SOAS University of London

Japan Research Centre

Patriotic Service or Youth Exploitation? Japanese Students and the Wartime Labor Service, 1941–45

IMG - 20141015 - Lizbeth Halliday Piel Seminar
Dr Halliday Piel (University of Manchester)

Date: 15 October 2014Time: 5:05 PM

Finishes: 15 October 2014Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: Khalili Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Seminar


This seminar examines the effects of “Total War” policy on Japanese childhood between 1941 and 1945. During the Second World War, the Japanese government conscripted male and female youth aged 12 and older to work for the war effort on farms and in strategic industries, replacing adult male manual laborers who had been lost to the war. To prepare the way for hiring teenagers as young as 12, the Japanese government had to adjust the existing factory legislation. This seminar addresses the following questions: How significant was the reversal in terms of negating the gains made for children before the war? Was it driven purely by necessity or did it reflect a change in the view of childhood on some deeper level? How did the children themselves cope with the new demands of work and the loss of their education?

Speaker Biography

Piel obtained her PhD in Japanese history at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2007. She has taken a two-year leave of absence from her position as Assistant Professor of History at Lasell College in Massachusetts (USA) to work as a Research Associate on the project “Remembering and Recording Childhood Education and Youth in Japan, 1925–1945,” directed by Dr Peter Cave and Aaron Moore at the University of Manchester, UK.

Organiser: Centres & Programmes Office

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