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このアイテムを引用あるいはリンクする場合は次の識別子を使用してください: http://hdl.handle.net/11078/119

タイトル: Pregnancy and infanticide in early-modern Japan: the role of the midwife as a medium
その他のタイトル: 近世日本における妊娠と間引き ―媒介者としての産婆の役割―
著者: GOTTARDO, Marco
キーワード: midwife
Edo period
発行日: 2014-03-31
抄録: In early-modern Japan, pregnancy was understood, at the commoners’ level, as a phenomenon within the discourse of pollution (kegare). Pregnancy and particularly the moment of childbirth were strongly associated with three kinds of pollution: those of birth, of death, and of blood. This paper presents this popular understanding of pregnancy as a heavily polluted state, and thus aims to reevaluate the practices of abortion and infanticide, common in early-modern Japan, as special cases within the general discourse on pollution intrinsic in the view of pregnancy at the time. In this paper, the role of the midwife in this context of pollution is interpreted as that of a medium figure, both in her capacity of physically delivering the newborn, and as the person primarily in charge of dealing with the pollution of pregnancy and childbirth. As the discourse of pregnancy shifted from the religious one of pollution in the early-modern period to the medical one of hygiene by the beginning of the Meiji period, the role of the midwife too had to undergo profound changes. I argue that this paradigmatic shift from religion to science was the result of the modernization and centralization process which was central to the Meiji regime’s policies in the construction of a new nation.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/11078/119
ISSN: 0286-8903


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