The Impacts of Wartime Mobilization on Postwar Social Stratification in Japan: A New Direction of Quantitative Historical Research

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 6:30 PM
Room: 301
Distributed Paper
Hachiro IWAI , Graduate School of Education, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
During the World War II, a large number of Japanese men were drafted in military service or forced to work for military factories.  After WWII, they returned home from military or moved from military factories to other workplaces. This massive wartime mobilization could influence the formation of postwar social stratification system.  Japanese Social Stratification and Mobility surveys, which have conducted at an interval of 10 years since 1955, have collected work history data of respondents born from 1886 to 1985.  This work history data included the information on wartime experiences such as military service.  So far, this information has not been utilized in Social Stratification and Mobility research. Using the data, we could reconstruct the information on at what age the respondents started military service, at what age they returned from military or in what kind of job they engaged after WWII.  Life histories of respondents born from 1901 to 1925 are thought to be strongly influenced by WWII since they experienced the wartime at their active adult ages. Using 1955 and 1965 Social Stratification and Mobility surveys, this paper, first, attempts to reconstruct life history data of respondents that enable us to analyze the relations between wartime experiences and careers.  The analyses of this life history data, then, reveal that there are clear age differences in wartime experiences among birth cohorts.  Third, multivariate analyses of postwar occupational attainment indicate that although educational levels strongly influence patterns of occupational transitions from wartime to postwar period among people who experienced wartime mobilization in their twenties or thirties of age, father’s occupations become more important in the transition period than before.  Based on these results, this paper discusses the future possibilities of quantitative historical research.