• Part of
    Ubiquity Network logo

    Read Chapter
  • No readable formats available
  • Food, Affect, and Experiments in Care: Constituting a “Household-like” Child Welfare Institution in Japan

    Kathryn E. Goldfarb

    Chapter from the book: Frühstück S. & Walthall A. 2017. Child’s Play: Multi-Sensory Histories of Children and Childhood in Japan.


    Child welfare institutions in Japan provide accommodation for children whose parents cannot care for them. A recent movement seeks to make them small enough in scale to provide household-like care with deep attachments between children and staff. Based on participant-observation ethnographic research at one institution, this chapter, by Kathryn Goldfarb, focuses on the difficulties the director and staff encountered in trying to provide homes for children and the experiments in care that they developed to overcome them. Bodily interactions—a few intensely physical and affective practices such as food preparation, eating, sleeping, and bathing together—constituted the nexus of staff-child interactions. At first they were designed to produce a sense of community and a fictive kin network, but when food preparation was relegated to part-time staff, many workers felt that an important emotional bond created by eating together had disappeared.

    Chapter Metrics:

    How to cite this chapter
    Goldfarb, K. 2017. Food, Affect, and Experiments in Care: Constituting a “Household-like” Child Welfare Institution in Japan. In: Frühstück S. & Walthall A (eds.), Child’s Play. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.40.m

    This chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution + Noncommercial + NoDerivatives 4.0 license. Copyright is retained by the author(s)

    Peer Review Information

    This book has been peer reviewed. See our Peer Review Policies for more information.

    Additional Information

    Published on Oct. 10, 2017