Infanticide and Population Growth in Eastern Japan, 1660-1950
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: University of California Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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... Eastern Japan • Unlocking Fertility Histories • A Reverse Fertility Transition • Fertility: A Special Defi nition • Th e Meanings of Infanticide • Th e Case for a Regional Perspective • Discourse Th e Geography of Infanticide Countermeasures • Traces in the Demographic Record • Th e Changing Geography of Infanticide • ...
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...1. Th e provinces (kuni) of Japan and regions as defi ned in this book xviii2. Major cities and domains of Japan, approximate borders of 1867 xix3. Territories of Eastern Japan, approximate borders of 1867 xx5. Infanticide reputations of the provinces of Japan before about 1840 276. Distribution of moral suasion materials: posters, pamphlets, ...
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At the beginning of this project, I knew little of the hypnotic power of documents and databases. I also had no notion of the many debts I would incur. It is a pleasure During my doctoral years at Harvard, Andrew Gordon formed my sensibilities, catalyzed my ideas, and encouraged my conceptual ambitions. Henrietta Harrison energized me in long conversations and has improved this book at every level with ...
A NOTE ON CONVENTIONS
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Until 1872, all dates are given in the Japanese lunar calendar, with Common Era (c.e.) years understood to last from the beginning of the roughly corresponding Japanese names are given family name fi rst, other than where English publica-tions by Japanese authors reverse the order. Individuals who are known under a range of diff erent personal names appear consistently under the name that is most ...
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Deep in the mountains of Gunma, a chapel stands amid cedars and forest fl owers. Under its eaves, a wooden tablet has slowly surrendered its paint to two hundred years of wind and rain. Yet when the light falls from the right angle, the eroded image still calls out its warning to travelers: It is early spring. Th e branches of a plum tree are still bare. In an open pavilion, a woman has just given birth. Next to ...
PART ONETh e Culture of Low Fertility,ca. 1660–1790
2Th ree Cultures of Family Planning
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Sometime in the early eighteenth century, a merchant named Shinbei traveled toward the great shrine of Itsukushima near Hiroshima. One evening as he was settling down at an inn, another guest suddenly rushed out. Puzzled, Shinbei turned to a pilgrim at his side. Could it be that there were robbers among the trav-elers? “In the lodging that we share, an odious thing has happened,” the man ...
3Humans, Animals, andNewborn Children
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When Arai Nobuaki, a childrearing commissioner in Sendai domain, toured the villages of his quadrant to lecture against infanticide, he was intrigued to fi nd the countryside dotted with stelae dedicated to silkworms.1 In response to his inquiry, the locals explained that “when you boil silkworms to [harvest their] thread, you Aft er his tour, Arai compiled his arguments against infanticide into a booklet. In a ...
4Infanticide and Immortality
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In the years around 1680, a population explosion caused consternation in many parts of Japan.1 Some governments encouraged emigration to rid their lands of unwanted mouths, and others closed their borders to laborers from elsewhere.2 Th roughout the archipelago, village assemblies and rulers issued laws restricting marriages and partible inheritance. One of these laws was the 1677 decree of Sendai ...
5Th e Material and Moral Economyof Infanticide
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In the last two chapters, we have seen why the barriers to infanticide were rela-tively low and how killing newborns could be justifi ed as benefi ting the house-hold’s dead, living, and future members. Th e latter argument rested in part on the logic of the stem family, but was also rooted in a particular view of the costs and benefi ts of childrearing. Th is chapter examines four material contexts for infanti-...
6Th e Logic of Infant Selection
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A woman who followed Eastern Japan’s fertility norm and raised only three chil-dren would still, on average, give birth about six times.1 As couples faced the deci-sion of which newborns to keep and which to discard, they could draw on an elaborate system of evaluating the promise of each child. Th e needs of the house-hold played an important role, but so did a cosmology that understood time as ...
7Th e Ghosts of Missing Children
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Th e preceding chapters have explored the understandings of human life, family, responsibility, and time that permitted, motivated, and patterned infanticide. Th is short chapter attempts to quantify its frequency through four diff erent approaches. Th e fi rst of these consults the reports of contemporary observers who stated clearly what proportions of infants were killed at birth. Th e other ...
PART TWORedefi ning Reproduction
8Infanticide and Extinction
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In the 1820s, the villagers of Aoki in Hitachi’s Makabe district chiseled the names of extinct households onto a large rock. In this village of 39 remaining households, their number came to 59.1 For more than a century, the logic of Funerary Bud-dhism and the stem family had held out the promise of achieving immortality with a little help from infanticide (see Chapter 4). Th e extinction of so many family ...
9“Inferior Even to Animals”
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In the early winter of 1857, a group of fourteen men celebrated the completion of a hundred-temple circuit by dedicating a votive tablet. Fashioned from six wooden boards, this ema shows a young woman clad in layered robes of red and green. Still wearing the sweatband typical of women giving birth, she smothers a child on a reed mat. Diagonally above, she and the dying child appear once again. Her skin, ...
10Subsidies and Surveillance
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For all the passion their creators poured into them, pamphlets and paintings were relatively cheap. Th e perceived urgency of fi ghting infanticide is more impressively evinced by the prodigious resources that governments and individuals poured into far costlier countermeasures. If moral suasion redrew the boundaries of humanity and argued that infanticide was not compatible with a pleasant aft erlife, childrear-...
11Even a Strong Castle Cannot BeDefended without Soldiers
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In the culture of infanticide, reproductive restraint was a mark of responsibility toward others. As we have seen, it was considered the prudent alternative to “af_f_l icting six children with hunger and cold” or to “selling them in the spring of their sixth or seventh year.”1 Th inning out children was an act of fi lial piety for those who “struggled to nourish their parents.”2 Even where a fourth or fi ft h child ...
