‘Organizing’ Meiji women: The role of the Japanese chapter of the woman’s Christian temperance union for individual activists, 1900–1905

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)975-993
Number of pages19
JournalWomen's History Review
Volume26
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Nov 2

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prostitution
missionary
socialism
magazine
nation state
twentieth century
elite
promotion
organization
reform
Christian Women
Meiji
Temperance
Activists
Organizing
Agenda
education
Prostitution
Abolition
Meiji Period

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • History

Cite this

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title = "‘Organizing’ Meiji women: The role of the Japanese chapter of the woman’s Christian temperance union for individual activists, 1900–1905",
abstract = "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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