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Managing WomenDisciplining Labor in Modern Japan$
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Elyssa Faison

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780520252967

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520252967.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 24 September 2021

Colonial Labor

Colonial Labor

The Disciplinary Power of Ethnicity

(p.107) Chapter 5 Colonial Labor
Managing Women

Elyssa Faison

University of California Press

This chapter explores issues of ethnicity, status, and citizenship in Japan's textile factories. Beginning in 1920, a number of mills began to employ increasingly large numbers of Korean and Okinawan women and girls. Partly this move was tied to wage-cutting strategies involved in the process of rationalization and as such reflected the globalization of Japan's capitalist system. But it also signaled company strategies for preempting labor conflict associated with the better organized and more demanding workers who traditionally came from Japan's countryside. This chapter offers a more detailed analysis of how ethnicity functioned in the construction of various “womanhoods” (Japanese and colonial) in the textile industry, and how the taxonomies of race, class, and gender produced through colonial policy and ideology were vital to such constructions. It examines companies, such as Kishiwada Cotton Spinning, that employed large numbers of Korean or Okinawan workers.

Keywords:   Japan's textile factories, Korean women, Okinawan women, wage-cutting strategies, ethnicity, womanhood, Kishiwada Cotton Spinning

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