Japanese women s language is a concept encountered daily in Japanese society and, perhaps most interestingly, in Japanese language studies. Students are informed that there are such concepts as women s language and men s language , however, further insight into these concepts are rare. What, then, is Japanese women s language? And, even more importantly, do real Japanese women speak this language? This thesis finds that the development of women s language has not occurred naturally through actual speech, but rather, it has evolved as a product of prescribed language use through instructions in disciplinary books as well as media, and has been used as a tool to distinguish women from men. Even in contemporary Japan we still find women s language through role language in media and fiction, as well as in Japanese language studies. By conducting a detailed analysis of the history and development of Japanese women s language we find that it has rarely, if ever, been used in real speech as it has been ideologically prescribed. After conducting a study looking at the use of gendered sentence-final particles by three female university students, I find that their speech is not feminine as is prescribed by language ideology, but neutral to moderately masculine, which aligns with previous research. Women, as any other social subgroup, use their language according to many more factors than what is assumed appropriate for their gender. Furthermore, the second part of my study consists of questionnaires which the three subjects responded to and deals with issues such as their own perceptions of their language use and of their femininity. Here, I attempted to draw lines between their language use and their identity and I found that factors such as age, desires to be perceived as certain traits, and relationship to addressee can affect language use. Conclusively, speakers play with and manipulate language – they subvert, convert, and adapt to preexisting norms and social expectations, and the outcome of their language use is an expression of their identity, which is an intricate notion constituted by countless factors including social status, age, gender, what traits they wish to convey, and so on. Lastly, it is essential to keep in mind that it is impossible to make certain connections between language use and identity and gender, however, this thesis explores some theories which could be interesting for further research.