Cultivation Groups and the Japanese Factory

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:
Cultivation Groups and the Japanese Factory

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This chapter focuses on the Shuyodan (Cultivation Association), a semi-governmental “cultivation group” that solicited the membership of women factory workers with the encouragement of their employers. The Shuyodan was one of several such cultivation groups that inculcated docility and obedience to family and state in young women, and that was opposed by labor unions and by many workers for its coercive nature. Among the methods used to effect the kinds of bodily management promoted by textile companies in the 1920s and 1930s, these kinds of cultivation groups became central to the intensification of bodily discipline and the social and civic discipline it accompanied. By 1929, managers of the female worker-dominated textile industry were making membership mandatory for their employees. This was part of an orchestrated effort by industrial managers to mitigate union activism, while simultaneously disciplining productive workers, inculcating a gendered imperial subjecthood.

Keywords: Shuyodan; women factory workers; bodily management; Cultivation Association; union activism

Chapter.  11766 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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