Mabiki: Infanticide and Population Growth in Eastern Japan, 1660-1950

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9780520272439: Mabiki: Infanticide and Population Growth in Eastern Japan, 1660-1950
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This book tells the story of a society reversing deeply held worldviews and revolutionizing its demography. In parts of eighteenth-century Japan, couples raised only two or three children. As villages shrank and domain headcounts dwindled, posters of child-murdering she-devils began to appear, and governments offered to pay their subjects to have more children. In these pages, the long conflict over the meaning of infanticide comes to life once again. Those who killed babies saw themselves as responsible parents to their chosen children. Those who opposed infanticide redrew the boundaries of humanity so as to encompass newborn infants and exclude those who would not raise them. In Eastern Japan, the focus of this book, population growth resumed in the nineteenth century. According to its village registers, more and more parents reared all their children. Others persisted in the old ways, leaving traces of hundreds of thousands of infanticides in the statistics of the modern Japanese state. Nonetheless, by 1925, total fertility rates approached six children per women in the very lands where raising four had once been considered profligate. This reverse fertility transition suggests that the demographic history of the world is more interesting than paradigms of unidirectional change would have us believe, and that the future of fertility and population growth may yet hold many surprises.

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"Mabiki shows how reproductive choices are embedded in dynamic cultural, social, and economic contexts. Marshaling evidence as diverse as religious artifacts and computer simulations, Fabian Drixler offers a compelling account of changes in the culture of infanticide over three centuries of Japanese history."―George Alter, Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research, University of Michigan

"International work in Japanese studies is intellectually vibrant and booming in a way that most outsiders to the field probably don't realize. Among this excellent work, Drixler's Mabiki is one of the most important books to appear in any field of Japanese studies in many years. It is also a book that will disturb many readers and certainly be widely read, discussed and debated."―Mark Metzler, University of Texas at Austin

"This book removes any question that infanticide was a widespread practice in eastern Japan, as well as a handful of other regions -- not only throughout the Edo period but well into the twentieth century. Drixler's analysis will force future scholars who are thinking about demography, family, gender, social policy, ethnography, and other topics to include infanticide in their analyses.  The implications are broad, especially for discussions regarding the forces that slowed Edo-period population growth." ―William Johnston, Wesleyan University

About the Author:

Fabian Drixler teaches Japanese history at Yale University.

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Book Description University of California Press, United States, 2013. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This book tells the story of a society reversing deeply held worldviews and revolutionizing its demography. In parts of eighteenth-century Japan, couples raised only two or three children. As villages shrank and domain headcounts dwindled, posters of child-murdering she-devils began to appear, and governments offered to pay their subjects to have more children. In these pages, the long conflict over the meaning of infanticide comes to life once again. Those who killed babies saw themselves as responsible parents to their chosen children. Those who opposed infanticide redrew the boundaries of humanity so as to encompass newborn infants and exclude those who would not raise them. In Eastern Japan, the focus of this book, population growth resumed in the nineteenth century. According to its village registers, more and more parents reared all their children. Others persisted in the old ways, leaving traces of hundreds of thousands of infanticides in the statistics of the modern Japanese state. Nonetheless, by 1925, total fertility rates approached six children per women in the very lands where raising four had once been considered profligate. This reverse fertility transition suggests that the demographic history of the world is more interesting than paradigms of unidirectional change would have us believe, and that the future of fertility and population growth may yet hold many surprises. Seller Inventory # AAH9780520272439

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Book Description University of California Press, United States, 2013. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This book tells the story of a society reversing deeply held worldviews and revolutionizing its demography. In parts of eighteenth-century Japan, couples raised only two or three children. As villages shrank and domain headcounts dwindled, posters of child-murdering she-devils began to appear, and governments offered to pay their subjects to have more children. In these pages, the long conflict over the meaning of infanticide comes to life once again. Those who killed babies saw themselves as responsible parents to their chosen children. Those who opposed infanticide redrew the boundaries of humanity so as to encompass newborn infants and exclude those who would not raise them. In Eastern Japan, the focus of this book, population growth resumed in the nineteenth century. According to its village registers, more and more parents reared all their children. Others persisted in the old ways, leaving traces of hundreds of thousands of infanticides in the statistics of the modern Japanese state. Nonetheless, by 1925, total fertility rates approached six children per women in the very lands where raising four had once been considered profligate. This reverse fertility transition suggests that the demographic history of the world is more interesting than paradigms of unidirectional change would have us believe, and that the future of fertility and population growth may yet hold many surprises. Seller Inventory # AAH9780520272439

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Book Description University of California Press, United States, 2013. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This book tells the story of a society reversing deeply held worldviews and revolutionizing its demography. In parts of eighteenth-century Japan, couples raised only two or three children. As villages shrank and domain headcounts dwindled, posters of child-murdering she-devils began to appear, and governments offered to pay their subjects to have more children. In these pages, the long conflict over the meaning of infanticide comes to life once again. Those who killed babies saw themselves as responsible parents to their chosen children. Those who opposed infanticide redrew the boundaries of humanity so as to encompass newborn infants and exclude those who would not raise them. In Eastern Japan, the focus of this book, population growth resumed in the nineteenth century. According to its village registers, more and more parents reared all their children. Others persisted in the old ways, leaving traces of hundreds of thousands of infanticides in the statistics of the modern Japanese state. Nonetheless, by 1925, total fertility rates approached six children per women in the very lands where raising four had once been considered profligate. This reverse fertility transition suggests that the demographic history of the world is more interesting than paradigms of unidirectional change would have us believe, and that the future of fertility and population growth may yet hold many surprises. Seller Inventory # AAZ9780520272439

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