• Part of
    Ubiquity Network logo

    Read Chapter
  • No readable formats available
  • Conjugal Love and Conjugal Family on Trial

    Sungyun Lim

    Chapter from the book: Lim, S. 2019. Rules of the House: Family Law and Domestic Disputes in Colonial Korea.


    This chapter examines reform discourses about the conjugal relationship in the 1920s and 1930s. This chapters shows how the universal ideal of conjugal love, which was gaining increasing popularity at the time, converged with the colonial state’s goal of legal assimilation. Through a wide range of divorce and inheritance cases that hinged on the definition of a conjugal relationship, this chapter shows that the legal definition of a female spouse in this period came to be defined increasingly by affective companionship. While some wives demanded expanded rights to divorce when their marriages did not fulfill the ideal of affective marriage, some concubines demanded inheritance rights on the ground that they had fulfilled the role of an affective spouse. Making affective companionship a primary and necessary definition of a female spouse ended up stripping both wives and concubines of their rights to economic independence and incorporated the conjugal relationship into the colonial household system. The ideal of affective marriage, therefore, eventually served the assimilation of the Korean family into the Japanese family system.

    Chapter Metrics:

    How to cite this chapter
    Lim, S. 2019. Conjugal Love and Conjugal Family on Trial. In: Lim, S, Rules of the House. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.60.e

    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 Jan. 1, 2019