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Vol. 64, No. 1, pp. 1-12 (2013)

“Adoption and Family Reproduction in Early Modern Japan”
Satomi Kurosu (Reitaku University)

Using longitudinal population registers from two northeastern villages during 1716-1870, this study investigates the patterns and types of adoption, and explores factors associated with in-adoption from the perspectives of adopting heads and married women. The adoption of adults and sons-in-law were most prevalent. Event history analysis demonstrates that adoption was used by households of higher socioeconomic status, and those headed by females, never-married or divorced. The comparison of adoption and reproduction reveals that married women actively planned the timing of adoption and reproduction depending on their age, coresiding parents, and sex composition of surviving children. Adoption was an important mediator of demographic constraints and the ideal of family continuity on the eve of Japanese modernization.