Social ingesting is an approved element of operating lifestyles in Japan, and girls are left to control their drunken husbands whilst the lads go back domestic, restoring them to sobriety for tomorrow of labor. In trying to take care of their husbands' alcoholism, the ladies face a profound cultural challenge: while does the nurturing habit anticipated of a great spouse and mom develop into a part of a trend of habit that's really harmful? How does the occasion of nurturance and dependency masks the exploitative points not only of relatives existence but in addition of public existence in Japan? The Too-Good spouse follows the reports of a gaggle of middle-class ladies in Tokyo who participated in a weekly help assembly for households of substance abusers at a public mental-health medical institution. Amy Borovoy deftly analyzes the dilemmas of being woman in sleek Japan and the grace with which girls fight inside of a approach that helps other halves and moms yet thwarts their makes an attempt to discover achievement outdoors the family members. The crucial issues of the ebook succeed in past the matter of alcoholism to envision the women's personal techniques of self-reflection and feedback and the deeper fissures and asymmetries that undergird jap productiveness and social order.
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Additional info for The Too-Good Wife: Alcohol, Codependency, and the Politics of Nurturance in Postwar Japan (Ethnographic Studies in Subjectivity)
The financial system was once undesirable and that i didn’t have a highschool schooling, so primarily the 2 offerings have been to paintings both in a manufacturing facility in any other case as a waitress in a lager corridor. i finished up operating in a small manufacturing facility that was once subcontracted to make watch elements. I labored there for 2 years, however the dust ﬂoor made my leg begin to damage, and that i needed to cease simply because I constructed rheumatism. I misplaced my task, yet we determined that it wasn’t worthy ruining my physique any longer than it already used to be. And, good, there has been one more reason why I left that activity too. . . . there has been a guy operating there, he used to be twenty-three and that i was once seventeen, and the boss of the manufacturing unit attempted to marry us [kekkon saseyo to shita]. If it have been the prewar days, i guess i'd have long gone forward and performed it, simply because that used to be how we did issues in Japan in these days. whilst I advised the boss i used to be considering quitting, he stated he sought after us to get married. i used to be stunned! I by no means even spotted this used to be occurring. He wasn’t a foul individual, yet I simply didn’t believe like getting married at that time. I instructed him, “I’m now not able to get married but. ” yet he driven me. “You’re going to get married someday, aren’t you? He’s a sensible boy, and he likes you, and also you don’t need to get married immediately, besides. ” yet I nonetheless refused. My stepmother easily acknowledged, “It’s a bit early but, isn’t it? ” after which it grew to become even more durable to stick on the manufacturing facility, so I hand over. A S U C C E S S S TO R Y 121 Looking again on it, that used to be the ﬁrst time in my existence that I exercised my very own will [hajimete watashi no ishi ga dete kita to omou]. until eventually then, I’d quite performed what i used to be told—I acted “feminine”[onna rashii] or docile [sunao]. My subsequent task was once an o‹ce task at a seafood wholesaler. I bought to be awesome with the abacus—I had a knack for it, and the time may simply slip by means of. That’s the place I met my husband. He labored within the o‹ce doing tax calculations. He were to a vocational highschool, so he used to be doing expert paintings. [How did you meet? ] How did we meet? . . . I’m now not precisely definite what to name it . . . i guess it was once a type of love marriage. My husband initiated every little thing, notwithstanding, no longer me. [But you weren’t drawn to him in any respect? ] good, in a manner. He appeared rather like my father. and that i was once my father’s puppy [otosan ko]. in reality, humans used to assert that I gave the look of my father, that is whatever humans often simply say approximately sons. besides, he grew to become a type of surrogate for my father [Chi chi oya to dabutte ita]. He was once tall and durable. yet I wasn’t considering marrying him! i used to be younger and naïve [ubu] and extremely wary [hikkomijian]—not in any respect precocious [masete inakatta]. He desired to get married, yet in fact he couldn’t say that to me without delay, so he obtained a detailed good friend of his to assist him. His method of speaking was once unusual from the beginning. there has been a bunch of approximately ten staff who all used to do issues together—go to the mountains, visit the seashore. one of many older individuals of the gang set us up. He invited me to the mountains for the day, and that i suggestion each person used to be going jointly, but if I received there it used to be simply the 3 people!