12Infanticide and the Geography ofCivilization
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In 1794, Hara Nan’yō, personal physician to the lord of Mito, sent his newest book manuscript to Fujita Yūkoku. Fujita was young enough to be Hara’s child, but his actual parentage was far less illustrious. Th e second son of a used-clothes seller in Mito’s castletown, he had shown such prodigious promise as a scholar that at the age of eighteen he was raised to the rank of a warrior and made an editor on Mito’s ...
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Th e fi nal chapter of habitual infanticide in Japan makes for a story full of surprises and contradictions. Aft er the Meiji Restoration of 1868, infanticide briefl y stood at the center of attention but then largely dropped from view. Abortion was designated a crime, but annual convictions remained in the hundreds at a time when late-term abortions and infanticides alone numbered in the tens of thousands. Imperial Japan ...
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Eastern Japan’s culture of infanticide lasted longer than the modern reproductive system of reliable contraceptives and safe abortions has so far endured in any part of the world. In some areas, it spanned more than two centuries, assuming its distinctive characteristics in the late seventeenth century and persisting into the age of cinema and motorcars. Infanticide was rooted in the most fundamental ...
APPENDIX ONETh e Own-Children Method andIts Mortality Assumptions
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Many of the demographic claims in this book derive from a dataset generated by applying the Own-Children Method of Fertility Estimation (OCM) to a sample of about 3,300 popu-lation registers. In the words of a classic introduction to the OCM, it is “a reverse-survival technique for estimating age-specifi c fertility rates for the years previous to a census or household survey.”1 Th e OCM matches children with their mothers, then reverse-survives ...
APPENDIX TWOSampling Biases, Sources of Error,and the Characteristics of theTen Provinces Dataset
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Th e scale and duration of Tokugawa Japan’s population registration system are excep-tional.1 In very few other parts of the world were census-type documents compiled accord-ing to rules that changed as little over more than two centuries. Nevertheless, compilation principles were not uniform over time and varied between diff erent jurisdictions. In or-der to understand what exactly the demographic data of this study represent, it is useful to ...
APPENDIX THREETh e Villages in theTen Provinces Dataset
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Th e villages are listed by province and district, with provinces arranged from north to south and districts and villages in alphabetical order. Th e dates behind the village names indicate the range of years reconstructed through the Own-Children Method. Periods for which only a fragment of a register was available are marked with an asterisk. Village names follow Heibonsha Chihō Shiryō Sentā, eds., Nihon rekishi chimei taikei....
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...table a2 Total Fertility Rates in the Districts of the Ten Provinces, by Kuni.Only decades in which sample sizes reach 200 women-years are displayed.District 1650s 1660s 1670s 1680s 1690s 1700s 1710s 1720s 1730s 1740s 1750s 1760s 1770s 1780s 1790s 1800s 1810s 1820s 1830s 1840s 1850s 1860sTsugaru — — — — — — — — — — — — — — 5.6 6.4 — 5.4 4.3 5.9 5.6 5.5Hei — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — 2.7 2.4 2.9 4.2...
APPENDIX FIVERegional Infanticide Reputations,According to Contemporary Statements
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Sources that state regional infanticide reputations, in chronological order. Th e list does not include bans and other government pronouncements that merely stated that a region’s own Manabe Gen’itsu (Chūan), Hokuchiku zakkō (Kyoto, 1675): Chikugo.Seki Sokō, Jinkokuki (1701 ed.; the sixteenth-century original makes no mention of Yusa Bokusai, Renseishō (Sendai, 1702 and 1719): Mutsu, especially its northern part ...
APPENDIX SIXScrolls and Votive Tablets withInfanticide Scenes
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In addition to the sources below, municipal histories, museum catalogues, and the employees of town halls provided invaluable help in locating the tablets and scrolls. In viewing the arti-facts, I have relied on the assistance of priests, private owners, shrine attendants, the staff of local town halls, and museum curators, especially Jingū Yoshihiko of the Gunma Prefectural Abe and Nagamura, eds., Zusetsu Tochigi-ken no rekishi, 180; Aida and Ōishi, eds., Edo ji-...
APPENDIX SEVENChildrearing Subsidies and PregnancySurveillance by Domain
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Th e name of the domain or intendancy is followed by year of introduction. A dagger (†) following the date indicates subsidies; an asterisk (*) indicates surveillance.Th e single most comprehensive source on the infanticide countermeasures of the Edo pe-riod is the work of Takahashi Bonsen, Datai to mabiki no kenkyū and his magisterial three-volume Nihon jinkōshi no kenkyū. In addition, the list draws on the following sources:...
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Citations give the year of creation for sources older than 1900; for more recent sources, the year of publication is mentioned in the notes only when they are part of a historiographical discussion. Local histories appear with their title only, as their corporate authors can easily be guessed from the title (typically, Editorial Committee [Hensan Iinkai] of the History of X).1. Th e chapel is part of Daienji in Katashina. To prevent further erosion, the tablet has ...
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Publications with transcriptions or facsimiles of population registers that are part of the Ten Th is bibliography does not include archival collections that furnished population registers analyzed in this book. Th ese collections are instead listed at the end of Appendix 3.DKM Tōkyō Teikoku Daigaku Shiryō Hensangakari, eds., Date-ke monjo, 10 vols. ISKSK Ibaraki-ken shiryō Kinsei shakai keizaihen 3 (1988), 4 (1993)...
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Page Count: 439
Publication Year: 2013
Series Title: Asia: Local Studies / Global Themes