1992 Volume 1992 Issue 42 Pages 1-72,en3
To which ascendant, and in which degree was the punishment increased according to the regulations on parricide in Edo-period? Which was more heavily punished, a daughter-in-law who had killed her parent-in-law or a wife who had killed her own parent? The purpose of this paper is to throw light on the position of a daughter-in-law between the family into which she had married and the family in which she had been born, by investigating these problem in Edo-period in comparison to criminal laws in Tang and Ming.
According to the law of the Tokugawa Shogunate, the homicide for parent-in-law was punished a little more lightly than homicide for original parent, and on the other hand, a husband who had killed his wife's parent and a wife who had killed her husband's parent (parent-in-law) were equally punished. This rule is different from the criminal law of Ming, which inflicts the same punishment on a daughter-in-law who had killed her parent-in-law and a wife who had killed her own parent, and also from morality-books for women in Japan, for example Onna-Daigaku, which persuade wives to be filial to her parents-in-law as well as or more than to her own parents. And the trials in several clans to accept criminal law of Ming on parricide did not succeed.
From where came such difference between Ming China and Tokugawa Japan, which were under same Confucianism? I think because wives in Japan had kept stronger connection to her original kinsfolk than in China, and they were regarded a little as a foreign element in her husband's kinsfolk.