Various Aspects of Studies on the Japan Self-Defense Forces: Civil-Military Relations and Marriage Hunting

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  • 自衛隊研究の諸相:民軍関係と婚活
  • ジエイタイ ケンキュウ ノ ショソウ : ミングン カンケイ ト コンカツ

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<p>This paper reviews research on the relationship between the armed forces and society, and focus on the specific and everyday civil-military relations in sociological and anthropological studies. The goal is to show the relations with the armed forces and individuals, which were deeply embedded in social practices on Japanese society. According to prior research by Frühstück & Ben-Ari (2002) and others, it has been over twenty years since the Japan Self-Defense Forces have softened their public relations policies. I focus on the marriage hunting for the JSDF personnel. This research draws upon mostly primary sources including monthly magazines and interviews with editors, JSDF officials, marriage introduction agencies, etc. I focus on how the self-images of JDSF personnel are represented, along with the images of ideal girlfriends and desirable wives. </p><p>In general military wives are expected to assume a dual role based on their husbands’ military affiliations; one is a brave and independent-minded attitude when their husbands are deployed, and the other is an obedient and patient stance toward their husbands (Segal 1986). I noticed the absence of discussions on the roles of military wives in Japan. A monthly magazine that runs a serialized column on marriage hunting for JSDF personnel has gained popularity. Besides the magazine, there are many matchmaking parties for them. I compare the underlying motives of the JDSF personnel, the matchmaking agencies, and the matchmaking applicants. There was a gap between the civilians and JDSF personnel. I believe this is a distinctive feature of Japanese military institutions. </p>


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