Succession and the death of the household head in early modern Japan: A case study of a Northeastern village, 1720-1870

Aoi Okada, Satomi Kurosu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study analyses succession patterns using a population register from a village in Northeastern Japan between 1720 and 1870. It was observed that natural sons or adopted sons/sons-in-law (if heads had no sons) inherited upon the retirement or death of the household head. Women had a chance to succeed only when heads died or departed leaving no male heirs. Headship by a woman was either a temporary replacement until the next heir was determined or a prelude to household discontinuation. The latter was particularly likely if the household held no land. A link between demographic conditions and family strategy is also considered, contrasting succession patterns between Northeastern and Central Japan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-166
Number of pages24
JournalContinuity and Change
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1998 May
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Social Sciences(all)

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