Contents of this Page

Quotation from Literature of Our Center's Members
English Articles etc. on Egugenics in Japan
Literature etc.
Newspaper Articles
Theme-related Sites
Bioethics (in this site)

Quotation from Literature of Our Center's Members

TATEIWA Shin'ya 1997 On Private Property『私的所有論』), Tokyo, Keiso-Shobo (translation by Robert Chapeskie)
On Private Property

Foundamental Problems in Eugenics (for Tateiwa) Tateiwa [1997:239-241]
 Chapter 6 "Politics directed towards the individual", Section 3 "Intervention directed towards abilities ", 3 "The "Disappearance" of Eugenics"

Let me begin by going over what have been considered problems in the past. First, there were some things which were taken to be facts but actually were not the case, some of these mistakes being honest and some being maliciously motivated. The dubious concepts of race/ethnicity themselves were given substance, determinations were made regarding what (who) was superior/inferior, and groups of people were obliterated. There is of course no factual basis for the assertion that Aryan blood is superior and the Jews are an inferior race. Second, eugenic practices were carried out using the authority of the state, sometimes in secret. Eugenics was furthermore pursued through the extreme form of violence known as murder. These elements of secrecy, violence, and arbitrariness have been condemned. The fact that these measures were carried out as part of a war effort has also been addressed and criticized in the context of pacifist/anti-war thought (in Japan the eugenic policy of "Give birth! Raise children!" has been criticized for its connection to the military government).

These are all obvious criticisms and criticisms which must obviously be pursued. But by criticizing eugenics as being violent and mistaken, or by criticizing the violent and mistaken aspects of eugenics, the question of how to deal with its other aspects has been obscured.[…]

Looking at the form that criticisms of eugenics tend to take we see a pitting of force against freedom and of the state against the individual. The ethical concept used in opposition to eugenics in general, and the principle used when specific techniques/technologies are opposed, is in both cases the idea of "self determination". But does self determination really stand in opposition to eugenics? The principle of deciding for oneself does indeed oppose being forced to do something by others. But when it comes to issues surrounding heredity and birth the "self" in question does not exist (has not been born yet). In these cases can it really be said that decisions made by the state and decisions made by parents exercising "self determination" are clearly different? Here the factors of burden and cost must be brought into the picture. In these cases, how different -in their essence- are these two kinds of decisions? I do not mean to simply imply by this that they are both equally bad. Rather, I think it is necessary for us to seriously consider this question of whether or not they are both equally bad and to think about how to approach a eugenics which has both become scientific and been stripped of violence. It is possible to conceive of a eugenics which is not Nazism, i.e., which is not based on factual errors and prejudice (in particular the prejudices of racism) and does not involve murder. Thought of in this way it is clear how eugenics ought to be regulated and what kind of knowledge is required. We should begin with a wide overview of the issue (like that found in part 1 of this section) and then look at the more practical, everyday applications of these ideas. In the post-war period, however, these approaches for the most part have not been taken. The state has been assumed to be the (only) agent of eugenics, and the issue has been addressed in terms of dealing with this kind of violence. Another reaction has been the rejection of the theory of heredity◆47 (see chapter 7 section 1).

Some Parts of History Tateiwa [1997:228-233]
 Chapter 6 "Politics directed towards the individual", Section 3 "Intervention directed towards abilities ", 1 " Focus and Intervention regarding Environment / Heredity" (translation by Robert Chapeskie)

In the situation described in section 2 opportunities for improvement of each individual appeared embedded within structures of self control. But this is only one part of a larger whole composed of various kinds of intervention regarding the individual. Since the 16th century there have been social conditions and movements, connected both systematically and non-systematically, which have worked to change the mentality of individuals. However traits like idleness, for example, were presumed to be characteristics of a particular kind of person, and this presumption usually conformed to the hierarchical arrangement already present in society. At the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century a new approach developed supported by new knowledge and new technology. What appeared during this era was the individual as a source of production, the grouping together of these individuals as general "populations"◆17, and a focus on the production of society as a whole. What was carried out in practice during this era was the investigation of behavior, the learning of the history of the person or people in question, the examination of the social environment, and the measurement of both the external form and internal aspects of the body. An empirical science of human behavior and the various factors that regulate it was born. This science sought to explain the differences between individuals and the differences between groups of individuals in terms of factors which at the same time both underlie and exist within each individual; rather than address individual actions separately this approach focused its attention on the core from which all of an individual's actions derive◆18.

To begin with, in situations involving poverty, in order to avoid having public assistance impede concern for private interests and to encourage individuals to be concerned with these interests it was asserted that each individual's circumstances should be investigated to determine whether their poverty was truly unavoidable or whether this was not the case and as a result the provision of public assistance would be harmful. These kinds of investigations were in fact carried out. Also, rather than look at the poverty or the presence or absence of self control/judgment seen as causing specific tendencies in individuals, in regard to crimes for which causes were being sought various bad habits or vices as well as the environments which encouraged them were pointed to as fostering the bad behavior in question. These factors were investigated and demonstrated, and attempts were made to deal with them through policies of intervention. This approach led to the birth of social surveys.

