Research Projects

 

IGS Research Project 2015

:Research Representative

  The New Middle Class and Gender in Asia
Member Mariko ADACHI (Professor), Etsuko SAITO (IGS Researcher, Ochanomizu Univeristy), Kaoru KANAI (Saitama University), Glenda S. ROBERTS (Waseda University), Yoshie HORI (Keisen University), Susan Himmelweit (The Open University)
 Outline This project is a continuation of Gender and the Emerging/Maturing Economic Societies in Asia since the Global Financial Crisis (Mariko Adachi, Principal Investigator), a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A) project that ended in the preceding fiscal year.

 

The Social Enterprise and Gender
Member Mariko ADACHI (Professor), Etsuko SAITO (IGS Researcher, Ochanomizu Univeristy), Susan Himmelweit (The Open University), T. Yoda (Harvard University)
 Outline In recent years, much attention has been paid to the relationship between social enterprise and gender. This research analyzes the relationship from several perspectives including concepts, policy concerns, and comparative systems.

 

Gender and Politics in East Asia
Member Ki-young SHIN (Associate Professor), Research Network on Gender and Diversity in Political Representation (GDRep)
 Outline East Asia has attracted global attention as a region that has achieved economic development, but the path of development of political democracy is not uniform. Above all, Japan has the longest history of democracy, but also the lowest level of women’s participation in politics in the region. Taiwan, on the other hand, already had a high proportion of female members in the parliament before democratization, and the proportion has risen to well above 30 percent since democracy was introduced. In South Korea, as well, there has been a significant increase in female members of the national and local legislature in the dozen or so years since the early 2000s. The aim of the research is to undertake a comparative analysis by surveying both male and female legislators in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, to ask what factors improve or hinder women’s political representation in the East Asian countries, and how to put in place political systems that foster gender diversity.

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Reexamining Liberal Feminism
Member Hiroaki ITAI (Project Lecturer), Yoshifumi OZAWA (Kanagawa University)
 Outline The purpose of this research project is to reexamine the ideas and movements that characterize liberal feminism, the first wave of feminism, which included Mary Wollstonecraft and John Stuart Mill. The general understanding is that liberal feminism must be overcome because it is premised on the public-private dualism of liberalism. However, the public-private spheres, as understood by liberalism, are not simply laissez-faire individualistic spaces, rather, they also justify intervention where injustice exists. This research aims to clarify matters by undertaking a textual analysis of The Subjection of Women by J. S. Mill, and to create momentum for a reexamination of liberal feminism by completing a new translation of The Subjection of Women.

 

Japanese-American Soldiers during the Korean War and Issues of Their Citizenship: Analysis from Gender and Ethnic Perspectives
Member Miyuki DAIMARUYA (Project Research Fellow)
 Outline East Asia has attracted global attention as a region that has achieved economic development, but the path of development of political democracy is not uniform. Above all, Japan has the longest history of democracy, but also the lowest level of women’s participation in politics in the region. Taiwan, on the other hand, already had a high proportion of female members in the parliament before democratization, and the proportion has risen to well above 30 percent since democracy was introduced. In South Korea, as well, there has been a significant increase in female members of the national and local legislature in the dozen or so years since the early 2000s. The aim of the research is to undertake a comparative analysis by surveying both male and female legislators in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, to ask what factors improve or hinder women’s political representation in the East Asian countries, and how to put in place political systems that foster gender diversity.

 

The Relationship between Donor Offspring’s Welfare and Receptivity of Family Diversity in Society
Member Yukari SEMBA (Project Research Fellow)
 Outline In recent years, the numbers of infertile couples who are considering using donated sperm/eggs, or surrogate mothers has been increasing steadily. In some countries, the movement to seek legal permission for same-sex marriage has become active, and in recent years we often see cases in which same-sex couples, single men, and single women use donor conception to have children. In Japan as well, Shibuya and Setagaya wards in Tokyo, and Takarazuka city in Hyogo have started to provide certificates to same-sex couples as an official couple. Japan might come to have more demands for donor conception owing to the emergence of diverse family forms in the future.

In Japan, there are already more than 15,000 children born through sperm donation, and some of those children say that they would like to know the identity of the sperm donor. However, there is still no law or legislation regarding reproductive medicine and donor conception in Japan. While the necessity of such legislation is recognized, most experts hold negative views on providing the donor’s information to children. When same-sex couples, or single men or women use donor conception to have children in the future in Japan, donor children inevitably will find out that they have biological links to someone other than the parents who have raised them. If Japan still retains the donor anonymity regarding donor conception, more donor-conceived people may demand the right to know their own biological origin.

