless of the parents' sexuality. This relates back to the title of the lm, The Kids Are All Right. My own situation is slightly different from the lm as my children are from an earlier heterosexual marriage and not conceived through artificial insemination, and I have never felt discriminated against for raising them with my lesbian partner. However, the situation for LGBT couples in Japan is still dicult. If you say you have children, you will almost certainly be asked whether the children are "all right."
 The difference between the situation for LGBT families in Japan and in the US is another factor that contributed to my feeling of incongruity. In the US, artificial insemination by lesbians became quite common twenty years ago. Those children have now come of age, and a new generation is replacing the old. On the other hand, lesbian pregnancies have only recently started in Japan. Artificial insemination by unmarried couples is not officially recognized in Japan, so they have no choice but to do so by unofficial means. Nevertheless there are many Japanese lesbians who want children, and are paving the way for others. At such an early stage, what we need to see is not a picture of what may happen in twenty years' time, but hope for us to move forward. In this sense, the lm was a little too "real." I will not give away any details, but the lm drives home the reality of everyday life rather than depicting a happily-ever-after ending. I would probably have had a different reaction to the film if lesbian pregnancies were more common in Japan.
 In the end, however, my reactions to the film all stem from a (new-found) sense of hope. So for now, I would just like to rejoice in the knowledge that such a lm has been released!

Newsletter014: Monthly Archives