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Another Fossa Magna: Proportion Marrying And Age At Marriage In Late Nineteenth-Century Japan

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Chapter Summary

Geographical location and degree of urbanization seem to be the decisive factors. The division line, incidentally, itself does fall on the Fossa Magna, a geological trough line which divides Japan into east and west. What we are interested in is the relationship between age at marriage and economic development. If age at marriage is dependent on economic circumstances, as is thought generally to be the case in the premodern world, such regional differences in the proportion marrying and age at marriage in Japan cannot be explained at all. This is because western Japan until the end of the nineteenth century was more prosperous and economically developed than eastern Japan. Among those regional variations, differences in social structure and in family life still remain unexplored. This chapter investigates regional differences in age at marriage and proportions marrying, using the earliest national statistics available from the early Meiji period on.

Keywords: age at marriage; economic development; Fossa Magna; Japan; Meiji period; national statistics; proportion marrying; regional differences



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