(Yonemoto, Marcia - 2019) -- ACLS Fellowship uri icon



  • Yonemoto’s research focus is “The Ties that Bind: Adult Adoption and Family Formation in Japan, 1700-1925.' She became interested in adoption while researching her first book, The Problem of Women in Early Modern Japan. By adopting a single adult male or a daughter’s husband, Japanese families were able to preserve a theoretically unbroken lineage in which household and family headship could be transmitted from generation to generation, regardless of the presence or absence of biological male offspring, she said, noting the practice was crucial in early modern Japan, “when overall fertility was relatively low.”
    Adult and son-in-law adoption remained common throughout the period encompassed by Yonemoto’s study and is still by far the most frequently practiced form of adoption in Japan today, she said.
    But the motives and meanings of such adoptions shifted dramatically in the late 19thand early 20thcentury due to changes in the legal system and in social norms regarding “modern” forms of marriage and family relations, she said.
    “My project explores why and how this shift in practices and attitudes toward adoption occurred, and examines its legal, social, and cultural ramifications across the early modern-modern divide,” Yonemoto said, adding she also wants to examine Japan’s adoption practices in comparative context, both regionally and globally.
    Noting that she is “so very grateful for the ACLS fellowship,” she said such support is invaluable because it gives scholars time to do the “fundamental research work (reading, thinking, writing) that ultimately expands knowledge and contributes to our fields of study.”

year awarded

  • 2019