ContemporaryFeminismJapan

Why I Created a Feminist Tour of Japan – By Asia Art Tours

We just launched our first tour focused on Feminism in Japan—->  asiaarttours.com/tours/a-feminist-holiday-in-japan/. Below are photos of just some of the women you can meet on the tour!

 I wanted to explain why I created this tour, and why I specifically want to connect Female Travelers to Japanese Women.

Every woman knows what its like to be spoken down to, talked over, or mistreated. Patriarchy isn’t a conspiracy discussed by men in a cigar-filled room. It’s the lived experience millions of American women are fighting against every day.

(Founder of Asia Art Tours with the political leader of Tsuwano, Japan)

But for those privileged enough to travel, it is not enough to fight sexism locally. From the board room to the assembly line, our companies, hospitals, law firms are global, thus so is patriarchy. And like any legendary monster worth its salt it must be slain in totality. To leave it unaddressed when we travel allows patriarchy to strengthen, reorganize and eventually return again and again into our own lives no matter where we live or who we are.

(The Female Chefs of Japan’s First all Female Kaiseki Restaurant, We’ll be arranging a special meeting for you here with the chefs!)

As the Founder of Asia Art Tours, I became troubled by the idea that so many brilliant women in the US and EU were unable to meet their equally brilliant counterparts in Asia to get to know and learn from one another. So I created our new travel holiday: The Protestor, the Businesswoman, and the Geisha – A Feminist Holiday in Japan

(One of the amazing female artists we plan on introducing you to, Tomoko san)

my hope that this approach helps expose travelers to art and feminism  outside of the confining (and nowadays rather conservative) walls of institutions, but in an every-day sense, without the alienating elements of class, ‘expert language’ and power that I find so crippling to contemporary art and movement-building.

In other words, If you want a boring conversation, talk to an artist at their gallery opening or an advocate at a board meeting.  If you want a fascinating conversation talk to an artist over a cup of coffee in a cafe or an activist at a protest!

Moreover I think it creates opportunities for bringing new blood and perspectives into (Feminism, Anti-Racism, Economics) that mostly have been co-opted and controlled by tired, elite  figures and institutions. The feminism of the 60s was but one step on the road to justice. Its time to start moving again!

Our New Tour aims to connect Japanese feminists from all walks of life to feminist travelers (men and women). Through meeting Japanese feministartists, businesswomen and thinkers, along with engaging in fun activities and intercultural exchange we hope to offer new paths and ideas forward against patriarchy and for empowering women.

(One of Japan’s leading experts on handicrafts and one of our favorite feminists, Saichiko!)

Come and check out the tour! We’ll soon be releasing Feminist Tours in Thailand and Taiwan. Visit Asia Art Tours or email Matt@asiaarttours.com today for more information!

(Master Sho Flute Player Tokiko Ihara) 

Author Matt Dagher-margosian

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