Reproduction and family building strategies in early modern Japan: Evidence from two northeastern farming villages

Noriko O. Tsuya, Satomi Kurosu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Drawing data from the local population registers called "ninbetsu-aratame-cho," this study examines the patterns and covariates of reproduction and family building in two farming villages in northeastern Japan in 1716-1870. Marriages in these villages were very early and universal for both sexes, but reproduction within marriage was very low, due in part to curtailment of reproduction at relatively young ages, but also to long intervals between recorded births. Stopping and spacing of family building were achieved primarily by an extensive use of sex- and parity-specific infanticide, which enabled peasant couples to control the size and gender-sequence of their progeny. Women's positions within their household and in the village also influenced their family building processes. Peasant couples in these preindustrial Japanese farming villages were active planners of their reproductive life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-429
Number of pages17
JournalHistory of the Family
Volume15
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Oct 29

Keywords

  • Early modern Japan
  • Event history analysis
  • Family building
  • Infanticide
  • Marriage
  • Reproduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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