From Home Work to Corporate Paternalism

Elyssa Faison

in Managing Women

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2007 | ISBN: 9780520252967
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520934184 | DOI:
From Home Work to Corporate Paternalism

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This chapter looks at women's wage work in early industrial Japan and the paternalist practices developed as a central part of management strategies. During the Meiji period (1868–1912), the textile industry emerged as a major source of foreign capital for the new state and a significant source of employment for Japan's first generation of women to engage extensively in wage labor. This chapter charts the history of the Factory Law and the development of paternalism in some of the largest textile companies. It elucidates the connections between an emerging national ideal of “good wife, wise mother,” which was grounded in middle-class assumptions of education and leisure, and the growing demand for young women and girls to leave their rural families for work in the cotton-spinning and silk-reeling factories of the new industrial economy.

Keywords: women's work; early industrial Japan; textile industry; Factory Law; paternalism; cotton-spinning

Chapter.  7173 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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