At roughly the same time or slightly later, surveys which measured the characteristics and abilities of individuals and investigations of family lineage began to be carried out, and claims began to be made that these characteristics were innately determined◆19. With claims referring to ability and differences in ability came assertions of this innateness and attempts to explain these differences in terms of heredity. Examples of this kind of approach include those referred to as "social evolutionism", "social Darwinism", "eugenics", and, in Germany, "racial hygiene". Thinkers like Spencer took Darwin's theory of evolution and attempted to apply it to the human world, making a series of claims that came to be called "social Darwinism". Social Darwinism and Spenser's theory of social evolution received support in America and elsewhere beginning in the latter half of the 19th century◆20. The term "eugenics" was coined by Darwin's nephew Francis Galton in 1883 and it became a very influential intellectual and socio-political movement in various countries, in particular at the beginning of the 20th century◆21. From the end of the 19th century the idea of "racial hygiene" had also begun to take shape in Germany◆22.

Each of these approaches was different, and the assertions made even within one school of thought differed widely depending on the period and thinker in question. They were all influenced by Darwin's theory of evolution - beginning with the publication of his "Origin of the Species" in 1859 - but their individual relationships with Darwin's thought were not straightforward. These schools of thought used evolutionary theory as it developed following Darwin, but it is not as though they would not have existed were it not for his theory◆23. My purpose here is not to pursue these connections and differences in detail. What I want to establish is that these approaches all included 1) efforts to focus on the characteristics of human beings as living creatures, in particular the hereditary nature of these characteristics, based on an understanding of these characteristics, 2) attempts to improve or prevent a decline in these characteristics within individuals and/or groups of individuals. I will refer to these various schools of thought collectively as "eugenics"◆24. In what follows I will discuss the meaning of this broadly defined point of view.

There are various conflicting views regarding what is being recognized in 1) above. One debate involved whether or not to accept Lamarck's assertions regarding inheritance of acquired characteristics ("soft inheritance"). Lamarckism maintained its influence even into the twentieth century, and even amongst those who did not accept it differing assertions were made. While there were those who claimed that all of our abilities and characteristics were completely determined by heredity, even amongst the proponents of social evolution there were those who saw human evolution as being different from that of other creatures, and even amongst those studying heredity in relation to eugenics there were those who advocated a more uniform approach to the regulation of hereditary factors rather than asserting the validity of its various aspects separately◆25.

Regarding 2), it is a historical fact that the group (the human species, individual races, families) has been the designated unit of what must be improved, and since there has generally been assumed to be a harmonious relationship between the system of private ownership and evolution as a whole, then to the extent that we posit private ownership as a primary right and equate its value with that of "freedom" there is no contradiction between the interests of the group and the rights/freedoms of the individual and this focus on groups does not serve to oppress the individuals within them. There other questions, such as, for example, whether or not it is possible to think of particular cases of parents aiming to practice eugenics on their own children and a desire to improve the group as a whole as being completely different from the start. I will examine this issue further in chapter 9 section 4. There is also a powerful impetus to legally regulate these activities, and while some such laws have in fact already been implemented, at the same time we must also recognize that to a large extent these activities themselves arose as autonomous actions of individuals within the society in question.

What was being aimed at? To encourage evolution and at the same time suppress degeneration/regression◆26. There were aspects of a framework of what was desirable in regard to society and human life (which was replacing Christianity in the Western world) and the urge to attempt to realize these desires which made the people living in the societies in question demand these sorts of policies◆27. Since the core of this framework was progress, most of those who shared this conception also agreed with (at least some elements of) eugenics. Thus no small part of socialism and feminism also came to accept eugenics, while of course, as I will discuss in chapter 7, the way in which individual thinkers dealt with this idea differed widely depending on their point of view on issues regarding the innateness of human characteristics◆28. Support for eugenics was also encouraged by a sense of crisis regarding what was occurring in the world at the time. We have a tendency to think of the 19th century as an era of cheerful progressivism, but in fact for many people it was a period full of unease and a sense of imminent crisis. It was thought that if things continued as they were humanity would begin to regress; problems of poverty and crime in large cities were seen as signs of this decline.

At the same time eugenic practices were also acts of aggression or protection regarding particular categories/groups (as they were perceived to exist). To begin with this was an era in which most people would be considered racists by today's standards, and eugenics was used as a means of facilitating and reinforcing racial discrimination. It was also used by people who considered (or wanted to consider) themselves producers and contributors as a means of eliminating those whom they did not see as sharing this status. Conditions in each society regulated to what extent these policies became popular and how they were implemented in practice◆29. These ideas were connected to conservatism's efforts to preserve certain interests as they were but at the same time did not conflict with the idea of progress. It was thought, for example, that policies aimed at saving the impoverished would lead to social decline since they would keep alive (reverse select) those whose innate failings would otherwise lead to their being naturally selected for destruction/reproductive failure, and since these people reproduce at a high rate when given the chance over time their numbers would surpass those in other social strata.

What is used as a means in the pursuit of eugenics? What sorts of conditions are assumed? On the one hand there is non-interference, on the other various forms of intervention. It can be said that social Darwinism supports the former, while (strictly defined) eugenics advocates the latter (in addition to the former). Natural selection arises when a policy of noninterference is pursued and everything is left up to free competition. The best people survive, and the human species and human society evolve. Attempts to artificially eliminate disparity are pointless; not only are they a waste of effort, but to protect the inferior is to keep alive those who would originally have been selected against, and because these sorts of people tend to reproduce at a high rate their numbers will increase and lead to the decline/regression of society. Social Darwinists asserted that social assistance would result in "reverse selection", that in practice this in fact occurs, and as a result claimed that such policies must not be enacted or must be eliminated where they already existed.

