more on historic mating patterns in japan

a passing sentence in this article — The frequency of consanguineous marriage among British Pakistanis [pdf] — reminded me that i have a little more info on historic mating patterns in japan that i haven’t yet posted. first, here’s that passing sentence [pgs. 188-89]:

“[I]n Japan it [consanguineous marriage] decreased from 13% in urban and 21% in rural areas to 2.9% in urban and 4.3% in rural areas between 1947 and 1972.”

the reference given is Frequency of consanguineous marriages in Japan: Geographical variations. i charted this decline in this post, albeit with slightly different numbers gleaned from other sources.

but shinozaki found an even higher national average consanguinity rate for japan between 1912-25: 22.4%. that’s the national average, so if the urban versus rural differences seen in the mid-twentieth century were also present in the early part of the century, then the rural rates must’ve been pretty high (i haven’t seen the original source — yet).

consanguineous means marriage to first or second cousins (or uncle-niece). this rate of 22.4% for japan in the early twentieth century is much higher than anything we’ve seen for england in the nineteenth or twentieth centuries: wiltshire 1800-1914 = 3.9%; england 1870-1920 = 0.71%; readers of the british medical journal prior to 1908 = 6.38%. frankly, japan is more similar to parts of scotland in the nineteenth century: ne scottish village 1860s = 22.69%

previously: historic mating patterns in japan

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