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In fact, Japanese women did NOT bind their feet. This was strictly a Chinese practice. When the Japanese took control of Taiwan in 1895, they outlawed the practice as "barbaric".
The chinese practise (not japanese as mentioned above) of foot binding was purely a vanity practise much like women of the 19th century and earlier wearing corsets but with one difference.
The practise of binding the feet forced the toes back towards the sole of the feet and broke the carpals (bones) in the in-step of the feet creating an arched, scrunched up foot with few if any visible toes. The purpose was to render the woman unable to walk, which of course they couldn't. This meant that servants were required to transport the woman in chairs, carriages etc. Having a wife with binded feet was a display of wealth, it demonstrated that the husband could afford to have servants and maids to assist his wife, it was a display of his wealth.
Brings new meaning to the words "Trophy wife" heh?
Corsets worked in a similar way, a woman who follows fashionable dictates in order to satisfy her husband and society while at the same time severly damaging her body by ompressing her internal organs and restricting her abilty to breath. The 'swooning' of women and the perception of woma as frail fainting creatures during the 18th and 19th century was purely a result of a restricted ability to breath due to the fashion of the corset. It reached a peak in the late 19th century with the "wasp waist" which enabled women to acheive a waist of only 8 inches round.
Foot binding, corsets, high heels on shoes, ruffs, all fashion until relatively recently has had the social effect of controlling women often putting them in pain and suffering as well as shortening their lives. I'm not a feminist but I support the fact that their is still sexual inequality and it needs to be fixed. Fashion does not allow this and reinforces the idea of women in their place, the kitchen and making babies.
Ok, I went off topic but I just wanted to share.
so they can have little feet to fit into the shoes like their ancestory
Small feet were considered beautiful in several Asian cultures. Of course, this practice is all but extinct today.
why did japanese woman bind their feet and not men?