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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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Poverty on the Farm

Poverty on the Farm

A Comparative Look

Chapter:
(p.186) Chapter 7 Poverty on the Farm
Source:
Down and Out in Late Meiji Japan
Author(s):

James L. Huffman

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824872915.003.0008

Comparison is theme of this chapter, which looks at rural poverty as a way of understanding what was universal and what unique about urban poverty. After a look at the nature-and season-dominated village setting, the work examines daily life: hard work in the rice fields, raising silkworms, the role of women in both fields and homes. A special theme is the importance community played, in setting rules, providing mutual support, and giving children a more productive place than they enjoyed in the hinminkutsu. The pursuit of pleasure also is seen as important in village life: in baths, in relatively open sexuality, and in the constant festivals. A summary shows that villages, the source of most of the urban migration, were at least as poor as city slums but that the rural poverty’s effect was softened by the natural setting and the village sense of community.

Keywords:   Village (mura), Seasons, Rice, Silk, Children, Bath, Festivals

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