Gender and Law in the Japanese Imperium
Publication Year: 2014
Collectively, the essays offer a new framework for the history of gender in modern Japan and revise our understanding of both law and gender in an era shaped by modernization, nation and empire-building, war, occupation, and decolonization. With its broad chronological time span and compelling and yet accessible writing, Gender and Law in the Japanese Imperium will be a powerful addition to any course on modern Japanese history and of interest to readers concerned with gender, society, and law in other parts of the world.
Published by: University of Hawai'i Press
Title Page, Copyright
Download PDF (170.6 KB)
Download PDF (89.4 KB)
Note on East Asian Names and Terms
Download PDF (87.8 KB)
Susan L. Burns
Download PDF (241.7 KB)
Beginning in the nineteenth century, law as practice, discourse, and ideology became a powerful means of reordering gender relations in modern nation-states and their colonies around the world. In France, the Civil Code of 1804 and the Napoleonic Code of 1810 ended a remarkable period of legal experimentation in gender equality that...
Part I. Prostitution, Law, and Human Rights
Chapter 1: The Maria Luz Incident: Personal Rights and International Justice for Chinese Coolies and Japanese Prostitutes
Download PDF (315.6 KB)
For its handling of the Maria Luz incident in 1872, Japan received international acclaim as a humanitarian supporter of international law. The case concerned the Peruvian transport of Chinese coolies on the Maria Luz into the Japanese port of Yokohama, and invited the participation of Japan in international efforts to suppress the coolie trade...
Chapter 2: Disputing Rights: The Debate over Anti-Prostitution Legislation in 1950s Japan
Sally A. Hastings
Download PDF (276.4 KB)
When the Prostitution Prevention Law was enacted on May 21, 1956, the press hailed the legislation as a triumph for the cause of human rights in Japan. The Asahi celebrated Japan’s entry into the company of progressive nations, in which “prostitution should vanish just as slavery did.”1 The Nippon Times described the passage of the bill in the...
Part II. Crime, Punishment, and Gender
Chapter 3: Gender in the Arena of the Courts: The Prosecution of Abortion and Infanticide in Early Meiji Japan
Susan L. Burns
Download PDF (282.8 KB)
In 1949 Japan became the first country in the world to legalize abortion based upon socioeconomic grounds, a legislative innovation that Tiana Norgren has described as “a marked departure from international norms.”1 But the legalization of abortion was also a remarkable departure from almost eight decades of Japanese criminal law. The first...
Chapter 4: Adultery and Gender Equality in Modern Japan, 1868–1948
Download PDF (270.9 KB)
This chapter examines how Japanese developed, applied, and contested adultery laws in the period between 1868 and 1948. Perhaps more than any other legislation, laws on adultery were explicitly phrased in gendered terms that clearly differentiated the actions of a husband from those of a wife. This sort of distinction was not unique to...
Chapter 5: Of Pity and Poison: Imprisoning Women in Modern Japan
Download PDF (268.8 KB)
Although the “revisionist” scholars who rekindled widespread interest in the history of punishment in the 1970s were largely oblivious to questions of gender, the decades since have seen the publication of a series of important studies (all by women) that call attention to the way in which the punishment of men and women has differed significantly...
Chapter 6: Burning Down the House: Gender and Jury in a Tokyo Courtroom, 1928
Download PDF (277.0 KB)
Who was Yamafuji Kanko? This was the riddle that the daily papers presented to their readers on the occasion of the “Yamafuji Kanko Arson Trial” or “Kanko Jury Trial.” Taken separately, attempted arson, female criminality, or the defendant’s beauty did not win front-page coverage in the Tokyo Asahi shinbun. Yet in 1928 these factors, combined with...
Part III. Colonial Law and the Problem of the Family
Chapter 7: Sim-pua under the Colonial Gaze: Gender, “Old Customs,” and the Law in Taiwan under Japanese Imperialism
Download PDF (317.9 KB)
Chinese women crippled by bound feet. Indian widows committing suttee on their husbands’ funeral pyres. Women’s subordination has long been treated as a core element of Asian tradition and viewed as a sign of Asian backwardness. The representation of Asian women as victims bound by tradition is part of the ideological construction of Western...
Chapter 8: Japanese Colonialism, Gender, and Household Registration: Legal Reconstruction of Boundaries
Barbara J. Brooks
Download PDF (253.7 KB)
The workings of power have always been at the center of the study of colonialism in its diverse manifestations. Much scholarly attention has recently addressed divisions between colonizer and colonized, both within colonial and metropolitan spaces, as a means of better grasping the nature of colonial rule and the culture of colonialism. In an important...
Chapter 9: A New Perspective on the“Name-Changing Policy” in Korea
Download PDF (272.8 KB)
The “name-changing policy” (sōshi kaimei) that forced Koreans to adopt Japanese names has been known as the most oppressive Japanese colonial policy in Korea. According to a standard textbook, “the forced assimilation policy of the 1930s reached its apex on the eve of the outbreak of the wider war in the Pacific. . . . A year earlier, however, ...
Download PDF (267.3 KB)
Download PDF (203.0 KB)
Download PDF (175.2 KB)
Production Notes, Back Cover
Publication Year: 2014