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Down and Out in Late Meiji Japan$
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James L. Huffman

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780824872915

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824872915.001.0001

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Earning a Living

Earning a Living

Making and Building Things

Chapter:
(p.46) Chapter 2 Earning a Living
Source:
Down and Out in Late Meiji Japan
Author(s):

James L. Huffman

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824872915.003.0003

Two occupation groups are at the center of this chapter: factory workers and those engaged in construction. In the former category, the focus is on laborers in the textile factories and on match-makers. A positive feature of this kind of work was the regularity of income, but negative features such as long hours, low wages, ill-treatment, and (for textile factory girls) confinement in dormitories dominated. One of the key characteristics of factory work was the dominance of women and children. The builders are represented by craftsmen and day laborers. The former had a rich tradition but saw both their prestige and their income decline in the Meiji years. Day laborers were among the least respected but most colorful of hinmin groups, and their work was sporadic at best.

Keywords:   Factory girls, Match makers, Craftsmen, Day laborers

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