Population and household change of a Japanese village, 1760-1870.
KeywordsDemographic anthropology -- Japan -- Yambe.
Demography -- Japan -- Yambe.
Japan -- History -- 1787-1868.
AdvisorNetting, Robert M.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation is an analysis of population and households of a village in Northeast Japan, using historical documents from the period between 1760 and 1870. The population of the village increased 1.73-fold in 110 years with the average growth rate of 0.50 per cent per annum. In general, the population shifted from a low pressure regime characterized by relatively low fertility and low mortality to a high pressure regime with high fertility and high mortality. Fertility was found to be the driving force of the population growth, but high mortality slowed down the growth between 1800 and 1835. Migration played only a minor role. However, migration made a significant impact on the population growth through fertility by changing the nature of service. The increase in fertility resulted mainly from changes in marital fertility rather than changes in nuptiality. The most important factor contributing to the increase in marital fertility was the transformation of labor from servants with yearly contracts to day laborers which increased couple's exposure to the risk of childbearing by affecting coital frequency. In addition, increased employment opportunities and improved wages, which were brought about by the development of market economy and small-scale industry centering around a highly profitable cash crop, safflower, had a positive effect on marital fertility. The number of households increased 1.50-fold throughout the period. An increase in the number of lower class households was solely responsible for the increase in the number of households of the village. The mean household size rose from 4.8 to 5.6. The household size was positively associated with socio-economic status. As in the case of fertility, increased employment opportunities and improved wages were primarily responsible for the increase in the number of households and in the household size. Namely, the increased employment opportunities and improved wages made peasants, especially those of the lower class, less dependent on land, and allowed them to establish new branch households more easily. The most frequently-encountered household types were simple and multiple family households, the two types combined accounting for over 70 per cent of all households of the village. The proportion of multiple family households increased throughout the period, whereas the proportion of simple family households declined.