Eugenics goes further and aims to implement both "positive eugenics"◆30, which involves attempts to increase the number of superior human beings by encouraging reproduction, and "negative eugenics", which attempts to reduce the number of inferior human beings by suppressing reproduction. In practice the latter form of eugenics has seen wider implementation than the former, occurring in the form of initiatives such as the enactment of sterilization laws. Also, while this is something which has not often been pointed out, policies of separating individuals from society and institutionalizing them can also be seen as implementations of negative eugenics◆31.

It is not the case, however, that free competition/laissez faire principles are incompatible with the kinds of intervention called for by eugenics; on the contrary it is possible to combine them within one system. This follows from the fact that it is possible to employ only the market as the fundamental means of distributing resources, leaving this distribution up to free agency and natural selection, while at the same time applying positive/negative eugenics to the population in question. In the case of negative characteristics which are seen as being inherited, for example, natural selection may first be allowed to run its course; if it proves insufficient eugenics may then be employed as a means of eradicating the characteristic in question.

Eugenics was influential on a very wide scale from the end of the 19th century until the Second World War. In contrast to the "civil revolution" and the "industrial revolution", which most of us know a fair amount about or at least can remember having studied at school, in regard to eugenics we know only that the Nazis did something bad (and in some cases not even that), and the influence of this idea has been much stronger than we know.

To what extent was eugenics actually practiced? What occurred differed depending the country, and in what follows I will refer to events in America and Germany where the influence of eugenics was particularly strong. Research on this topic continues, but there is still no clear picture of these assertions and practices as a whole; different accounts emerge depending upon the definition of eugenics used. Of course, as a historical fact it is not in dispute that the most significant feature of eugenics was the attempt to improve/evolve some postulated group (humanity, a race, a society). Such lofty goals then led to absurdities and the suppression of the individual. This historical fact cannot itself be grasped, however, by looking only at the assertions of various schools of thought and the policies of various countries which were actually put into practice or by assuming only totalitarianism at the start. For example, knowledge concerning heredity was disseminated (for instance in the teachings of the proponents of eugenics) and gave new forms of recognition to these issues, and this process no doubt then contributed to changes in policy and behavior (regardless of whether or not the grand ideals of eugenics were understood or agreed with). Fears regarding heredity which are now viewed as "superstitious" appeared at that time not as superstitions but through the medium of these teachings. In Japan, for example, a "National Eugenic Law" was enacted, but in practice the number of people who were sterilized under this law was very small in comparison with what occurred in Germany and America. Seen in this light it seems clear that these fears possessed influence on a scale to large to be ignored◆32.

