Japan: The Wife Tells All

Before World War II, Japan was truly a man's world. Husbands ruled as absolute masters of the home, and wives were expected to be obedient, unobtrusive and completely devoted to family and household. Divorce for a man meant little more than writing a brief decree and sending his spouse back to her family; for a wife, it was nearly unobtainable. Adultery was a criminal offense —for women, not men.

All that changed with the end of the war and the U.S. occupation. Many of the old laws went off the books, and the emancipation...

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