Chapter

Probabilities and <i>Kōnenki</i>

Margaret Lock

in Encounters with Aging

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 1994 | ISBN: 9780520082212
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520916623 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520082212.003.0002
Probabilities and Kōnenki

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The complexity of the narratives given by Japanese women only rarely results from minds unschooled in human biology. What they reveal, on the contrary, is women's unwillingness to reduce the meaning of the end of menstruation to endocrine changes alone. By far, the majority of Japanese women make it clear that for them kōnenki represents, above all, an inevitable part of the aging process. They focus on the signs of aging of which the end of menstruation is but one. kōnenki is an entirely natural event that may produce some temporary discomfort, but one that is of little concern to many women. Despite the negative myths about kōnenki, most women suffer no disabling symptoms and apparently feel no deep sense of loss at this time of life.

Keywords: Japanese women; human biology; menstruation; aging; kōnenki

Chapter.  5106 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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