Japanese Women Working
Edited by Janet Hunter
Routledge – 1995 – 264 pages
Japanese Women Working provides a wide range of perspectives on the study of working women in Japan over the last century. Contributors address issues of state policy towards and management of women workers, and also provide accounts of the experiences of particular groups of workers: domestic servants, hospital care assistants, textile workers , miners, homeworkers and 'professional' housewives.
The book highlights many of the issues and decisions that have faced working women in Japan, and calls into question the accuracy of the prevailing domestic stereotype of Japanese women. Essays included span a period rapid economic change, and look at Japan as an industrializing country, indicating the importance of the overall economic environment, as well as taking into account cultural factors, in determinig women's position in the labour market.
Bringing together contributions by historians, economists, anthropologists and management specialists from Europe, Japan and the United States, the book underlines the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to the study of women working. It is a major addition to the existing English language literature on Japanese Women, and will make life easier for non-specialists to inform themselves about a critical area of Japanese social and economic development.
'Dr Hunter's introduction to this fascinating collection of papers provides an excellent overview of the history and development of women's issues since the Meiji Restoration, and also puts them in an international context…This book is not the result of a conference or symposium but is part of the response in the West to the need for material in the English to be available so that Japan can be included in comparative studies of history, economics, gender studies, etc. ' - Lydia Gomersall, Proceedings of the Japan Society
'Richly detailed and fascinating to read… Japanese Women Working is a significant addition to the growing body of research in this field, and one that deserves a wide audience.' - Louella Matsunaga, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies