Gendering Masculinity: Taiwanese Households and the Japanese Colonial Courts

May 29, 2018

This talk examines the construction of Taiwanese masculinity in the Japanese colonial courts from 1919 to 1936. In the early 1920s, new Taiwanese elites emerged against the backdrop of preexisting male elitism and women’s subordination to men and began envisioning new manliness within and outside the household. While not directly communicating with the new social vision of masculinity, the colonial courts applied the 1898 Japanese Civil Code concerning family and marriage to civil cases on ordinary Taiwanese litigants, enacting the more equitable roles Taiwanese grooms, husbands, and fathers performed in relation to wives and daughters. However, this judicial transformation moved beyond the dismissal of household patriarchy to entail the changes and continuities of male roles in the boundaries of family relationships such as marital rites and daughter adoption. Thus, Taiwanese men and Japanese judges centered the treatment of women and children in the reform and reinforcement of marital obligations and domestic authority, performing gender-based masculinity.


Tadashi Ishikawa is a postdoctoral fellow in the Chiu Program for Taiwan Studies in the School of History, Philosophy, and Religion at Oregon State University (Corvallis, OR, U.S.A.). He received a doctorate from the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago in 2015. He also obtained LL.B. from Chuo University in Tokyo, Japan. He has taught Japanese and East Asian history for two years in the Departments of History and Asian and Asian American Studies at Binghamton University (SUNY). Entitled “Geographies of Gender: Family and Law in the Japanese Empire” the book manuscript in preparation studies interwar Japan and colonial Taiwan with a focus on gender in the interplay of family and law.


  • David See-chai Lam Centre
  • Taiwan Studies Group, Department of History

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

11:30am to 1:00 pm


SFU Burnaby 
Academic Quadrangle 
AQ 6229
8888 University Drive 

Please register here.