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0px 0.0px; font: 11.0px Helvetica; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000} span.s1 {font-kerning: none} span.Apple-tab-span {white-space:pre} The status of women in Japanese society went through a series of changes, initially triggered the reforms of the Meiji Restoration. The Meiji Restoration was a political revolution in 1868 that brought down the military government, ending the Edo period. Power was returned to the emperor Meiji and a great amount of political, economic, and social changed occur as a result of this restoration.

The changes vastly affected the way women were treated and viewed. Trafficking of women became restricted, a female initiated divorce was accepted, and education was open to both male and female children. After World War II, women were then given the right to vote, and in addition, a new constitution was drafted in 1946, guaranteeing gender equality. Although in 1970, feminism in Japan finally took off with the uuman libu, meaning women’s liberation. Mitsu Tanaka led the group and formed a manifesto for the modern movement, despite the ridicule she received from her surrounding male counterparts. Tanaka was seen as the voice for all women who felt they were not heard. She, herself, dealt with severe trauma from a young age, for she was raped at a young age, grew up with issues related to family and home life, and dealt with discrimination and sexism in the workplace. The uuman libu movement fought for self expression, self affirmation, self determination, female sexuality and independence for women.

In addition to this, the women of the movement created an alliance with other oppressed groups such as the homeless, pollution victims, and those with disabilities.  Under the influence of Marxism in the 1960’s, women were only seen as housekeepers or sex objects. When a translated version of “Our Bodies, Ourselves” was released in Japan, the eyes of the feminists were opened.

They realized that their right to control their own bodies was taken from them. In Tokyo, specifically, Mitsu’s group of feminists, Fighting Women, opened the Shinjuku Liberation Center, in which rape victims and victims of abuse can receive safe shelter, or counseling services for women in need of abortion and divorce. Bookstores, craftshops, coffeehouses, and restaurants devoted to women’s groups opened in large cities. Although, unlike the U.S., 

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