Susan L. Burns and Barbara J. Brooks (eds.)
Gender and Law in the Japanese Imperium
University of Hawaii, Honolulu, 2014, 301 pp.
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. This volume puts developments in Japan and its empire in dialogue with this global phenomenon. Arguing against the popular stereotype of Japan as a non-litigious society, an international group of contributors from Japan, Taiwan, Germany, and the U.S., explores how in Japan and its colonies, as elsewhere in the modern world, law became a fundamental means of creating and regulating gendered subjects and social norms in the period from the 1870s to the 1950s. Rather than viewing legal discourse and the courts merely as technologies of state control, the authors suggest that they were subject to negotiation, interpretation, and contestation at every level of their formulation and deployment. With this as a shared starting point, they explore key issues such reproductive and human rights, sexuality, prostitution, gender and criminality, and the formation of the modern conceptions of family and conjugality, and use these issues to complicate our understanding of the impact of civil, criminal, and administrative laws upon the lives of both Japanese citizens and colonial subjects. The result is a powerful rethinking of not only gender and law, but also the relationships between the state and civil society, the metropole and the colonies, and Japan and the West.
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.
--The Maria Luz incident and international justice--for Chinese coolies and Japanese prostitutes / Douglas Howland-- Disputing rights: the debate over anti-prostitution legislation in 1950s Japan / Sally A. Hastings
-- Gender in the arena of the courts: the prosecution of abortion and infanticide in early Meiji Japan / Susan L. Burns-- Adultery and gender equality in modern Japan: 1868-1948 / Harald Fuess
-- Of pity and poison: imprisoning women in modern Japan / Daniel Botsman
-- Burning down the house: gender and jury in a Tokyo courtroom, 1928 / Darryl Flaherty
-- Sim-pua under the colonial gaze: gender, "old customs," and the law in Taiwan under Japanese imperialism / Chao-ju Chen
-- Japanese colonialism, gender, and household registration: legal construction of boundaries / Barbara J. Brooks
-- An attempt to integrate the Korean family with the Japanese: a new perspective on the "name-changing policy" in Korea / Motokazu Matsutani.
Susan L. Burns is associate professor of Japanese history at the University of Chicago.
Barbara J. Brooks (1953–2013) was associate professor of East Asian history at the City College and Graduate Center, City University of New York.
Agrupa trabajos presentados a la conferencia Gender and Law in the Japanese Imperium, May 19-20th, The University of Chicago, reuniendo contribuciones desde Japón, USA, Taiwan y Alemania.
This conference examines the multiple ways in which law, as idea, statute, and juridical practice, was implicated in the formation of new conceptions of gender in the Japanese metropole and colonies from 1868 to the 1950s. Papers to be presented explore the complex and contested role of law, in its local, national, and international deployments, in the creation of gendered national and colonial subjects, male and female social roles, familial relations, and normative notions of sexuality.