The series, which symbolizes the “quiet sexism” felt by 10-year-old girls in many countries and cultures, has sold so successfully that it has been reproduced for a third time.
The work “Onnanoko ga iru Basho wa” (roughly translated: Place for Girls), composed by artist Ebine Yamaji and Kadokawa Corp., published in June 2022. The book includes five separate short stories from five countries: Saudi Arabia, Morocco, India, Japan, and Afghanistan.
What will the perspective of 10-year-old girls look like?
Yamaji said she chose several countries that Japanese people are not very familiar with. She studied culture by reference numerous texts and spent three times as much time crafting this storybook as she cared about girls’ feelings.
The comic demonstrates how females are treated unfairly in different societies and how specific duties or beliefs are imposed on them merely because of their gender.
The point of the series is that the reader can grasp what the females want to communicate merely by glancing at their emotions. They can also share the girls’ anguish or feel glad if the females show their excitement.
Yamaji said her previous works dealt with topics like sexual assault and homosexuality, but for this one, she decided to cast 10-year-old girls as the main characters of the story because it is the age at which children “can see things innocently but can also visualize the adult world to some extent.”
“Onnanoko ga iru Basho wa” presents a society where women have no choice but to depend on men for financial survival or are continually compelled to embrace particular positions. in social. “Onnanoko ga iru Basho wa” has no evident tragedy or happy ending. It also avoids making judgments regarding prejudice in society. According to the author, the stories here are like a slice of life, and it is the reader who defines the interpretation of the story. “Describing raw reality or communicating a direct message doesn’t work for me,” Yamaji remarked.
Most of the characters in the manga are female, and the storylines are mostly for women. “Unless women alter the way they think, we can’t transform a male-oriented society,” Yamaji said, adding that women are better positioned to carry on these beliefs newer value. “Most women are more involved in parenting than men, thus women have more influence over children,” she said.
Different stories in different countries
The girl in this story is not allowed to play soccer with her male companions. She is also reminded by her mother that she must get married in the future, or else she will have financial issues.
This is the little girl who always lives in doubt: “Can we spend our lives without getting married?” This tale was posted on social media and received 51,000 likes.
In the story set in Morocco, an elderly woman says to a little girl: “Cleaning, washing, cooking, washing dishes, and sewing—that’s a woman’s job,” it seems. It’s their duty, not their choice. And this idea is ingrained in the minds of all people here because many women in Morocco have been deprived of the opportunity to go to school, to read, and to write.
Set in India, they follow a girl who suddenly goes from poverty to wealth when her mother remarries. Now she can go to school to get her education. However, it is clear that her stepfather’s help may not be as charitable as one might think.
Set in Afghanistan in 2002, after the Taliban first lost power. The story follows two girls as they receive school supplies for the first time.
At the end of the story, which is set in Japan, The main character is Marie, an elementary school student who lives with her mother, an associate professor at a university, and her grandmother after her parents divorced.
Her grandmother, who helps Marie with the housework, often talks about “femininity.” “You don’t have to excel in school because you’re a girl.” “Women cannot be happy without marriage, even if they study or work well,” the grandmother told Marie.
Marie’s father’s view is similar; on the one hand, he shows support for working women. However, he wanted Marie’s mother to be an “ideal wife” who could do all the household chores on her own while still taking on the job at the university.
But the story is not intended to show the contrasting perspectives between Marie’s mother and grandmother or between her parents. Nor is it intended to show a generational split on specific subjects.
Yamaji explains: “Patriarchy decides everything (in Japan), so there’s no purpose in only expressing disagreement between individuals.” “Marie’s remarks mirror what society makes her believe rather than her own beliefs.”
Both male and female readers made sympathetic comments. “I feel frustrated with reality, even though I pretend to embrace it.” “I want to fix it,” one individual posted. Another commented: “I almost sobbed many times while reading the narrative because it was no different from my own experiences.”
One reader wrote: “The narrative made me determined to become someone who can say ‘no’ to all the sexisms that still lurk in everyday life.”
You can order the Onnanoko ga iru Basho wa manga at CDJapan