In some countries and regions around the world, the foundation for accepting family diversity has been established, and it is not unusual for same-sex couples or singles to have children using reproductive medicine. Many of these areas have legal guarantees of children’s right to know their biological origin. This research project will study laws and legislation concerning the parent-child relationship and reproductive medicine law in several countries, and then analyze the relationship between degree of social acceptance of family diversity and the donor-conceived children’s right to know their origin in each society.

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Women’s Representation in Local Councils in Japan: The Case of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly
Member Jiso YOON(Research Fellow JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow for Overseas Researchers/ Assistant Professor, University of Kansas)
Outline Despite being one of the most developed and democratized nations in the world, women’s political representation remains low in Japan. Yet, the percentage of women is significantly higher in local councils in comparison to the national parliament. Focusing on the case of the Tokyo metropolitan council, my project examines the specific kinds of strategies political parties and women’s rights advocates rely on and the consequences of such strategies on women’s representation. An additional goal of the project is to conduct comparative analysis of Japan and Korea—two countries representing distinct paths to women’s representation (e.g., quota and non-quota strategies). Focusing on Tokyo and Seoul metropolitan councils, I will examine how each strategy has shaped the number and type of legislators elected into office (descriptive representation) and the ways in which women’s interests are represented in local politics (substantive representation).

 

 Mizuko Kuyô in Japan from 1980 to the Present: A Comparative Perspective
Member Mary PICONE(Specially Appointed Professor of IGS/Maître de Conférences (Associate Professor), Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), France)
 Outline  I continue earlier research on two subjects: contemporary mizuko kuyô versus practices in the 80s and 90s and contemporary representations of Hell in Enma-dô, and start research on a new topic the memorialization (ireisai) for the souls of those donating their body to science (kentai).

 

 Faith, Politics, and Affection: A Social History of the Hirata Atsutane Family
Member Anne WALTHALL(Specially Appointed Professor of IGS/Professor Emerita,
University of California, Irvine, USA)
 Outline  Drawing on the vast archive of family documents that the Hirata Shrine donated to the National Museum of Japanese History in 2002, my research focuses on the individual concerns, family dynamics, and political relationships of a family best known for its contribution to the discourse on national identity.

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Research Project (Grants)

Woman President and Women’s Political Representation in Politics (Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C) project)
 Term  2014.4-2017.3
Member Ki-young SHIN (Associate Professor)
 Outline In South Korea, the 2012 elections resulted in a conservative government led by a female president (Park Geun-hye). Conservative governments have been singled out for supporting traditional gender norms that potentially undermine women’s substantial representation in politics. However, Park Geun-hye fought and won the elections with “woman” as her keyword. Taking Park Geun-hye’s tenure as the period of study, this research considers the impact of a conservative government led by a female president on women’s substantial representation by studying policies related to women, the political system, and changes in party election strategy in the 2016 national elections under the Park administration.

 

Academy of Korean Studies “The Role of Political Parties in Promoting Women’s Political Representation in Local Legislatures in Korea”
Term 2014.6.1-2015.8.31
Member Jiso YOON(Research Fellow JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow for Overseas Researchers/ Assistant Professor, University of Kansas), Ki-young SHIN (Associate Professor)
 Outline  When making international comparisons, Asia lags behind on women’s political representation. In South Korea, the debate about a quota system began relatively early vis-à-vis the rest of Asia, and quotas were introduced in the national and local elections in 2000. Nevertheless, the quotas have had limited results so far. Furthermore, reforms to the electoral system in local elections are under discussion (for example, a prohibition on political parties’ nomination of candidates). If the electoral systems change as a result of such reforms, the quota system in the current format will also be abolished. Using data on local elections since 2000, this study finds that the proportion of women in local councils has increased since the introduction of gender quotas. On the other hand, there has been informal opposition to the quotas among political parties. Other problems include voter apathy and lack of interest among policymakers in maintaining the quota system. This study discusses challenges ahead for embedding the quota system.

 

Women’s Political Participation: A Survey Analysis of Systemic and Social Factors (Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C) project)
 Term  2015.4-2018.3
Member Mari MIURA (Sophia University), Ki-young SHIN (Associate Professor)
Outline The purpose of the research is to clarify the causes of gender imbalance (women underrepresented/men overrepresented) in political representation, and how such imbalance is reproduced. We will carry out a comparative analysis of Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and New Zealand to elucidate the systemic and social factors that prescribe women’s political participation, and to clarify what kind of systemic reform and norm formation are linked to the elimination of underrepresentation.

