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The Reproductive Bargain

Deciphering the Enigma of Japanese Capitalism

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Heidi Gottfried

The Reproductive Bargain reveals the institutional sources of labor insecurities behind Japan’s postwar employment system. This economic juggernaut’s decline cannot be understood without reference to the reproductive bargain. The historical terms of the reproductive bargain rests on the establishment of company citizenship in support of a standard employment relationship, privileging the male breadwinner in calculations for benefits in exchange for the salarymen working long hours in relatively secure jobs at the enterprise and relying on women’s unpaid reproductive labor in the family and increasingly on women’s waged work in nonstandard jobs. Such institutionalized relationships, formerly the engines of growth and stability, drag economic expansion and employment security. Gendering institutional analysis is a key to deciphering the enigma of Japanese capitalism.

Feng Menglong's Treasury of Laughs

A Seventeenth-Century Anthology of Traditional Chinese Humour

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Pi-ching Hsu

The Treasury of Laughs is a treasure house for students of literature, psycholinguistics, history, sociology, and cultural anthropology. Feng Menglong systematically collected and edited 700-odd humourous skits that presented the entire spectrum of traditional Chinese jokes, and wrote commentaries of great philosophical insight. The anthology offers satirical caricatures of human follies from the cradle to the grave and reveals tension in all sectors of human societies and institutions. Hsu Pi-ching reconstructs the complete Ming Chinese original with meticulous editorial work, in modern punctuated typesetting, and provides the only complete English translation available, with useful footnotes on word plays, literary allusions, and historical background. Readers should find the introductory essays on the connections between humour and emotions/states of mind particularly illuminating.