◆16  This success can be seen in the timing of the creation of the education system and the role played by Fukuzawa Yukichi. Spencer's books sold well in the U.S. (see note 20) but Fukuzawa's "Gakumon no susume" ("An Encouragement of learning") (Fukuzawa [1880]) was also a bestseller (for a discussion of this text see Kakimoto [1996] and Sakamoto [1991:23ff]). The fact that Fukuzawa was a supporter of eugenics (see Tsukuba and Suzuki [1967] and Suzuki [1983:27-44] [1993:508-509]) may seem a bit odd but from the perspective of this book it is not so strange. On the other hand, as is stated for example in Willis [1977], where the working class has its own norms the effects of schooling will not be spread uniformly.
◆17  Malthus' well-known claims regarding population control (Malthus [1798]) lie on the border between the 18th and 19th centuries. He asserted that since growth in population was geometric while growth in food production was arithmetic shortages would be inevitable unless action was taken and that as a result it was necessary to restrict population growth. But with the development of imperialism in the latter half of the 19th century the growth of colonies overseas caused the domestic population to shrink; there were in fact attempts to increase the population in order to further colonial expansion and the problem of population growth temporarily receded in imperialist nations. From a eugenic perspective the Neo-Malthusian approach of preventing food shortages by limiting population growth was to be criticized along with Sangerism for not doing anything to improve the quality of the population (see the discussion of the mission statement of the Japanese eugenics association (1930) in Takagi [1991:164]).
◆18  Even prior to this period knowledge of the individual in question had played a role in determinations of whether or not a person was able of responsibility. But in contrast to this previous approach in which what was considered important was whether or not the individual was able of exercising judgment in regard to the particular act or acts in question, here it was not simply acts themselves but the underlying characteristics of each individual which were manifested in their actions which became the focus of attention, and this in turn had an influence on legal-medical knowledge. Here we can see a common thread passed on from systems of confession (both legal and religious) which attempted to grasp the individual as a whole through connecting their internal desires and intentions and the successors of this type of understanding. But it was not the case that this knowledge of the individual was based on or composed only of their own statements about themselves. Various apparatuses of measurement/interpretation were prepared into which the statements of the individuals themselves could be placed. Activities/statements involving individuals have the potential to have practical effects on them regardless of whether or not they are successful in reforming them (or their behavior). Knowledge of the individual is constantly being fed back to him or her and in this way individuals themselves are drawn into the process. Even if a particular understanding is not believed or a particular form of behavior is not accepted as one's own, to the extent that it is known as a fact that these views are in circulation they are bound to have some influence on the person who commits the act in question, other individuals, and the reciprocal actions taken by all parties involved.
In order to address this topic fully an examination of the history of medicine is required but this is not something I can attempt in this book. For research in this area conducted by sociologists see Tominaga [1973] [1977], Oota [1988] [1989] [1990] [1992a] [1992b] and Ichinokawa [1992b] [1993b] [1996b] [1996d] [1996f]. For works by historians see Miichi [1990] and Kakimoto [1991].
◆19  The field of phrenology flourished in the 19th century. Cranial capacity was measured by race and gender and the superiority of whites and males was "proved" (see Gould [1980] [1981]). This was connected to the birth of the criminal anthropology conducted by Rombroso ( C. Rombroso,1836 - 1909) and others during this period (see Gould [1981] and Darmon [1989]). The biology-based "Italian school of criminology" pursued by Rombroso, Ferry (E. Ferry, 1856-1928) and others in the latter half of the 19th century is generally accepted as the origin of the study of criminology as a positive science, but Fujioka [1984] also emphasizes the importance of the existence in the first half of that century of criminologists who devoted their energies to gathering and analyzing crime statistics. On the birth of social studies/surveys see Tominaga [1985]. In chapter 7 I discuss how we must not be too quick to place theories of (social) environment/social reform in opposition to theories of genetics/eugenics.
◆20  Spencer's idea of social evolution was presented in the essay "The Development Hypothesis" and the word "evolution" appears in this text. This term was also used several times in "Progress: Its Law and Cause" (Spencer [1857]). This concept was brought further to the fore in Spencer [1854] [1862] [1864-67] and in Spencer [1864-67] the phrase "survival of the fittest" was also employed. All of these books were released before "On the Origin of Species" and a discussion of evolution was included in the final editions published in 1872 (Yasugi [1984:106ff]). Spencer was heavily influenced by Lamarck and his ideas of the heredity of acquired traits (See Bowler [1984]) and saw natural selection as a process of secondary importance. A connection has been pointed out between this view and an optimistic conception of evolution (see Suzuki [1991a:112-113]). 168,755 copies of Spencer's books were sold in America from the 1860s to December 1903 (Sakakihara [1969:175]). For a very well known work on social darwinism in America and elsewhere see Hofstadter [1944,1955]. On the I.Q. debate in America (discussed in chapter 7 note 4) see Kamin [1974]. On this conflict and the "social biology debate" (discussed in chapter 7 note 1) see Gould [1981]. See also Nishikawa [1968] and Tomiyama [1992]. Regarding Spencer see also Atoji [1957a]. This doctrine - like public education - was employed in a variety of different ways, and for a text which examines this point as well see Clark [1984].
Social Darwinism has been described as "the application of Darwin's theory of evolution and ideas of "competition for survival" and "survival of the fittest" to the explanation of social phenomenon" (Unoura [1991:122]). Regarding the connection between social Darwinism and social evolution, Yonemoto states that "in fact, looking only at historical sources, there is no difference between them" (Yonemoto [1981b:260] [1989a:48]). In a subsequent work Yonemoto refers to a Japanese translation of "Social Darwinism in American Thought" (Hofstadter [1944,1955 - Japanese trans. 1977] in which the Japanese phrase " Shakai shinkashisou" or "social evolutionary thought" is used in translating the title, and adds "the use of the term "social evolution" to describe the movement in Britain and America in contrast to the term "social Darwinism" used to describe German thought does a good job of expressing the central characteristics of these two forms of Darwinism apart from the fact that the former was not directly related to Hitler. The phrase "social evolution" implies an optimistic view in which humanity and human society evolve and progress like living creatures. This strength of this view in the Anglo-American world is striking, particularly in the United States where Spencer's influence was most pronounced. The phrase "social Darwinism", on the other hand, is surrounded by an atmosphere of cruelty and cold-bloodedness. It calls to mind the weeding out of the less fit rather than the survival of the fittest and conjures premonitions of regression and destruction rather than progress and development. And this sort of discourse in Germany has indeed been intense" (Yonemoto [1989a:50-51]; very similar statements are made in Yonemoto [1981b:260]). Regarding the connection between social darwinism/evolution and eugenics discussed later Yonemoto states that Eugenics is a representative example of social Darwinism (Yonemoto [1989a:46]).
