ERIC Number: ED247160
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Jun
Reference Count: 0
The Japanese Domestic Labor Debate.
The changing role of Japanese women can be seen in the stages of a domestic labor debate which occurred at three different times in the past 30 years. The first debate began with Ayako Ishigaki's (1955) insistence that women should have a job outside the home. Wartime production helped break down traditional divisions of labor by encouraging women to work in gun factories. Such "pull" factors (those which pull women to the work force) also encouraged women to assist in rebuilding Japan's post-war economy. In addition, five "push" factors (factors which push women out of the home) also accounted for the increase of women in the work force: (1) technical innovation of homelife, (2) industrialization of domestic labor, (3) increase in the nuclear family, (4) desire for a higher standard of living, and (5) changes in women's consciousness. However, the economic depression of 1955 caused these pull factors to disappear and male dominance was reestablished. The second debate, initiated by Fujiko Isono during Japan's period of high economic growth (1960's) provided an economic rationale for placing monetary value on a wife's domestic labor. While part-time jobs provided a temporary compromise, a third debate, initiated by Kyoko Takeda (1971), argued that being a part-time housewife is not a wise strategy for women's liberation because having dual roles merely results in exploitation both inside and outside the home. Today, however, most Japanese women have opted for a dual-role, "two-cycle" life pattern and strive for a balance between work and home. (LH)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Women's Studies Association (Columbus, OH, June 1983).