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  • Fashioning the Family: A Temple, a Daughter, and a Wardrobe

    Amy Stanley

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


    This chapter examines the meaning of family in nineteenth-century Japan by focusing on a rural temple family’s argument over who owned a rebellious daughter’s wardrobe. Unlike other household possessions, clothing was portable and visible outside the home, where it could contribute to or detract from the family’s reputation. Clothing was also typically produced, purchased, repaired, and managed by women. As a result, struggles over clothing were not only about tangible property, they were also about women’s household roles, their access to cash and credit, and their contributions to the family’s reputation. This chapter argues that even within the same household, individuals’ definitions of the family and its responsibilities could be irreconcilable, making a unified ideal of “the family” untenable.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Stanley, A. 2019. Fashioning the Family: A Temple, a Daughter, and a Wardrobe. In: Berry M. & Yonemoto M (eds.), What Is a Family?. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.77.h

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    Published on Sept. 17, 2019


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