UrbanScope Volume 10, May 2019

The Urban-Culture Research Center (UCRC) at Osaka City University (OCU) is proud to present the tenth issue of UrbanScope, an online, open-access journal. As the name suggests, UrbanScope covers a broad spectrum of urban issues featuring contributions encompassing various perspectives within the humanities.

Special Topic1: The Dismantling of the Status System in Nineteenth-Century Japan

  • Introduction
    Timothy D AMOS
  • Lamp Oil and the Transformation of Rural Society in Nineteenth-Century Japan
  • The Dissolution of Outcast Status and Outcast Property in Meiji Japan
    Michael ABELE
  • Panhandling, Subsistence, and Poverty Management in Meiji Tokyo1
    John PORTER
  • The Struggle to Modernize Community Medicine in Late Nineteenth-Century Japan
  • Discussant’s Comments
    Maren EHLERS

Special Topic2: The Scope of Public Education in Japan and Germany with a Focus on “School Absenteeism”

  • Introduction
    Kemma TSUJINO
  • Research and Management of School Absenteeism in Germany
    Heinrich RICKING & Gisela C. SCHULZE
  • Investigation and Research of Absenteeism in the Sumiyoshi Ward Investigative Report (March 31, 2017)
    Haruo SOEDA (Representative), Hisayoshi MORI, Nozomi SHIMADA, Junnichi OHARA, Wei Wei, Rina HIRATSUKA, Akitomo NAKADE, Yui FUJITA, Rie KOMURA, Azuki OKA, Mana KAWASAKI and Tomoyo KAWAZOE
  • Aspects of self-exclusion in the Japanese education system
    Sabine MEISE
  • The Changing Meaning of Schools for Children
    Ayumi FUKAWA
  • The Scope of Public Education in Japan and Germany with a Focus on “School Absenteeism”
    Kemma TSUJINO

Research Note

  • A bifurcation of rural gentrification?
    Natsuki KAWAGUCHI

Editorial Note

General Symposium 2019 “Society, Modernization and Archives of Asian Regions”

Marginal Social Groups’ Experiences of Modernity – General Symposium 2019 is part of an international collaborative research program involving Osaka City University, Yale University, National University of Singapore (NUS), and Shanghai University. In bringing together in Japan participating scholars from America, Singapore, and China, our agenda for this event will be to discuss the comparative history of marginal social groups in Japan and Asia during the transition out of early modernity.
The starting point for our discussion lies at the intersection of such groups’ historical structures and the characteristics of the documentary sources through which we attempt to comprehend them. We begin with a session that introduces early modern Japanese hinin (beggar) groups, taking the distribution and composition of the documents that they produced as a basis for comparative discussion, followed by multiple sessions centered on the work of the program’s partner researchers in Indian, Ottoman, and various Asian social histories.
The relevant texts for each session will be distributed in English and Japanese. Discussion, too, will proceed in both languages, facilitated by our bilingual participants and leaving plenty of time for a careful and stimulating exchange of ideas. We warmly welcome anyone with an interest in the themes of the symposium to attend.

Download: PDF

Date May 25 (Sat), 26 (Sun), 27 (Mon)
Location Conference Room, Osaka City University Media Center


All inquires may be directed to the main office of Marginal Social Groups’ Experiences of Modernity (a Project for Cultivating Internationally Active Researchers by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science).
Ashita SAGA(Professor, Osaka City University)

Yale-OCU Joint Seminar Series “Marginal Social Groups and Historical Documents in Asia—Japan and the Ottoman Empire” (March 25-6, 2019)

In this two-day workshop we will consider various aspects of the social history of Japan in the Tokugawa and Meiji periods, while also examining the experiences of marginal social groups in the Ottoman Empire in order to develop a broad comparative perspective on the transition to modernity in different parts of Asia.  The morning of the second day of the workshop will also include a session focused on reading Tokugawa period documents from the Beinecke Library.  The event is part of an ongoing collaboration between Yale and Osaka City University.


Room 203, Henry R. Luce Hall 34 Hillhouse AvenueNew Haven, CT 06511


3/25 (Mon)

