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Child's Play

Multi-Sensory Histories of Children and Childhood in Japan

Sabine Frühstück (Hrsg.), Anne Walthall (Hrsg.)

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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Regional- und Ländergeschichte


A free ebook version of this title is available through Luminos, University of California Press’s Open Access publishing program. Visit to learn more.

Few things make Japanese adults feel quite as anxious today as the phenomenon called the “child crisis.” Various media teem with intense debates about bullying in schools, child poverty, child suicides, violent crimes committed by children, the rise of socially withdrawn youngsters, and forceful moves by the government to introduce a more conservative educational curriculum. These issues have propelled Japan into the center of a set of global conversations about the nature of children and how to raise them. Engaging both the history of children and childhood and the history of emotions, contributors to this volume track Japanese childhood through a number of historical scenarios. Such explorations—some from Japan’s early-modern past—are revealed through letters, diaries, memoirs, family and household records, and religious polemics about promising, rambunctious, sickly, happy, and dutiful youngsters.

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household records, letters, memoirs, child poverty, japan, socially withdrawn, diaries, violent crimes, childhood, nature of children, history of emotions, japanese culture, raising children, bullying in schools, child suicides, global conversations, japanese childhood, conservative educational curriculum, child crisis, kids, how to raise children