1958 Volume 66 Issue 3 Pages 128-136
The ejiko (Japanese cradle made of straw etc.) has been widely used among the rural villages in the Northeastern part of Japan as discussed in detail by Sofue in his recent article (Jinruigrku Zassi Vol. 66, No. 2, 1958). In many districts, however, this ejiko is gradually disappearing. According to the author's intensive field research in Miyazaki-machi*, Miyagi Prefecture (1957), in addition to her previous studies in Kaida-mura, Nagano Prefecture (1955, 56) and in Esashi-machi, Iwate Prefecture (1957), this disappearance is mainly caused by the recent rapid change in the people's attitude toward childtraining and in their medical knowledge. In/the course of the disappearance, the length of ejiko-using terms for a child is gradually being shortened and the way of using ejiko is changed, too.
In Miyazaki-machi, the ratio of the children who are put in the ejiko is 25.0% in the semi-agricultural area, 44.9% in the paddy-field area and 78.1% in the mountain-dry-field area. This indicates that the people use ejiko less often, the more they are urbanized. 144/out of 154 children who were raised in/the ejiko were born in farming families and their mothers worked in the field. The status of the mothers seems to have some correlation with the maintenance of the ejiko-using habit.
Children, put into ejiko, can be kept warm even in their poorly heated houses, and kept safe in the absence of direct care of the adults. However, their physical exercise is largely restricted and their diapers are seldom changed. They are less often taken care of by their own mothers than the children raised without the ejiko.
The Journal of the Anthropological Society of Tokyo
The Bulletin of the Tokyo Anthropological Society