Gender and Law in the Japanese Imperium

Gender and Law in the Japanese ImperiumArguing against the popular stereotype of Japan as a non-litigious society, an international group of contributors from Japan, Taiwan, Germany, and the U.S. explores how in Japan and its colonies, as elsewhere in the modern world, law became a fundamental means of creating and regulating gendered subjects and social norms in the period from the 1870s to the 1950s. In Gender and Law in the Japanese Imperium, the authors suggest that legal discourse was subject to negotiation, interpretation, and contestation at every level of their formulation and deployment.

With this as a shared starting point, they explore key issues such reproductive and human rights, sexuality, prostitution, gender and criminality, and the formation of the modern conceptions of family and conjugality, and use these issues to complicate our understanding of the impact of civil, criminal, and administrative laws upon the lives of both Japanese citizens and colonial subjects. The result is a powerful rethinking of not only gender and law, but also the relationships between the state and civil society, the metropole and the colonies, and Japan and the West.