Saturday, December 5, 2009

Ooku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 1, by Fumi Yoshinaga

The next president of the United States of America will be a woman! The military will be run by and feature only women! All forms of law enforcement will be women! Firefighters, professors, and businessmen will all be women!

Could this and will this ever happen? In the two volume series The Inner Chambers by Fumi Yoshinaga this is what is going on. The story takes place in Japan. Currently the nation is being swept by a terrible plague called Red Pox. One of the strange things about this plague is that it is only killing off the men. Women are not affected by the plague. In the first eighty years of the diseases the male population has decreased by 75%. This means that one out of every four men was killed by the Rex Pox. In order to protect the remaining male population women are taking over all of the jobs that men usually do. They are also taking over positions that are usually considered to be high risk. One thing that the women are doing that is a male only aspect part of the culture is becoming a Shogun. This position is similar to being commander in chief of the armed forces in Japan. It is very surprising that a woman would have this title because it has never happened before.

In Japan gender roles seem more strict than they do here in America, so you can imagine how much the country changed culturally. I think that this book is excellent from a feminist point of view. It shows young adults that women can do anything that men can do. I think that it is hilarious that it is finally acceptable for women to be allowed to do the things that were only male jobs when men are all dying off and there is no one else to do it . I think that one of the main lessons that the book is trying to teach is that we should not let it get to this point. Women should not have to wait until the population of men is so low to be able to do some things that are reserved or expected to be only for men. I was interested in the book, and the artwork was amazing, but I am not sure if teenagers would fully understand the concept. I think that it is a bit of a slow read for them, but it does teach good lessons.


Alex H. said...

This book sounds interesting, although it would be horrible if men started to die.I agree it's an excellent book for YA, especially for girls. Sometimes girls are intimidated by subjects such as math and science that are erroneously believed to be for boys.This book sends the right message that girls can do the same job and even better.

Krystal Tanami said...

Wow this book sounds really interesting although it would be terrible if the men started dying. I think that this would be good for both boys and girls to read because it would show them that women can be just as good at something as men and deserve the chance to prove it.