With the promulgation of the Domestic Relations and Inheritance Law in 1898, the Japanese government institutionalized more rigid family controls than most people had known in the feudal period. Individuals were registered in an official family registry. In the early twentieth century, each family was required to conform to the ie (household) system, with a multigenerational household under the legal authority of a household head. In establishing the ie system, the government moved the ideology of family in the opposite direction of trends resulting from urbanization and industrialization. The ie system took as its model for the family the Confucian-influenced pattern of the upper classes of the Tokugawa period. Authority and responsibility for all members of the ie lay legally with the household head. Each generation supplied a male and female adult, with a preference for inheritance by the first son and for patrilocal marriage. When possible, daughters were expected to marry out, and younger sons were expected to establish their own households. Women could not legally own or control property or select spouses. After World War II, the Allied occupation forces established a new family ideology based on equal rights for women, equal inheritance by all children, and free choice of spouse and career. (from The Library of Congress, Country Studies - Japan; http://reference.allrefer.com/country-guide-study/japan/japan87.html).
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