◆21  His "Hereditary Talent and Character" was published in 1865. In this essay he asserted that mental characteristics were hereditary and advocated the early marriage of men and women of superior quality and the delayed marriage of men and women of inferior quality. A description of "Hereditary Genius" (see Galton [1869]) can be found in Aso [1975]. In this work the hereditary theory of intelligence is "proved" through family studies of geniuses. The term "eugenics" was first proposed in "Inquiries into the Human Faculty and its Development" (Galton [1883]. See Suzuki [1991a:98-101]). For detailed research into Galton's life and work see Okamoto [1987]. For an overview of the history of Eugenics which has been translated into Japanese see Kevles [1985 - Japanese trans. 1993]. For an overview of the history of eugenics in Britain see Suzuki, Matsubara and Sakano [1991] (particularly the sections written by Matsubara).
The Sociological Society, an international organization based in Britain, was formed in 1904 at the University of London. Galton edited for publication the various reports of this organization along with related discussion and press commentary (Galton ed. [1904]). 7 volumes were published in total dealing with three fields of inquiry: methodology of sociology, positive research related to sociology and practical/applied sociology. The section on methodology included joint works by Durkheim and Branford and Durkheim and Fauconnet. Galton published "Eugenics: its Definition, Scope, and Aims" (Galton [1904] [1909]) in the applied sociology section. The definition provided in this text states "Eugenics is the science which deals with all influences that improve the inborn qualities of a race; also with those that develop them to the utmost advantage". Both supportive and critical commentary was elicited, and Hobhouse, who until that point had mainly focused on realizing improvements in social welfare through the reform of the social environment, wrote in praise of Galton's having introduced the improvement of the people's "stock" as a new subject in the field of welfare reform (for the above I have relied on Ichinokawa [1990b]).
Inspired by these reports edited by Galton and the controversy surrounding them the Eugenics Education Society was established in London in 1907, and its membership quickly grew to 527 by the time of Galton's death in 1911 and over 1,000 in 1913-14. In 1911 Charles Darwin's son Leonard (1850-1943, author of Darwin [1926] cited elsewhere in this book) was appointed chairman of the society and in 1912 an international eugenics conference was held in London (see Suzuki [1991a:100-101]). The connections between sociology societies and eugenics societies in America and Britain are also referred to in Tomiyama [1993:121-122]. For more on the history of eugenics in Britain see Searle [1976].
◆22  At the end of the 19th century Ernst Haeckel (1834-1921) put forward a distinctive interpretation of Darwinian evolution and asserted a new monism in place of the old mind/body, organic/inorganic, human/non-human dualisms, and his writings influenced German social Darwinism, ideas of racial hygiene and the formation of a unified German alliance in 1906 (see Yasugi [1984:97-114], Weindling [1989] and Yonemoto [1989a:52-54]). Ota presents Haeckel in a positive light, writing that "he established the domain of the new science of ecology" and "around the time of Haeckel's death ecology changed and began to degenerate" (Ota [1986:138-143]).
"Eugenics in Germany was referred to as "racial hygiene" and can be distinguished from Anglo-American eugenics in many ways. The field of racial hygiene was first conceived at the end of the 19th century by two obscure physicians, Alfred Ploetz and Wilhelm Schallmayer. While influencing and being influenced by eugenics in Britain and America it developed as a relatively independent school of thought. Like eugenics it went on to wield considerable social and academic power until the middle of the twentieth century" (Suzuki, Matsubara and Sakano [1992:65]. This text provides an overview of trends in research undertaken in this area. The passage cited is from a section authored by Sakano). "Generally speaking, within Germany those on the political right used the term "Rassenhygiene" while those on the left favored "Eugenik". Particularly on the left there were many who hated the word "Rassen"; A. Grotjan, for example, coined the term "Fortpflansungshygiene" or "reproductive hygiene" , and Schallmayer used the plural form "Rasse" in talking of a conception of "Rasse-hygiene" in which the existence of significant hereditary differences between races had already been assumed to exist" (Yonemoto [1989a:113]).
German Sociology was critical of racial hygiene, but this does not mean that the latter was entirely outside of the former. (On what follows see Yonemoto [1989a:76-83]). At the first German Sociology conference in 1910 Ploetz gave a speech entitled " Concepts of Race and Society and a Number of Ancillary Problems". In his opening address given the previous day T?nnies had criticized the views Ploetz expressed and further criticisms were made by Weber and T?nnies during the discussion following Weber's lecture. This debate had begun earlier; there had been an ongoing dispute between T?nnies and Schallmayer, and Weber's so-called "objectivity" paper (1904) had been written with social Darwinists rather than thinkers like Roscher and Knies in mind. T?nnies and Weber "borrowed the term objectivity from natural science, where it was something which everyone cannot help but immediately accept, for use in the context of a scientific, monistic theory of sociology, and acknowledging the existence of powerful worldviews and predictions/prejudices asserted that it is necessary to show that it is possible to move from causal explanatory theories tainted by these preexisting worldviews towards accounts based on pure cause and effect. This confrontation between Weber and Ploetz can thus be thought of as a symbolic incident which solidified a systematic disregarding of social Darwinism by Weber and his followers" (Yonemoto [1989a:81]).
Incidentally, while Hitler himself was not active in the racial hygiene movement his book "Mein Kampf" (Hitler [1940]) did incorporate several of its assertions. Regarding thoughts on race the differences between Hitler and proponents of racial hygiene were not insignificant (most of the influential eugenicists in Germany were Jewish). Regarding how those in the field of racial hygiene dealt with this book see Yonemoto [1989a:98-106].
◆23  Darwin himself did not use the term "evolution" at the start; it was in fact popularized by Spencer (see note 20 and Murakami [1991:6]). It has been said that Darwin was cautious about applying his theory of evolution to the human world, but at the same time it has also been pointed out that in arriving at this theory he was influenced by Malthus' "Essay on the Principle of Population" (see Bowler [1984] and Yokoyama [1991:40]).
Regarding Darwin's influence on Galton, in the past there have been strong claims that Galton's thought was influenced by "On the Origin of Species" [1859]) but there are others who have asserted that this influence was not in fact that great and that Galton's writings on heredity and eugenics were more deeply connected to his interest in issues related to genealogy which had originated in an interest in low fertility in his own wife's family line (Suzuki [1991a:106-109]). In "The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex", on the other hand, there are many explicit references to Galton and there is a section on the dangers of "reverse selection" (Darwin [1871]).
◆24  Since what in fact occurred was not only study and theorizing but also activism, implementation and public policy, the terms "eugenics"[the Japanese term "yuuseigaku" includes the suffix "gaku" which somewhat like the English "~ology"implies an academic discipline] and "Eugenic thought" are not the most appropriate. Fujino [1993] uses the term "Eugenicism [Yuuseishugi]". In addition to Galton's definition (see note 21) the following points are added.
"Eugenic thought is concerned with the interests of the species, while quality of life is an idea focused on the interests of the individual. .../Even in cases where the concept of species is not established as the subject whose interests are to be evaluated, assertions that the elimination of certain individuals for the interests of others can be justified should also be referred to as extended eugenicism" (Kato [1987b:208-209]).
