Chapter

Families in Postwar Japan: <i>Democracy and Reconstruction</i>

Merry Isaacs White

in Perfectly Japanese

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2002 | ISBN: 9780520217546
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520936591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520217546.003.0004
Families in Postwar Japan: Democracy and Reconstruction

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This chapter emphasizes postwar families as constructions of a democratic model supporting reconstruction and growth in Japan. Traditionalism combines with an easy and relaxed, even democratic, style in their family relations. In the postwar decades from 1947 to the present, a democratic but strongly gender-role-determined unit has taken the patriarchal household's place. This family is designed to be capable of expanding engagement with a consumer economy even as it protects the future of its dependent elderly or its children, perpetuating older concepts of effort and family values. What has commonly been taken as the postwar family now shows up clearly as a series of historically situated family events, spanning several eras in the last half-century. The postwar model of the family was intended both to stabilize and to shake up conventional experience of the time.

Keywords: postwar; Japanese family; democracy; reconstruction; traditionalism; family relations

Chapter.  13993 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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