JAPAN: The Women

"The saddest thing in life," runs an old Japanese proverb, "is to be born a woman." In the feudal days before MacArthur, it contained more than a grain of truth; Japanese women then were the merest chattels, they had no civil rights whatever, and their menfolk seldom bothered even to address them by name. But in one sweep of the pen, the U.S.-dictated constitution of 1947 swept aside the centuries of tradition and placed the women of Japan—legally at least—on an equal footing with men.

Last week 800 Japanese women met in Tokyo's cavernous Hibiya Hall to consider their lot...

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