Throughout history, Japanese women have been some of the most courageous, ground-breaking and inspiring of all. From the first novelist to a fierce female warrior, these six women set the bar high for the rest of us.
Lady Murasaki Shikibu
Lady Murasaki Shikibu (est. 973-1031) was the pen name of a mysterious woman who lived during the Heian Period. The period was the Golden Era of the Imperial Court and many of Japan’s traditions and cultures began during this time. Murasaki drew on her own personal experiences and on court life for her story, The Tale of Genji, which is considered to be the world’s first full length novel.
Hibari Misora (1937-1989) was a pop culture icon. She was a skilled actress, but it was her enka music that paved her way to fame. Misora was the first women to be awarded the People’s Honour Award, and she also received a Medal of Honour for her contributions to the Japanese music scene.
Akiko Yosano (1878-1942) was a poet, author and one of Japan’s earliest feminists. Her tanka poetry, which was both famous and denounced for its individualism, quickly became an inspiration for her contemporaries. Throughout her career, Yosano’s work was attacked for being pacifist and anti-war, and in her later years she was not afraid to criticize society and speak her mind regarding the status of women.
Misako Shirasu (1910-1998) was an essayist whose writings helped to define art, beauty and design in post-war Japan. Shirasu appreciated simple aesthetics and saw a strong relationship between nature and art. In addition, she was an advocate for the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi, which describes the beauty of imperfection. Her ideas continue to influence modern aesthetics today.
Sadako Sasaki’s (1943-1955) heartbreaking story is a reminder not only of the tragedy of war but the strength of the human spirit. After being diagnosed with leukaemia caused by atomic radiation (she was living in Hiroshima at the time of the American bomb), a nine year old Sadako set out to fold one thousand paper cranes as it was believed you would be granted a wish if you could reach the total. Her wish was to live. Sadly she didn’t reach her goal and passed away at the age of twelve, but a monument has been erected in honor of Sadako at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
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