Beate Gordon, Feminist Heroine in Japan, Dies at 89

Great obituary of an amazing woman.

Her work—drafting language that gave women a set of legal rights pertaining to marriage, divorce, property and inheritance that they had long been without in Japan’s feudal society—had an effect on their status that endures to this day.

“It set a basis for a better, a more equal society,” Carol Gluck, a professor of Japanese history at Columbia University, said Monday in a telephone interview. “By just writing those things into the Constitution—our Constitution doesn’t have any of those things—Beate Gordon intervened at a critical moment. And what kind of 22-year-old gets to write a constitution?”

Just read it.