Cover

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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Series Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-7

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Preface

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pp. vii-xiv

This book follows conversations held in Tokyo among a group of middle-class women. The women were brought together by their struggles with family members—husbands who drank too much or children with substance abuse problems. ...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xv-xviii

This book has accompanied me through a series of life phases and intellectual shifts. As a result, it reflects the inspiration and companionship of a broad range of colleagues, friends, and family members. ...

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Introduction: “Dirty Lukewarm Water”

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pp. 1-41

Each week a group of housewives gathered at “the Center,” a public mental health facility in a middle-class district of Tokyo, to participate in what was called a “family meeting.” The meeting was, in fact, a support group for families of substance abusers. Despite the inclusion of family in the title, the group attracted only women: ...

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1. Alcoholism and Codependency: New Vocabularies for Unspeakable Problems

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pp. 42-66

Fukuda-san’s husband began to drink heavily when he was working as a long-distance truck driver delivering coal. At the end of a long day of hard labor, the workers regularly went out drinking to relax and enjoy some camaraderie. In 1970, when Japan cut back on its use of coal, he switched jobs and went to work for a painting business. ...

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2. Motherhood, Nurturance, and “Total Care” in Postwar National Ideology

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pp. 67-85

In the 1960s and 1970s, large volumes of literature on “theories of Japaneseness,” or Nihonjinron, filled the shelves of Japanese bookstores. A common theme uniting these texts was the importance of emotional intimacy, motherly nurturance, and person-to-person relations in holding together Japanese society and social institutions. ...

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3. Good Wives: Negotiating Marital Relationships

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pp. 86-114

Al-Anon promotes “firm sympathy” in dealing with a drinker: a delicate balance between coping and setting limits and between support for one’s husband and what is called “loving detachment” (Al-Anon 1977). Ideally, a wife will find a way to carry on her life in the face of her husband’s alcoholism, while at the same time continuing to welcome his recovery.1 ...

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4. A Success Story

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pp. 115-136

In this chapter I narrate the story of one woman, Fukuda-san, as she told it to me, from her childhood during the American occupation to the years following her husband’s sobriety. In looking at the way her life changed as she managed her husband’s alcoholism and attended meetings at the Center, ...

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5. The Inescapable Discourse of Motherhood

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pp. 137-160

When the city of Chigasaki announced a five-week seminar on “Solving Your Child-Rearing Difficulties” [Kosodate nayami o kaiketsu shiyō], several young mothers in my neighborhood began making plans to go. The seminar was conducted and taught by the “child-rearing advisor” of one of the city’s day care centers, ...

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Conclusion: The Home as a Feminist Dilemma

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pp. 161-176

The constraints Japanese women often live under—loveless marriages, “divorce within the home,” the management of virtually all the household labor—seem unthinkable from the perspective of dominant American ideologies of marriage, which emphasize equality, romantic love and passion between the spouses, and the notion of the spouse as a companion and partner (D’Emilio and Freedman 1997). ...

Notes

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pp. 177-200

References

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pp. 201-218

Index

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pp. 219-234