"In its most narrow definition, eugenics refers to efforts to suppress any increase in the frequency of deleterious genes within the human gene pool and to actively pursue their elimination (Yonemoto [1987b:38]. See also note 43 below and chapter 7 note 8).
My own view is stated in this section and in chapter 9 (section 4.4).
◆25  There were also some proponents of evolution (for example L. Ward. cf. Atoji [1957b:70-79] and Sakakibara [1969:184-185]) who distinguished between the natural world and the human world and while rejecting natural selection within human society and advocating social reforms referred to the latter as a (more) human form of evolution. In the history of eugenics that followed a distinction is made between "mainline eugenics", which advocated policies of forced sterilization and quarantine/isolation, and "reform eugenics" which criticized mainline eugenics and took into consideration environmental factors regarding the eugenically important phenotype ignored by this more narrow view (Kevles [1985]. See also note 40).
◆26  On the concept of "degeneration" (deviation in a negative direction from an originally perfect form of humanity) which arose in French psychiatry in the 1850s and its transformations see Ota [1992b:77-79]. At its start this conception was one in which the influence of Lamarckism could be seen and which was connected to movements aimed at reforming the social environment, but on the basis of a eugenics which clearly distinguished between genetic and environmental factors it also supported intervention in reproduction. On the concept of "degeneration in Freud see Ichinokawa [1996a] [1996b].
◆27  "The appearance of the theory of evolution shook the foundation of established Christian ethics and social norms which came to be seen as a "medieval relics". Against this backdrop radical intellectuals became convinced that the same natural science that had just struck down religious delusions could also provide the basis for a new, rationally sound ethics and set of social norms. / This evolutionary enlightenment movement brought forth a tremendous number of theories which could be classified as social Darwinism in various fields of study within sociology, and furthermore led to the emergence of new social reform movements based only on what could be grounded in natural science. This began with educational reform and included attempts at women's liberation, socialist activism, eugenics, and public hygiene. In this way between the middle of the 19th century and the first half of this century natural science came to occupy a very high position in Western value systems. This can be seen as the root cause of the spread of social Darwinism. At issue was the selection of and transfer to a meaning space which would allow human beings to live as human beings" (Yonemoto [1989a:45], cf. [1980:54]).
For a discussion of the distinctive characteristics of the theory of evolution as a "science" in relation to its being positioned as something which opposes the Christian worldview see Numada [1985] and Yonemoto [1986a] (the latter text begins its discussion of this topic by introducing the ideas presented in the former). On the "Scopes monkey trial" concerning whether evolution should be taught in schools in America see Shitasaka [1984] and Suzuki [1984].
◆28  On connections between the political left and eugenics see Paul [1984]. On eugenics in the Soviet Union see Nemoto [1993]. On the relationship between feminism, the birth control movement and eugenic thought see Ogino [1991b] [1994:166-208, 257-260] and Ichinokawa [1996f]. On eugenics and sexuality see Matsubara [1990]. On policy regarding women during the Nazi era see Frevert [1986] and on "motherhood" under Nazism see Stephan [1991].
◆29  Eugenics flourished in America, a country which embraced a plurality of ethnic groups and in which racial discrimination remained after the abolition of slavery. It also flourished in Germany under Nazi rule. Eugenics was used as a reason to justify racial/ethnic discrimination. It can no doubt be said that eugenics was easily accepted in a time and place where class was a problem, not where there was a conflict between those who belonged to the leisured/privileged class and those who did not but rather where there was a class of citizens who produced (more) and owned (more) and where society was both defensive and aggressive in trying to protect itself from groups (sections of the population who had been categorized into groups) of those who (were seen as) not producing and owning. In this vein MacKenzie has asserted that eugenics was an ideology of middle-class professionals (MacKenzie [1981]). For a presentation of this claim and criticism of it see Suzuki , Matsubara and Sakano [1991:227-230]). Presumably the acceptance of social evolution and social Darwinism in America is not unrelated to these sorts of factors. In countries like France, for example, these movements were not nearly as widespread. This has also been explained as being the result of belief in the heredity of changes acquired by the phenotype persisting and the failure of the idea that characteristics of individuals are determined by hereditary factors to take hold in society at large, but other factors could conceivably have played a role as well. On Social Darwinism in France see Clark [1984] and Sakurai [1993].
◆30  The Oneida Colony is an example of an attempt at implementing positive eugenics which failed (see Howard and Rifkin [1977] and Hogi [1994:66,253], cf. Yoshizawa [1997:46-47, 130-132]). Regarding Singapore's positive eugenics policy see Chan [1985]. For criticism of positive eugenics (including reproductive technologies in general) see Ramsey [1970a] (this text is also discussed in Hogi [1994:264-267]). My own views are stated in chapter 9 section 6.
◆31  Sterilization, for example, was criticized based on the fact that it would only affect the quality of the population in the next generation and that it would permit the sexual licentiousness of those individuals - criminals, alcoholics, prostitutes and the unemployed - who were the cause of social problems.
"These criticisms were made for the most part by those advocating the isolation of the feebleminded. Their own position was expressed as a call for "life long care" (see Lapage[1920:197-199]). According to this perspective, isolating the feebleminded in institutions was seen as having a wide range of benefits. It would reduce the difficulty of continuing to supervise feebleminded individuals who had passed elementary school age and the ensuing burden on their families. It would increase the mental stability of these individuals themselves by cutting off the excessive stimulation of civilized life in the outside world and as a result increase labor efficiency corresponding to each level of disability. Ultimately it would also prevent increases in the deviant population (see Douglas [1910:255-256])" (Ota [1992b:82-83]).
We know a certain amount about "post-institutionalization" but very little about the history of institutions/institutionalization. Further investigation is needed in this area.
◆32  For a book-length text on the acceptance and development of eugenics in Japan see Suzuki [1983]. For shorter essays see Suzuki [1975] [1991a] [1991b] [1993]. On the isolation and sterilization of lepers as part of a doctrine of ethnic purification see Fujino [1993]. See also essays by Noma [1988] Takagi [1989] [1991] [1993], Saito [1991] [1993a][1993b] and Oguma [1994]. For a consolidation of various trends in this research see Suzuki, Matsubara and Sakano [1995]. On population policy between the 1910s and the 1940s see Hiroshima [1980] [1981]. These texts address among other topics the activities of the Japanese Society of Health and Human Ecology whose leadership included Nagai (1876-1958) and the enactment of the "National Eugenic Law" which was passed in 1940 and later led to the enactment of the "Eugenic Protection Law" in 1948 (see chapter 9). On the eugenic ideas which were disseminated at "public hygiene fairs" see Tanaka [1994]. The sterilization of lepers is also discussed in Sawano [1994:141ff]. Regarding the penetration of the concept of heredity see Kawamura [1990:96ff]. (For a list of texts by Suzuki not cited above see the website).


