Rethinking the Debate over Motherhood Protection During the Taisho Period


Kexuan Li * 1

1 Institute of Northeast Asia, Shan Dong University

Corresponding Author

Kexuan Li


Japanese feminism movement, motherhood protection, Yosano Akiko, Hiratsuka Raicho


Motherhood protection means that the government provides protective measures to help mothers during pregnancy and childbirth. During Taisho period, there was a heated discussion over motherhood protection among feminists. The leading feminists in this discussion, Hiratsuka Raicho and Yosano Akiko, held totally opposed ideas towards motherhood protection. It is worth noting that the differences in their views are mainly due to their different life experiences. This heated debate lasted for several years, although it did not reach a concrete conclusion, it left a valuable legacy for later generations of feminists. Analyzing the reasons for their different attitudes and exploring the theoretical logic behind their different attitudes can provide lessons for solving the problems of low fertility and motherhood protection in Japan and the world today. To truly protect women's interest and promote gender equality, motherhood protection should focuses more on the plight of women due to childbirth than national interest, making becoming a mother no longer be an obstacle to women's self-achievement and personal independence.


Kexuan Li. Rethinking the Debate over Motherhood Protection During the Taisho Period. ASBR (2021) ASBR Vol.1 No.1: 41-49. DOI: 10.54254/asbr.2021006.


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