Global Studies

Guest Lecture

with Professor Shoko Hirai

On 26 January, Professor of family sociology Shoko Hirai from University of Kobe Japan held a most elucidating lecture on Population and Society in Japan 1720-2020, which was well attended by students and faculty from the Department of Global Studies at Aarhus University.


Professor Hirai used family registries from a small village in Japan to shed light on changing family patterns over 300 years, and the results were both surprising and fascinating, showing the effects on these patterns of developments such as the proto-industrialization taking place just before the start of the Meiji Era, changing attitudes as a result of increased Western influence on Japanese thinking in the hundred years or so that followed, and economic slowdown beginning in the 1970s.

By looking at how family patterns have changed over time, Professor Hirai helped us put the contemporary issue of Japan’s decreasing population into a broader perspective.

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