By Satsuki Kawano, Glenda S. Roberts, Susan Orpett Long

This well timed quantity addresses primary questions very important to figuring out Japan within the first decade of the twenty-first century. Its chapters jointly show a wondering of middle-class beliefs as soon as thought of the essence of Japaneseness. long ago 20 years eastern society has visible a pointy bring up in precarious types of employment, greater divorce premiums, and a widening hole among haves and have-nots. participants draw on wealthy, nuanced fieldwork facts gathered throughout the 2000s to check paintings, education, kinfolk and marital relatives, baby rearing, leisure, way of life offerings, group aid, intake and waste, fabric tradition, future health, getting older, dying and memorial rites, and sexuality.

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24 Introduction part i Change Over Time Part I introduces readers to the long-term socioeconomic shift since the 1980s through the eyes of the Fujiis, a blue-collar family living in Kansai and studied by Glenda Roberts (chapter 1), and middle-aged and older people studied by Gordon Mathews (chapter 2). Both scholars reinterviewed those who had participated in their earlier studies, thus giving a depth to their informants’ accounts. Glenda Roberts examines the marriage and work experiences of her female informant, Sachi, who is in her fifties.

It is my impression that this transfer was in effect an attempt by the company to force Sachi out, but she persevered. It was here that she injured her back, an injury that still bothers her today. At this location, there were four irregular employees and two regulars, including Sachi. As a supervisor (as noted, she had passed the first promotion exam), she had a lot of trouble trying to keep the employees in line. She worked right along with them as supervisors often 34 Glenda S. Roberts do in Japanese workshops: “They hardly worked at all.

They married in 1976, when she was twenty-one—three years earlier than the average age for a woman at first marriage at the time. The groom, too, was younger than the average groom. Sachi was the first among the sisters to marry. She noted, “I wanted to leave home as early as possible. . Because we had so many of us [in the family], in any case I wanted to get out. Back in those days it was popular in TV dramas to feature young brides. We called them osanazuma—young wives, right? ” Although Sachi was younger than average for her cohort, twenty-one was not an unusually young marriage age for someone who had been in the workforce since age fifteen.

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