Japanese Journal of Human Geography
Online ISSN : 1883-4086
Print ISSN : 0018-7216
ISSN-L : 0018-7216
An Archival Elucidation: Administration for Home-work and the Status of Home-workers in Kanagawa Prefecture Around 1980
Takashi Nakazawa
Author information

2021 Volume 73 Issue 4 Pages 419-443


Utilizing a set of archival data, this paper describes the status of home-workers and the enactment of administration for home-work, focusing on Kanagawa Prefecture around 1980. The postwar Japanese administration for home-work centers on intermediation between businesses and home-workers, and intends to exclude malicious outsourcers and protect home-workers from exploitation. Simultaneously, organizing home-workers and the provision of job training are deemed to enhance the condition of home-workers. However, structural instability and underpayment of home-workers have remained untouched. Some women perform home-work as a hobby-cum-benefit. A confounding and unexpected result is that handicraft-like home-work, such as embroidering or knitting, which pays wages that are obviously too low for their meticulous practice, has survived, even in the declining phase of home-work. The latter section utilizes the previously unexamined records of consultation for home-workers and examines their condition, the administration of intermediation between outsourcers and home-workers, and the relationship between a consultant and home-workers in Kawasaki city around 1980. Many would-be home-workers were wives of low-income households and tended to obtain relatively well-paid machine-sewing or fabrication home-work. The consultant considered home-workers’ wishes and circumstances, stood in their shoes, and made frequent contact with them after the intermediation. However, within a short period of time many home-workers quit home-work; complaining of the difficulty of the operation itself, the double bind between managing work and childcare, disagreement with family members (mostly the husband), health problems, and other issues.

Related papers from these authors
© 2021 The Human Geographical Society of Japan
Next article