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I have been working on the chapter on Japan regarding aging & gender for skill development and employment these days.  I have been invited to moderate the panel, write a column etc. on the issue of gender very often in the past several months.  As I feel I have just about had it, I realized that I may be living the case!

In Aikido class I take every week, I am the only woman.  The class is taught by Canadian instructors! and most students are non-Japanese. We used to have a few women in the class, but they all quit, leaving me the only one.  I am quite used to being the only woman in the group such as board meetings.   So I do NOT feel strange by now, and the same holds true with my Aikido class.  I do not even notice the fact my classmates are all men–they are quite tall, big and strong!

The only time I feel conscious is that I have a hard time holding the hand/elbow of my partners I practice with.  I cannot even hold their wrist!   After the class, I am about to collapse..  Reality hits…..

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