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  • Adoption and the Maintenance of the Early Modern Elite: Japan in the East Asian Context

    Marcia Yonemoto

    Chapter from the book: Berry M. & Yonemoto M. 2019. What Is a Family?: Answers from Early Modern Japan.


    In late imperial China, Joseon Korea, and Tokugawa Japan adoption for succession to family headship was a way of life. But even in the East Asian context, early modern Japanese warrior and commoner families stand out in terms of the frequency and flexibility with which they implemented adoption. To a greater degree than their contemporaries in China and Korea, early modern Japanese families adopted adults and children, men and women, kin and non-kin in an exceptionally free and unregulated manner. The importance of adoption—in particular the adoption of adults, and within that category, of sons-in-law—in maintaining the Japanese family system has few parallels in world history.

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    Yonemoto, M. 2019. Adoption and the Maintenance of the Early Modern Elite: Japan in the East Asian Context. In: Berry M. & Yonemoto M (eds.), What Is a Family?. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.77.c

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    Published on Sept. 17, 2019


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