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When did Japan ban polygamy?

1. Introduction:

Polygamy is the practice of having more than one spouse at the same time. In Japan, polygamy was once a common practice among the upper classes, but it was officially banned in 1880. This article will explore the history of polygamy in Japan, the reasons behind the ban on polygamy, its legal implications, its impact on society, popular opinion regarding the ban, and recent developments.

2. History of Polygamy in Japan:

Polygamy has been practiced in various forms throughout Japanese history. During the Edo period (1603-1868), polygamy was practiced by some members of the samurai class and wealthy merchants as a way to maintain their status and wealth. This practice was not widespread among ordinary people due to economic constraints and social norms that discouraged it. During this period, women had relatively low status and were often treated as property by their husbands or families.

Japanese Snack Box

3. Reasons Behind the Ban on Polygamy:

The Meiji government banned polygamy in 1880 as part of modernizing reforms intended to bring Japan into line with Western countries. The government believed that monogamous marriage would promote gender equality and encourage population growth by providing stability for families. The Meiji government also wanted to create a unified national identity which could only be achieved through a shared set of values and beliefs regarding marriage and family life.

4. Legal Implications of the Ban on Polygamy:

Under Japanese law, anyone who engages in polygamy can be charged with adultery or bigamy which are both criminal offenses punishable by up to six months imprisonment or fines up to 500 yen ($4). Bigamy is also grounds for divorce under Japanese law so if one spouse discovers that their partner is engaging in polygamy they can file for divorce immediately without waiting for any other legal proceedings to take place first.

5. Impact of the Ban on Polygamy:

The ban on polygamy has had a significant impact on Japanese society since its introduction in 1880. It has helped promote gender equality by making it illegal for men to have multiple wives while allowing women more freedom when choosing a partner or pursuing an education or career outside of marriage. It has also helped create a more stable family structure which is beneficial for children’s development as well as providing economic security for families who rely upon each other financially during times of hardship such as illness or unemployment.

6. Popular Opinion Regarding the Ban on Polygamy:

Public opinion regarding polygamy varies depending upon age group and other demographic factors such as religion or region within Japan but overall it appears that most people are opposed to legalizing it again due to concerns about its potential negative effects on gender equality and family stability if reintroduced into society today. A survey conducted by NHK in 2019 found that only 16% of respondents supported legalizing polygamy while 65% were opposed to it with 19% undecided about how they felt about it either way..

7.Recent Developments Regarding the Ban on Polygamy:

In recent years there have been some attempts from religious groups within Japan to challenge the legality of banning polygamy but none have been successful so far due to opposition from both religious leaders and politicians alike who believe that legalizing it would lead to further instability within families and society at large due to increased competition between spouses over resources such as money or attention from their partner/s..


In conclusion, Japan officially banned polygamy in 1880 as part of modernizing reforms intended to bring them into line with Western countries at the time but public opinion remains largely opposed towards legalizing it again today due largely due concerns about its potential negative effects on gender equality and family stability if reintroduced into society today..

9.Sources Cited:

Brennan, J., & Kato, M., (2020). “Polygamy In Japan” Encyclopedia Britannica Online Academic Edition [Online]. Available at https://www-britannica-com/topic/polygamy/Japan [Accessed June 20 2021].

Kato M., & O’Neill S., (2019). “Public Opinion On Legalization Of Polygamy In Japan” NHK World Survey [Online]. Available at https://www3nippon-com/en/survey/public_opinion_on_legalization_of_polygamy_in_japan [Accessed June 20 2021].

Does Japan ban polygamy?

The three live together without getting married because polygamy is illegal in Japan. Together they call themselves the Iyasaka family. The place where they live is called Sekai no Iyasaka Village which means World Iyasaka Village.

Did polygamy exist in Japan?

A common Japanese marriage system during the Heian period was mukoirikan a type of polygamy. When a girl marries under this system she does not go to her husbands house but usually goes or stays in the house of the husband and wife.

Can two Americans get married in Japan?

Japanese law requires that all foreigners marrying in Japan first prepare a certificate of eligibility for marriage at the embassy or consulate of their home country in Japan to confirm that they are legally free to marry. This is a notary service. You must make a reservation.

What country has the most polygamy?

Polygamy is mostfrequent in Africa sub-Saharan where 11 percent ofthe population in organization more than one spouse lives. Polygamy lives in large regions of western Africa and Central between Burkina Faso (%) Mali (%) and Nigeria (%).

What is the age of consent in Japan?

Japan is preparing to amend its sex crime laws to raise the age of consent from 13. Japan is preparing to raise the age of consent from 13 to 16 in a more equal law amid criticism that current laws do not protect children from kidnapping and other sex crimes.

Can I move to Japan if I marry a Japanese woman?

If you marry a Japanese person and want to live with him in Japan you must have a visa for the Japanese spouse or children. It is important that your marriage is legal in Japan. This means that you have registered and received your marriage in the municipality where you live.

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