This is an award-winning book that brings together Chizuko Ueno's groundbreaking essays on the rise and fall of the modern family in Japan. Combining historical, sociological, anthropological, and journalistic methodologies, Ueno, who is arguably the foremost feminist theoretician in Japan, delineates in vivid detail how the family has been changing in form and function in the last hundred years. In each chapter Ueno introduces the reader to a different facet of modern family life, ranging from children who fantasize being orphans to the elderly who confront pre-senescence. The central focus is on the housewife: her history, her ever-changing responsibilities, her ways of surviving mid-life crisis. This is an indispensable book for students and scholars seeking to understand modern Japan.