skip to primary navigationskip to content

Hiroko Umegaki

Hiroko Umegaki

PhD Candidate, Japanese Studies


I earned my M.A. in Japanese Studies at Harvard University and MSc in Social Anthropology at University of Oxford.

Subject groups/Research projects

Japanese Studies:

Research Interests

My research interest is family and masculinities in contemporary Japanese society: how family is “related” in daily practices, focusing on sons-in-law (giri no musuko). Historically under the ie system sons-in-law have been marginal in family structure in Japanese household compositions; however, social changes related to demography, parent-children relationships, child care, elderly care, decline in Confucianism and so forth have placed sons-in-law on the map in family relationships. My dissertation focuses on masculinities in the family from the perspectives of fathering, grandfathering and elderly care.

Key Publications

“Sons-in-law (giri no musuko) in the Changing Japanese Family: Negotiating masculinity in long-term care”. Intersections (forthcoming).

 “Grandfathering in contemporary Japan: Altruistic and self-serving means to happiness”. In Wolfram Manzenreiter & Barbara Holthus (eds), Happiness and Good Life in Japan. London: Routledge, 2017 (forthcoming).

 “Negotiating Masculinity through Family Relationships in Long-Term Care”. Japan Foundation, October 2016.

 “Gender, Family, and New Styles of Fatherhood: Modernization and Globalization in Japan by Atsuko Oyama”. Gender and Sexuality Studies, Dissertation Review, March 2016. 

“The Japanese Media Representation of Chinese Residents in Japan: Asahi Shinbun for the Last Twenty Years” Consortium for Asian and African Studies, University of London (SOAS), 2012.

Selected Conference Papers/Talks

“Negotiating Masculinities through Family Relationships in Long-Term Care.” The Japan Foundation Workshop ‘Women and Men’. 26-27 September 2016 in Alsace, France.

“Men and Masculinity in Elderly Care in Contemporary Japan.” European Association of Japanese Studies (EAJS) Publication Workshop. 16-18 November 2015 in Berlin, Germany.

“Masculinities in the Japanese Family: Recently Retired Men Searching for ibasho (place) and Happiness in the Family through Grandchild-rearing?“ In the panel of “Masculinities and Womanhood in East Asia”. The 113th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association (AAA). December 2014 in Washington D.C., U.S.                                  

“Searching for Ibasho in Retirement: Grandchild-Rearing as a Source of Happiness?” 14th EAJS International Conference. August 2014 in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

“Family and Masculinities: Sons-in-Law (giri no musuko) in the Changing Japanese Family”. 10th EAJS PhD Dissertation Workshop. August 2014 in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

“Masculinities in The Japanese Family: Recently Retired Men’s Fulfilment Through Grandchild-Rearing?” BAJS Advanced Postgraduate Conference/Workshop, SOAS, University of London. April 2014 in London.

“Family Masculinity in Japan: Recently Retired Men’s Happiness through Grandchild-rearing?” Annual Conference of Association for Asian Studies (AAS). March 2014 in Philadelphia, U.S. 

“Family, Gender, and Generation” No.2 . Dissertation Workshop by the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) and AAS, Philadelphia. March 2014 in Philadelphia, U.S. 

“Family, Gender, and Generation.” Dissertation Workshop by the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) and AAS. March 2013 in San Diego, U.S.                     

“Family Relatedness: Sons-in-law (giri no musuko) in Changing Japanese Family.” The Annual Student Symposium at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Cambridge. May 2013 in Cambridge, U.K.

“The Japanese Media Representation of Chinese Residents in Japan: Asahi Newspaper for the Last Twenty Years.” Consortium of African and Asian Studies, SOAS. February 2012 in London, U.K.

“Gender Studies: Women’s Situation in Contemporary Japan.” Department of Sociology and Anthropology, National University of Singapore. May 2010 in Singapore.

“Shifts of Japanese Media Social Representations and Reasons behind.” Center for East Asian Studies, Stanford University.  May 2004 in California, U.S.