Tomoko Ohta (b. 1933) is a Japanses scientist,
working in the field of evolutionary biology genetics. She is known as a pioneer
of genetic polymorphism, and the proponent of the nearly neutral theory of
She studied agriculture in Tokyo, after which she moved to
the United States and obtained her PhD from North Carolina State University in
1966. She worked for the Japanese National Institute of Genetics and was later
accepted into the United States National Academy of Sciences as a foreign
associate in evolutionary biology.
Saruhashi (1920-2007) was a Japanese biochemist. Her
research focused on the dangers of radioactive fallout and peaceful uses of
She was the first woman to obtain a PhD in chemistry
from the University of Tokyo, as well as the first elected to the Science
Council of Japan. She was dedicated to improving the status of female scientists
in her country, and created the Saruhashi Prize, awarded to a woman scientist
every year since 1981.
Naoko Takahashi (b. 1972) is a Japanese long-distance runner. She has participated in multiple marathons around the world.
In 2001 she set the world record at the Berlin Marathon and became the first woman to run the course in less than 2 hours and 20 minutes. She also won the 2000 marathon at the Olympic Games in Sydney, setting an Olympic record that stood until 2012.
The Japanese Government is being urged to end a rule requiring transgender people to undergo sterilisation to legally change gender.
People who seek to alter their legal sex must appeal to a family court under legislation entitled Law 111.
Although the law affords some rights to transgender people and was hailed as step towards equality for LGBT people when it was introduced in 2003, it imposes a series of restrictions on those seeking legal recognition.
Arakawa (b. 1981) is a Japanese figure skater, the first from her country to win
an Olympic gold medal in the sport. She was the only medalist from Japan at the
2006 Winter Olympics.
She became World Champion in 2004, in Dortmund, Germany. Her record includes
three gold medals, three silver, and one bronze in international events.
was an artist and women’s rights activist. She spent a significant amount of
time in Japan, and was a member of the team who wrote the country’s
constitution after World War II.
worked as a translator, as she was fluent in English, Japanese, and other three
languages. She was assigned to work on the section on human rights in the
constitution, and was responsible for drafting the language on the equality of
genders, offering more rights to Japanese women in the process. She was also
the Performing Arts Director of the Japan Society in New York.
In Northern Japan, the Wara Art Festival recently rang in the September-October rice season, and it’s a wildly inventive and fun way to repurpose rice straw left over from the harvest.
Fusae Ichikawa (1893-1981) was a key
figure of the fight for women’s suffrage in Japan. Partly thanks to her
efforts, the right to vote was extended to women in the country in 1945.
She studied to become
a teacher, but in 1917 she started working with the Nagoya Newspaper, becoming the first female reporter in Japan. In
1920 she co-founded the New Women’s Association, which aimed to improve the
status of women in society and offer them more rights and opportunities as