Here is the stereotypical American view of Japanese women in the 1930s

Female participation in Japanese society has varied over time and social classes. In the 8th century, there were women emperors. In the 12th century women could inherit and manage property alone.

But in the late Edo period (1603-1868) the status of women declined. In the 17th century, the Confucianist author Kaibara Ekken wrote “such is the stupidity of her character that it is incumbent on her, in every particular, to distrust herself and to obey her husband.”

During the Meiji period (1868-1912), while industrial urbanization reduced the authority of men, the Meiji Civil Code of 1898 denied women legal rights and subjugated them to the will of household heads.

In the 1920s, many Japanese women dressed in Western “modern girl” (moga) flapper styles. As militarism grew in the 1930s, traditional fashion was expected.

Prior to WWII, Japanese women were denied voting and other legal rights. Under Allied occupation, a new constitution addressed civil and legal rights for women.

Oshin was a serialized morning television drama in the 1980s following the life of a girl during the Meiji period up to the early 1980s.