9:45-10am Welcome and Opening Remarks
10am-12pm Session I The Medicine Trade and Social Groups in Early Modern Osaka (Luce 203)
10-10:30am Sachiko WATANABE, “The Distribution of Medicine and Merchant Groups” (薬種の流通と商人集団). (Presentation in Japanese)
10:30-10:45am John D’Amico, Summary and response (English)
10:45-11:05am Peng HAO, “The Nagasaki Trade and Osaka” (「長崎貿易と大坂」) (Presentation in Japanese)
11:05-11:20am Tom Monaghan, Summary and response (English)
11:20-12:00pm Discussion
12pm-1:15pm Lunch
1:15-3:15pm Session II Marginal Social Groups’ Experiences of Modernity in the Ottoman Empire (Luce 203)
1:15-2pm Masayuki UENO, “The Rise of the Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul Reconsidered.” (アルメニア教会イスタンブル総主教職の地位向上、再検討)(English)
2-2:45pm Henry Clements, “Documenting, Forgetting, and Remembering the Süryani of the Ottoman Empire.” (オスマン帝国のシリア正教徒:記録から忘却、そして想起へ). (English)
2:45-3:15pm Discussion with Alan Mikhail
3:15-3:45pm Coffee break
3:45pm-5:45pm Session III Perspectives on the Social History of Early Modern Japan (Luce 203)
3:45-4:15pm Takashi TSUKADA, “Social Structure on the Margins of the Great City of Osaka: From the Records of the Narumai family of Namba Village” (巨大都市大坂の周縁の社会構造―難波村・成舞家文書の可能性―」)(Presentation in Japanese, with English comments from Daniel Botsman)
4:15-4:45pm Tōru MORISHITA (Yamaguchi University), “On the Establishment of the Iwakuni Domain Warehouse (Kura yashiki) in Osaka” (「岩国藩大坂蔵屋敷の成立」) (Presentation in Japanese, with English comments from Fabian Drixler)
4:45pm-5:15pm Maren Ehlers (UNC-Charlotte), “The Osaka Lacquerware Trade and the Ōno Domain Store in the Late 1850s”. (「大野藩店・大野屋と安政年間の大坂漆商売人と職人」)(Presentation in English and Japanese)
5:15-5:45pm Discussion with Keith Wrightson
6:30pm- Welcome dinner

3/26 (Tues) DAY 2

9:30-12:30pm Session IV Document Reading Workshop: Kyoto Komonjo (Beinecke Library) (with presentations in Japanese by Aoi Saito, Yoshimoto Kanami and Takenouchi Masato)
12:30-2pm Lunch break
2:30-4:30pm Session V Perspectives on the Social History of Modern Japan (Luce 203)
2:30-3pm John Porter (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies), “Land Ownership and Local Society in Early Meiji Asakusa Shincho” (「明治初期浅草新町=亀岡町における土地所有と地域社会」) Presentation in English.
3-3:30pm Waka HIROKAWA (Senshu University), “Syphilis and Regional Community in Modern Japan (「近代日本の梅毒と地域社会」) Presentation in English.
3:30-4pm Ashita SAGA, “The Modernization of Prostitution in Yokohama from the Late Edo period to Early Meiji” (「幕末~明治初年の横浜に見る遊廓社会の近代化」) Presentation in English.
4-4:30pm Discussion with Rohit De


「周縁的社会集団と近代」派遣研究者成果報告会(in Yale University)

  • Friday, January 11, 2019 – 1:00pm to 2:30pm
  • Room 207, SML
    120 High Street, New Haven, CT 06511 (MAP)
  • Presentation
    Mio Shimazaki -Postdoctoral Fellow in East Asian Studies, Yale University
    Problems of local youths and reactions by rural society in nineteenth century Japan –Looking at cases in the hinoeuma year 1846

*This presentation is mainly conducted in Japanese.

During the nineteenth century, the social order in rural areas, composed of villages and ie households, was shaken strongly. Local ruling classes, such as village officials and local landowners, made in-village regulations repeatedly, and kept disruptive factors in check by relying on the mutual watching responsibilities of household and five-household groups (goningumi). The behavior of local youths and servants who had come from other regions, including gambling, rowdiness during festivals, and banquets and other gatherings, was considered a particularly big issue.

In this talk, using documents held by village officials and an oil producer in Ikedashimo village (present-day Ikedashimo-cho, Izumi City, Osaka Prefecture), I discuss unexpected pregnancies and abortions falsely reported as miscarriages mainly occurring between unmarried youths. Looking closely at an intensified crackdown over abortions in 1846, a hinoeuma year that was considered unfavorable for childbirth, I introduce some cases of how village societies accepted this regulation. Through this discussion, I create a basis for further research on rural social structures in nineteenth century Japan.


Mio Shimazaki (PhD, Osaka City University/Naruto University of Education) is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Osaka City University, Urban-Culture Research Center and Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. As a historian, her research interests include early modern Japanese policy making, commercial practices, and labor and working-class history. Her research focuses on production, distribution and consumption of daily commodities in early modern Japan (especially lamp oil), and social relationships in rural society in Izumi province and Osaka.

Shimazaki’s representative academic publication is “Influence of the Management of Oil Producers on the Local Social Structure: Focusing on Ikedashimo Village”, Rekishi Kagaku 220-221, 2015, pp. 68–85.

This presentation is part of a joint project with Osaka City University, titled “Marginal Social Groups’ Experiences of Modernity,” sponsored by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

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