Video: Women in Asian Society

As I was reading “The Recognition of Sakuntala” and “The Love Suicides at Amijima” I was fascinated by the way women were portrayed in these texts. Since these were the two works, we read from Asia, I decided to make the connection between the Asian history and the treatment and ideas surrounding women. Both of these texts showed women in a servitude role where they had to serve their husband as if he was a master. Kalidasa even revealed an extreme prejudice towards women, making them sound like demonic creatures that live to deceive men. Another concerning point these texts brought to light was how virginity and beauty was highly valued in these societies. Women are not treated like autonomous beings in either of these stories. This makes for an unsettling read that shines light on how women were treated in history. Reads like this are important for everyone to experience. With the feminism and equality movements of today it is important that we do not lose sight of what the past was like and how far we’ve come in the hundreds of years since these pieces were written.

I decided that a video would be the best way to portray the ideas I wanted to share surrounding women in these two texts. I wanted to explore this in a visual manner. This makes it more accessible to everyone. Both of these works were meant to be shown. They are both plays that would be performed on a stage or in a puppet theater. I thought this meant they would be very well suited for a video since they were always meant to be interacted with in a visual manor. I picked some of the most telling quotes from the two texts and explained them so the audience can see these quotes through the same lens I did. I added pictures so the audience could visualize the story along with the analysis I provided. I think this was the most effective way to portray what I meant to say. I added pictures representing Osan and Sakuntala so the audience could better visualize the plight of these two women.

Works Cited

Chikamatsu, Monzaemon, and Donald H. Shively. The Love Suicide at Amijima. Harvard Univ. Press, 1953. Print.

Kalidasa. The Recongition of Sakuntala. Trans. WJ Johnson. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001. Print.

Images Citations

http://www.inquiriesjournal.com/articles/286/women-in-ancient-japan-from-matriarchal-antiquity-to-acquiescent-confinement

https://medievjapan.weebly.com/role-of-women-in-society.html

https://www.collectorsweekly.com/articles/the-tragic-life-of-the-courtesan-in-japans-floating-world/

https://medievjapan.weebly.com/role-of-women-in-society.html

https://medievjapan.weebly.com/role-of-women-in-society.html

https://mwindite.wordpress.com/2012/11/29/katsukawa-premier-japanese-wood-block-artist/

https://www.silverkris.com/things-to-know-japanese-puppet-theatre-bunraku/

https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2092.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shakuntala

https://insideasoul.blog/2019/10/06/2940/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shakuntala

https://pixels.com/featured/sakuntala-hemlata-hemlata.html

http://indicportal.org/classical-indic-literature-v-romantic-sanskrit-poetry/

https://www.amazon.in/Art-Indica-Recreated-Sakuntala-unframed/dp/B07XYH1R3W

http://www.bookastall.us/events/events/supporting-women-around-the-globe/

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3 thoughts on “Video: Women in Asian Society

  1. Very interesting and well executed video! Some of my reflections touched on some of these themes, but I never really had the same kind of in-depth analysis. There are definitely a lot of possessive themes and rhetorics in Kalidasa’s piece and Chikamatsu’s. I would have to agree with your written section as well. These themes are the driving force behind the importance of literature. You discuss how it is important to identify gender roles in literature, especially with modern feminism movements. I agree entirely. Forgetting the past would allow us to forget the history of gender inequality and, in turn, fail to understand how gender inequality is still very much prevalent today. Great analysis!

  2. Great video! It’s so interesting to hear about the treatment of women in the times of these plays. It can be a bit of a shock to hear about how women were treated, in my opinion. Not only are we in a different time now than in these plays, but we’re also in a different culture. So, we have two different things adding to the major difference in how women are treated. How these things affected literature is interesting to see, as well!

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