• Finished

Discussion 4: Can we reassess the contemporary image of women through old stories?

  • Art Project ,
  • Lecture / Symposium

Can we reassess the contemporary image of women through old stories?

Rules and social conventions exist between men and women in daily life. We live with the potential consequences, under the accumulation of ambiguous impressions that comprise these rules. Heterosexual love is the general assumption; more than 90% of women change their surnames when they get married; the image of men being responsible for going out to work and women taking care of housework and childrearing remains strong. Behaviors in line with this image can sometimes hamper and compromise daily life.

But what was Japanese society like in the past from the female perspective?
The customs and manners, beliefs and thoughts of the time are reflected in works of classical literature. In being passed down over such a long time, changing images of women have been formed and stories have undergone transition. By decoding these, the relationship between women and society emerges. If we look at the past and present and the different eras from the woman’s point of view, we may be able to gain a new perspective that informs contemporary discussion.

Our guests for this discussion are Japanese literature researcher Tomoko Koida, who specializes in medieval Japanese literature and has written books on the relationship between illustrated tales and women, and artist-actor Mai Endo who has published works on the current situation for contemporary women which offer new interpretations thereof. Through stories from past and present, we consider the relationship between society and the individual from the female perspective.

Through discussion with our two guests, we hope that together with participants we can reexamine contemporary society from a different perspective, and explore the possibility of the story as a way to update our impressions and images.

*This event will be conducted in Japanese.


Mai Endo (actor / artist)

Tomoko Koida (Japanese literature researcher)

Moderator: Kota Muraoka (Program officer, Arts Council Tokyo)




*Advanced reservation required. First-come-first-served basis.

How to reserve

Please fill in the application form here.

Application deadline
Tuesday, Janurary 15 2019, 18:00

*We will not accept further applications if capacity is reached before the deadline.
*We will only accept participation on the day if there are spaces left.


Project Coordination Division,
Arts Council Tokyo, Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture
TEL: 03-6256-8435 (Weekday 10:00-18:00)


Arts Council Tokyo ROOM 302 (6-11-14 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo [3331 Arts Chiyoda])


Organized by
Arts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture)