Japanese Feminist Dies at Age 101

Mumeo Oku, one of the first females elected to Japan’s parliament, died from a stroke at the age of 101. Oku made several contributions to the feminist movement in her country since she attended Japan Women’s University in the 1920’s. During that decade, she founded “Working Women,” a monthly magazine devoted to improving the status of women in Japan’s patriarchal society. In 1947, one year after women won the right to vote and run for national office, Oku won a seat in the House of Councilors. She served in the upper House of Representatives for three terms until 1965. For four decades beginning in the 1940’s, Oku worked with the Housewives’ Association, a group she formed to highlight the “voice of the kitchen in politics.” Her funeral will take place on July 10th in Tokyo.


The Associated Press - July 8, 1997

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