by Margaret Lock, 439 pp, $38, ISBN 0-520-08221-4, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1993.
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The author has done a Herculean job of interviewing more than 1000 Japanese women over 20 years. The inquiries were to establish what knowledge these women had about the menopause and the symptoms they experienced.
Women from all walks of life were included. Each chapter has a theme, and narratives from selected women are included to describe and emphasize the point being made. Statistics are detailed in one chapter, and the rest of the book is devoted to narrative description. A detailed picture of life in Japan evolves from this. Changes in society are well outlined, allowing one to better understand how the nuclear family is evolving and the problems that have resulted. Information is given about the position of various members of the family and the extended family. Emphasis is placed in this narrative on the role of women—their work habits and daily living experiences, particularly during the midlife
Perlmutter JF. Encounters With Aging: Mythologies of Menopause in Japan and North America. JAMA. 1995;273(17):1394. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520410090039