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Our Unions, Our SelvesThe Rise of Feminist Labor Unions in Japan$
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Anne Zacharias-Walsh

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781501703041

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501703041.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Our Unions, Our Selves

Anne Zacharias-Walsh

Cornell University Press

This book examines the rise of feminist labor unions in Japan and their efforts to transform their workplaces, their lives, and the national labor movement as a whole. Focusing on the story of the US–Japan Working Women's Networks Project, it highlights the complex and often conflicting nature of women's unions' mission and organizational structures and practices. It documents the evolution of Japanese women's unions by using the case of Women's Union Tokyo; their origins, goals, philosophies, and daily practices; and the internal and external obstacles they face in practice. It also discusses the insights and innovations that grew out of the US–Japan Working Women's Networks Project, along with the lessons learned about the necessity and the difficulties of crossborder collaborations. This introduction provides an overview of gender inequality in the Japanese workplace, enterprise unions and community unions, and women's unions in Japan in theory and practice.

Keywords:   feminist labor unions, Japan, labor movement, US–Japan Working Women's Networks Project, Japanese women's unions, Women's Union Tokyo, crossborder collaboration, gender inequality, enterprise unions, community unions

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