Takako Doi: An Unmarried Woman

To her countrymen, Takako Doi is clearly different, even at first sight. At 5 ft. 6 in., she is tall for a Japanese woman. When she speaks, people hear a great deep rumble with just a hint of grit. In a land where unmarried women are considered somehow incomplete, Doi remains steadfastly single. But the leader of the Japan Socialist Party has used her difference to advantage. Says Shinobu Tabata, her mentor at Doshisha law school in Kyoto: "She was big, loud and pushy to start with. I knew from the first day she came into my office that she would...

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