Studies of the activities of the Japanese chapter of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU, also known as Reform Society, est. 1886) in the late Meiji period (1868–1912) have primarily focused on its reformist agenda associated with the ongoing imperial nation-state building such as abolition of licensed prostitution, promotion of monogamy, and women’s education. With its strong connections to Japanese elites, Western missionaries, and female sympathizers, however, the WCTU in the early twentieth century provided its ambitious members with useful opportunities to learn necessary skills and broaden their networks. By scrutinizing three individual members with different interests as case studies, including charity for victims of industrial pollution, publication of a household magazine, and anti-war socialism, this paper demonstrates the malleability of the WCTU that extended beyond its renowned agenda and various ways in which individual members benefited from the organization.
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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Gender Studies