◆ DAVENPORT Charles Benedict (ダベンポート
GALTON Francisフランシス・ゴールトン/ゴルトン
 Francis Galton> provided the definition of eugnics for the first time in 1904.
 For details, please take a look at http://galton.org/
HOTTA Yoshitaro堀田 義太郎
◆ HUXLEY Julian (ジュリアン・ハックスリー/ハクスリー
ICHINOKAWA Yasutaka市野川 容孝
◆ MULLER Hermann Joseph (ハーマン・マラー
◆ PEARSON Karl (カール・ピアソン
◆ SALEEBY Caleb Williams (サリービィ
◆ SUZUKI Zenji (鈴木 善次
TATEIWA Shin'ya立岩 真也
TSUCHIYA Takashi土屋 貴志
◆ YONEMOTO Shohei (米本 昌平

English Articles etc. on Egugenics in Japan

◆ Eugenics in Japan (Wikipedia)
◆ OGINO Miho "Women and Reproductive Politics in Japan"
◆ KONUMA Isabelle "Eugenics in Japan in the 1990s: a turning point?"
◆ ROBERTSON Jennifer 2002 "Blood talks: Eugenic modernity and the creation of new Japanese," History and Anthropology 13(3): 191-216
◆ OTSUBO Sumiko & BARTHOLOMEW James R. 1998 "Eugenics in Japan: some ironies of modernity, 1883-1945," Science Context 11(3-4):545-65
TSUCHIYA Takashi 1997 "Eugenic Sterilizations in Japan and Recent Demands for Apology: A Report", Newsletter of the Network on Ethics and Intellectual Disability Vol.3, No.1, Fall 1997,pp.1-4.
◆ MEHLER Barry "Brief History of European and American Eugenics Movements" (Excerpts from "A History of the American Eugenics Movement," University of Illinois, Ph.D. Thesis, 1988 by Barry Mehler.)

■■Literature etc.


