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  • Ideal Families in Crisis: Official and Fictional Archetypes at the Turn of the Nineteenth Century

    David Atherton

    Chapter from the book: Berry M. & Yonemoto M. 2019. What Is a Family?: Answers from Early Modern Japan.

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    In the context of social unrest and political reform at the end of the eighteenth century, a highly idealized vision of the family became a compelling vehicle for projecting moral clarity and inspiring social regeneration in official and popular print media. Idealized families occupy the heart of both the shogunate’s Official Records of Filial Piety (1801) and the commercial revenge fiction that surged in popularity during the same decade. Stripped to basic relationships that evoked potent values (filial piety, marital harmony, brotherhood), the family in these works could project an appealing fantasy of virtue ascendant, even in a time of strife. Yet within a generation, as order returned to the realm, these archetypes would give way to a more fluid vision of family identity.

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    Atherton, D. 2019. Ideal Families in Crisis: Official and Fictional Archetypes at the Turn of the Nineteenth Century. In: Berry M. & Yonemoto M, What Is a Family?. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.77.k
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    Additional Information

    Published on Sept. 17, 2019

    DOI
    https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.77.k


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