Presented by: Anthony Shaw

Title: The Chrysanthemum Throne: The Influence of the Emperor and Nationalism on Gender Discrimination in Japanese Law

Advisors: Associate Professor Ann Black and Associate Professor David Richard Chapman

When: 9-10.30am, Wednesday 27 January 2021

Where: Boardroom (W353), Level 3, Forgan Smith building (1)


This thesis will assess the ways in which nationalism and the role of the Emperor inform gender discrimination within Japanese law. Under the Emperor, the Meiji nation state was foundationally modelled on the patriarchal concept that the Emperor’s relationship to the people was as a father is to his children. This construction of the Meiji family-state (Kazoku kokka) with the Emperor as the patriarchal head accompanied formal efforts to deny women the status of being citizens (Komin) that possessed civil rights (Koken) under the 1878 Prefectural Assembly Law and 1898 Civil Code. Despite a transformative post-war Constitution that guarantees equality under the law, the lessened status for women in the Meiji period has continued ramifications for gender discrimination in Japanese law today.

In order to critically analyse the ways in which gender discrimination in Japan is informed by nationalistic constructions of the role of the Emperor, this thesis will analyse constitutional sources including the Constitution of Japan and the Constitution of the Empire of Japan, and legislative sources such as the Imperial Household Law and Civil Code. Furthermore, this thesis will consider secondary commentaries on these laws by influential drafters such as Prime Minister Ito Hirobumi, and critiques of the influence of nationalism upon these laws by Japanese feminist scholars such as Ueno Chizuko


Level 3, Forgan Smith building (1)
Boardroom (W353)