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Women’s Representation in Local Councils in Japan: The Case of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly
 Term  2015.8-2017.7
Member Ki-young SHIN (Associate Professor), Jiso YOON(Research Fellow JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow for Overseas Researchers/ Assistant Professor, University of Kansas)
 Outline  Despite being one of the most developed and democratized nations in the world, women’s political representation remains low in Japan. Yet, the percentage of women is significantly higher in local councils in comparison to the national parliament. Focusing on the case of the Tokyo metropolitan council, my project examines the specific kinds of strategies political parties and women’s rights advocates rely on and the consequences of such strategies on women’s representation. An additional goal of the project is to conduct comparative analysis of Japan and Korea—two countries representing distinct paths to women’s representation (e.g., quota and non-quota strategies). Focusing on Tokyo and Seoul metropolitan councils, I will examine how each strategy has shaped the number and type of legislators elected into office (descriptive representation) and the ways in which women’s interests are represented in local politics (substantive representation).

 

Service Experiences of Japanese-American Women during the Korean War Period: Analysis from Gender and Ethnic Perspectives
Term  2015.7-2016.6
Member Miyuki DAIMARUYA (Project Research Fellow)
 Outline Few historical studies of Japanese American Nisei (the second generation of Japanese) who served in the Korean War exist. However, the Korean War was an important moment for the rearmament of the U.S. military, characterized by a realignment of gender and ethnic policies in the context of the early Cold War. The military service of Nisei was also affected this realignment and, for example, Nisei men began to serve in multi-ethnic units from this period. The purpose of this research is to clarify the existence of rare Nisei female soldiers who volunteered in the Korean War and to research how their military service promoted their social progression as Nisei women during the 1950s. My research field is limited to the West Coast, mainly California. I mainly study female soldiers, but also deal with male soldiers who were both drafted and volunteered in order to perform comparative studies analyzing how gender differences affected the military service experience and the lives of veterans after returning their home from military duty.

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Food Ethics and Utilitarianism: Morality, Practice, and Gender Norm (Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C) project) 
Term  2012.4-2017.3
Member Hiroaki ITAI
 Outline The purpose of this research is to classify the recent discourse around food ethics from the perspective of utilitarian food ethics, and to indicate what food ethics should be. The research consists of two parts. The first part is a study of thought history in eighteenth century Britain, specifically, the differentiation and positioning of humans and animals. We will examine published texts as well as draft manuscripts held at the University College London and the Archives Nationales in France to study animal theory in eighteenth century Britain with a focus on Jeremy Bentham. With reference to the first part of the research, the second part will compare the reality and characteristics of the new food networks and movements in Britain, the United States, and Japan. We will examine the normative ethics on food in light of food and agriculture, food and the environment, and gender issues to present a proposal for advisable food ethics in the current global economic society. The project will consider issues such as the global food chain, the Slow Food movement, vegetarianism, and gender bias pertaining to food to indicate the possibilities for a utilitarian food ethics based on das Leidendes Wesen.

 

Japan Ministry of Health, Research Project on Promotion of Support for Child and Child Rearing.   “A study on the transition of the time for laws and regulations of assisted reproductive technology in foreign countries”
Term  2015.9-2016.3
Member Yuri HIBINO (Kanazawa University), Yukari SEMBA (Project Research Fellow), Osamu ISHIHARA (Saitama Medical University), Kazuko MORI (Bunkyo Gakuin University), Atsuko KIMURA (Kyoto University), Minori KOKADO (Osaka University), Aya UMEZARA (Kyoto University), Taeko UTAGAWA (The Graduate University for Advanced Studies, The National Museum of Ethnology)
 Outline Infertility treatments have rapidly diversified due to delayed childbearing and developments in assisted reproductive technologies. In Japan, work is underway on the submission of a legislative bill regarding assisted reproductive treatments. However, there are still many unresolved operational and administrative points concerning assisted reproductive treatments between couples or treatments in which a third party is involved. Therefore, there is a need to clarify the legal systems and circumstances of reproductive medicine in other countries, and to prepare basic documentation to support future legislation in Japan.

 

Research on The Provision of Information to The Couples Who Are Considering the Use of Donor Eggs
Member Yukari SEMBA (Project Research Fellow)
 Outline This research, which is part of a project led by Professor Kiyomi Shimizu at Josai International University, aims to present information to infertile couples for careful consideration regarding the use of donor eggs, including the subsequent impact on the parent-child relationship and family building so that infertile couples understand the physical, psychological, and social risks to themselves and to children conceived through donated eggs. The project ran for a period of three years (fiscal 2012-14). The surveys have already been completed, and we are currently in the process of producing documentation and records.

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