- ソシオロジ (ISSN:05841380)
- vol.51, no.1, pp.103-118,208, 2006-05-31 (Released:2016-03-23)
A striking number of Japanese women now live in rural Korea. They are Japanese wives who have married Korean men in mass weddings held by the Unification Church.In these mass weddings, followers marry partners who have been chosen by the founder, making use of only a curriculum vitae and a photo, and without dating or any feelings of love. This paper explores why so many Japanese women have joined the Unification Church, undergone mass weddings, and now continue their married lives with Korean men. Their narratives about marriage, work and sexuality show that they have had negative feelings with regard to being female. The following are the findings: (1) marriage and child-rearing are no longer the "must" lifestyle for women and therefore there they have fewer dreams/hopes regarding marriage; (2) working women have more opportunities but still are in a disadvantageous position with a glass ceiling where promotions is concerned; and (3) serious women dislike the disorderly nature of sexual norms in Japan. In response to this situation, (1) in the Unification Church, women have an inherent role and meaning in marriage, to tie a knot in their mass wedding and to give birth to "the child of God," and help to establish the ideal world of "Heaven on Earth." (2) women followers are able to find a positive meaning in being female through the bearing of "the child of God." and (3) the Unification Church emphasizes "purity" for both women and men. Therefore, the women who dislike the disorder or sexual behavior in Japan have been attracted to the beliefs of the Unification Church. Marriage in the Unification Church goes beyond the secular, and is meant for the establishment of "Heaven on Earth." For the Japanese wives of the Unification Church, their daily practices as women and wives are directly related to the holy pursuit of "Heaven on Earth," which also motivates them to continue their "meaningful" lives in Korea.