At the turn of the twentieth century, Japan embarked on a mission to modernize its society and industry. For the first time, young Japanese women were persuaded to leave their families and enter the factory. Managing Women focuses on Japan's interwar textile industry, examining how factory managers, social reformers, and the state created visions of a specifically Japanese femininity. Faison finds that female factory workers were constructed as "women" rather than as "workers" and that this womanly ideal was used to develop labor-management practices, inculcate moral and civic values, and develop a strategy for containing union activities and strikes. In an integrated analysis of gender ideology and ideologies of nationalism and ethnicity, Faison shows how this discourse on women's wage work both produced and reflected anxieties about women's social roles in modern Japan.
List of Illustrations
Introduction: Women or Workers?
1. From Home Work to Corporate Paternalism: Women’s Work in Japan’s Early Industrial Age
2. Keeping “Idle Youngsters” Out of Trouble: Japan’s 1929 Abolition of Night Work and the Problem of Free Time
3. Cultivation Groups and the Japanese Factory: Producing Workers, Gendering Subjects
4. Sex, Strikes, and Solidarity: TQyQ Muslin and the Labor Unrest of 1930
5. Colonial Labor: The Disciplinary Power of Ethnicity
Epilogue: Managing Women in Wartime and Beyond
Elyssa Faison is Associate Professor of History at the University of Oklahoma.
“Faison has given us much food for thought on how we can continue to view her as important within Japanese social, economic, and gender history.”—Helen Macnaughtan Journal Of Japanese Studies
“An important contribution in the field of labour history. . . . This book is very useful for readers who are interested in modern Japan, as well as comparative historians who study migration, labour, gender, sexuality, and modernization.”—Angela Chin Canadian Journal Of History
is an important work, filled with fascinating description, and accessible to a broad audience. I expect this to become a widely known and much cited book."—Mark Metzler, author of Lever of Empire: The International Gold Standard and the Crisis of Liberalism in Prewar Japan