MATSUBARA Yoko November 7, 2008 (Organizer) "Session: History of Eugenics in East Asia", The International Society for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology (ISHPSSB) Off-Year Workshop in Kobe, Japan Biology Studies in East Asia, Kobe University
HOTTA Yoshitaro July 1, 2008 "A Critique of Liberal Eugenics: Disability and the Problem of Inclusion", Journal of Philosophy and Ethics in Health Care and Medicine, No. 3, July 2008 pp. 86-107. [abstract]


MATSUBARA Yoko November 4, 2007 "Reproductive Health/Rights and Liberal Eugenics", Symposium, The 60th Annual Convention of Kansai Society for Ethics "Reproductive Rights/Health"
KAWAGUCHI Yumiko September 7, 2007 Report, DPI 7th World Assembly in Korea, Theme of Section Meeting "Euthanasia and Eugenics" 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
◆July 7, 2007 The 17th Study Group on BAS, Ritsumeikan University
Meeting for Examining Liberal Eugenics and Justice (Written by Sakurai, Toru ) (『リベラル優生主義と正義』)(2007, Nakanishiya Shuppan)
http://www.livingroom.ne.jp/e/bas.htm (Japanese)
MATSUBARA Yoko July 7, 2007 "Reading Liberal Eugenics and Justice: From the Viewpoint of the History of Eugenics"
The 17th Study Group on BAS, Ritsumeikan University
HOTTA Yoshitaro July 7, 2007 "Reading Liberal Eugenics and Justice: From the Viewpoint of the Theory of Justice"
The 17th Study Group on BAS, Ritsumeikan University
MATSUBARA Yoko May 10, 2007 "Bioethcis Seen from the History of the Eugenic Protection Law" (Lecture)
Keio University
HOTTA Yoshitaro March 26, 2007 "Eugenics and Gender: Liberalism, Family and Care", pp.105-135
◆ OGOSHI Aiko & IGETA Midori (eds.) March 26, 2007 Matrix to Deviolence: Postwar Era, Violence and Gender No.2『脱暴力へのマトリックス――戦後・暴力・ジェンダー・2』 ), Seikyusha, 314p. ISBN-10:4787232711 ISBN-13:978-4787232717 2940yen [amazon]/[boople] (Japanese)

◆ LAFLEUR William R., BOHME Gernot & SHIMAZONO Susumu (eds.) 2007 Dark Medicine: Rationalizing Unethical Medical Research, Indiana Univ. Press, 280p., Bioethics and the Humanities ISBN-10: 0253348722 ISBN-13: 978-0253348722


TATEIWA Shin'ya May 26, 2006 "I Think that Freedom does not Support Eugenics", IKEDA Kiyohiko (ed.) Gene "Inequality" Society: What is the Nature of Human Being? 『遺伝子「不平等」社会――人間の本性とはなにか』


TATEIWA Shin'ya November 10, 2003 "Eugenic Thoughts," AKIMOTO Miyo, FUJIMURA Masayuki, OSHIMA Iwao, MORIMOTO Yoshiki, SHIBANO Matsujiro & YAMAGATA Fumiharu (eds.) The Yuhikaku Dictionary of Social Welfare (『現代社会福祉辞典』), Yuhikaku


MORIOKA Masahiro May 2002 "Disability Movement and Inner Eugenic Thought: A Philosophical Aspect of Independent Living and Bioethics", Eubios Journal of Asian and International Bioethics 12(May 2002),94-97.


◆ YONEMOTO Shohei, MATSUBARA Yoko, NUDESHIMA Jiro & ICHINOKAWA Yoshitaka July 20, 2000 Eugenics and Human Society: Where will the Century of Life Science Head to?『優生学と人間社会』), Kodansha Gendai Shinsho No.1511, 286p. ISBN:4-06-149511-9 777yen [amazon]/[boople]/[bk1] (Japanese)


MATSUBARA Yoko December 1998 "The Enactment of Japan's Sterilization Laws in the 1940s: A Prelude to Postwar Eugenic Policy," Historia Scientiarum, The History of Science Society of Japan, vol.8, no.2, pp.187-201. [MS Word, in English]


TATEIWA Shin'ya 1997 On Private Property『私的所有論』), Tokyo, Keiso-Shobo
Chapter 6 "Politics directed towards the individual", Section 3 "Intervention directed towards abilities ", 1 "Focus and intervention regarding environment/heredity"
On Private Property

Newspaper Articles

◆ March 24, 2013 "Abortion Controlled by the State" (The Japan Times)
◆ December 31, 2010 "Japan’s Cloudy Prospects for Higher Fertility" (The Japan Times)
◆ October 20, 2009 "Abortion Still Key Birth Control" (The Japan Times)
◆ January 11, 2009 "Time a Darwinian 'True Myth' Evolved to Rival Religion" (The Japan Times)
◆ June 17, 2005 "Controversial Clinic’s Gene Tests Ended Miscarriages" (The Japan Times)
◆ October 24, 2004 "Best not to Forget the Women in the Debate on Stem-cell Research" (The Japan Times)
◆ February 22, 2004 "Society Expels Doctor for in Vitro Genetic Tests" (The Japan Times)
◆ February 5, 2004 "Clinic in Kobe Breaks Taboo on Sex Selection" (The Japan Times)
◆ October 4, 2001 "Putting Fear and Hope on the Genome Map" (The Japan Times)
◆ March 22, 2000 "Leprosy Victims Demand Compensation for Injustices" (The Japan Times)

Theme-related Sites

◆ Eugenics Watch
◆ Future Generations

UP:May 2, 2007 REV:July 31, 2009/August 4, 2009/November 12, 2009, November 16, 2009,... September 18,2014, October 9, 2014, January 24, 2015
TOP / HOME(English) / HOME(Japanese)