Japanese American Midwives: Culture, Community, and Health Politics, 1880-1950
In the late nineteenth century, midwifery was transformed into a new woman's profession as part of Japan's modernizing quest for empire. With the rise of Japanese immigration to the United States, Japanese midwives (sanba) served as cultural brokers as well as birth attendants for Issei women. They actively participated in the creation of Japanese American community and culture as preservers of Japanese birthing customs and agents of cultural change.
The history of Japanese American midwifery reveals the dynamic relationship between this welfare state and the history of women and health. Midwives' individual stories, coupled with Susan L. Smith's astute analysis, demonstrate the impossibility of clearly separating domestic policy from foreign policy, public health from racial politics, medical care from women's care giving, and the history of women and health from national and international politics. By setting the history of Japanese American midwives in this larger context, Smith reveals little-known ethnic, racial, and regional aspects of women's history and the history of medicine.
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Japanese American Women Racial Politics and the Meanings of Midwifery
1 Creation of the Sanba in Meiji Japan
2 Race Relations Midwife Regulations and the Sanba in the American West
3 Seattle Sanba and the Creation of Issei Community
4 Midwife Supervision in Hawaii
5 Militarization Midwifery and World War II
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African American Alice Young Kohler Alice’s American midwives American sanba Archives Asian American Beppu birthing women board of health Bureau of Maternal childbirth Children’s Bureau Chinese clients cultural delivered babies delivery Esther Stubblefield ethnic Hawai’i Hawaiian health officials health-care Honolulu husband immigrant women Infant Hygiene interview by author Issei women Japan Japanese American Japanese Hospital Japanese immigrant midwives Japanese language Japanese midwives Japanese women Judith Walzer Leavitt Kimi Koto licensed midwives lived Maternal and Infant Medical Examiners medicine Meiji Meiji Period midwife regulation midwifery practice midwifery schools Misao Tanji modern mother Nisei Oahu ofJapanese ofthe physicians picture brides plantation public health nurses Relocation Center Report Roger Daniels Roger Shimomura sanba Seattle Tanaka Teru Beppu Toku Shimomura’s diary Toku’s diary United University of Hawai’i University Press Waipahu wartime Washington western woman World War II Yasutake York Young Kohler Papers