|Budget Amount *help
¥2,100,000 (Direct Cost : ¥2,100,000)
Fiscal Year 1999 : ¥700,000 (Direct Cost : ¥700,000)
Fiscal Year 1998 : ¥1,400,000 (Direct Cost : ¥1,400,000)
Abolition of the "House" (ie) : The Reform of Japanese Civil Code under the Occupation
The "House" (ie) in the Japanese Civil Code was abolished as a legal institution in 1947. This was carried out under certain initiative of the Government Section of the occupation's General Headquarters, and yet the voluntary action toward abolition by the Japanese side (despite the reactionaries) also played an essential role. The present research is intended to answer the question : Who played a decisive role in this abolition process of the House?
A thorough examination of primary sources from both the Japanese and the GHQ sides has not yet been done. The present writer intends solely to observe the dynamism of this legal reform process by such an examination in order to determine who played what role in the reform. The interaction between the GHQ and the Japanese side revealed in the documents proves to be more subtle than simple.
The Government Section at first even (though tacitly) declared itself
ready for retention of the House "as an empty shell, " provided all inequalities involved in the prewar House would disappear. Upon decision by the Japanese for the abolition of the House, the Government Section not only supported this policy, but further made the complete abolition its own policy based on the argument that the decision for the abolition was a voluntary act of the Japanese and to be fully carried out. The provisions with quasi-House or House-like elements in the proposed drafts of the Civil Code met therefore not only with opposition by, but anger from, the Government Section. Many of them were deleted under the influence of the Government Section, especially the above-mentioned ones for the family name.
The reform process, therefore, inevitably included some misunderstandings among the parties and actors. No actor, be he/she Japanese or an Occupation personnel, had clear bird's eye view of the interaction process. In fact, these misunderstandings and lack of overview contributed, in the end, to the abolition of the House. The reform, therefore, could be termed as a result of half blind interactions among the Japanese reformers (drafting committee), radicals, concervatives and the Occupation's Government Section under an atmosphere of fairly high tension. Less