Skip to main content
Shopping cart: items Cart

Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Reforming Japan

The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union in the Meiji Period

Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Reforming Japan

The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union in the Meiji Period

In 1902 the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) petitioned the Japanese government to stop rewarding good deeds with the bestowal of sake cups. Alcohol production and consumption, its members argued, harmed individuals, endangered public welfare, and wasted vital resources. This campaign was part of a wide-ranging reform program to eliminate prostitution, eradicate drinking, spread Christianity, and improve the lives of women. As Elizabeth Dorn Lublin shows, members did not passively accept and propagate government policy but felt a duty to shape it by defining social problems and influencing opinion. Certain their beliefs and reforms were essential to Japan's advancement, members couched their calls for change in the rhetorical language of national progress. Ultimately, the WCTU’s activism belies received notions of women’s public involvement and political engagement in Meiji Japan.


Table of Contents

Illustrations  

Acknowledgments  

Introduction  

Part 1: The WCTU in Meiji Japan: An Organizational History

1   The Founding of the WCTU in Japan: 1886  

2   The Tumultuous Early Years of the Tokyo WCTU: 1886-92  

3   The Organization and Development of the Japan WCTU: 1892-1912  

Part 2: Under the Guise of National Strengthening and “Good” Citizenship: Pillars of the WCTU’s Reform Program

4   The Fight against Prostitution  

5   The Struggle to Create a Sober Society  

6   Imperial Loyalty and Patriotic Service Japan WCTU-Style  

Epilogue  

Bibliography  

Index 

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press