General reference work on aging.
DAVIS, Deborah. Long Lives: Chinese Elderly and the Communist Revolution. Stanford, CA: Stanford UP, 1991.
DAVIS, Deborah and Steven HARRELL, eds. Chinese Families in the Post-Mao Era. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993.
See the following for specific information on the elderly:FONG, Vanessa. Only Hope: Coming of Age Under China’s One-Child Policy. Stanford, CA: Stanford UP, 2004.
SHEA, Jeanne Laraine. Revolutionary women at middle age: An ethnographic survey of menopause and midlife aging in Beijing, China. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University, 1998. (UMI Proquest digital dissertation database AAT 9832306 )
Discusses the life stages of women in China and different experiences of aging by generation. Useful in conjunction with Lock’s “Deconstructing the Change” and Encounters with Aging (See Japan: Secondary Readings below) for comparison.YAN, Yunxiang. Private life under socialism : love, intimacy, and family change in a Chinese village, 1949-1999. Stanford, CA: Stanford UP, 2003.
Eat, Drink, Man, Woman. Dir. Ang LEE. 1994. In Mandarin with English subtitles. Widely available for purchase or rental through retail video outlets.
A widowed master chef lives with his three daughters in Taipei and continues to cook for them, despite having lost his own sense of taste. As each daughter struggles through the beginnings of adult life, her relationship with her aging father takes unexpected turns.Shower (Xizao). Dir. ZHANG Yang. 1998. In Mandarin with English subtitles. Available for purchase on DVD or VHS through amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and other retail outlets. Available for rental through many retail video rental outlets and through Netflix.
When Daming, a successful Shenzhen businessman, is called home suddenly after many years away from his family, he discovers that the place in which he grew up has barely changed. His aging father and mentally handicapped younger brother, Erming, still run the neighborhood traditional bath house, which Daming at first scorns as a throwback. Gradually, though, he realizes that the bath house is a hub of community life — and that his father, as its owner, is perhaps the best-loved and most respected figure among the elderly there. As the authorities threaten to tear down the bath house to clear space for new development, and as Daming’s father finds it increasingly harder to keep up with all his responsibilities, Daming must reexamine his values and reconcile with his family.Tui shou (Pushing hands). Dir. Ang LEE. 1992. In English and Mandarin with English subtitles. Available for purchase on DVD and VHS through amazon.com and some other retail oulets. Available for rental through some retail video rental outlets.
A retired Chinese tai-chi master, Chu, comes to America to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and grandson. With three generations living under one roof, Chu’s son must cope with inter-generational as well as cross-cultural divides.
CAMPBELL, John Creighton. How Policies Change: the Japanese Government and the Aging Society. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1992.
———. Home page. http://polisci.lsa.umich.edu/faculty/jcampbell.html
Select bibliography of works by John C. CAMPBELL, Professor and Associate Chair of Political Science at the University of Michigan, many related to health care and long-term insurance policies in Japan.CAMPBELL, Ruth. “Nursing Homes and Long-Term Care in Japan.”
IZUHARA, Misa. Family Change and Housing in Post-War Japan: the Experiences of Older Women. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2000.
IZUHARA, Misa, ed. Comparing Social Policies: Exploring New Perspectives in Britain and Japan. Policy Press, 2003.
LOCK, Margaret K. “Globalization and Cultures of Biomedicine: Japan and North America.” In Medicine Across Cultures: History and Practice of Medicine in Non Western Cultures. Darko VASILJEVIC, Helaine SELIN, Hugh SHAPIRO, eds. Norwell, MA: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2003. 155-173.
———. “Deconstructing the Change: Female Maturation in Japan and North America.” In Welcome to Middle Age: And Other Cultural Fictions. Richard A. SHWEDER, ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998. 45-74.
———. Encounters with Aging: Mythologies of Menopause in Japan and North America. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993.
MATTHEWS, Gordon and Bruce WHITE, eds. Japan’s Changing Generations: Are Young People Creating a New Society? London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2004.
Contains several chapters addressing inter-generational differences. See in particular the following:MIYAJI, Naoko T. and Margaret LOCK. “Monitoring Motherhood: Sociocultural and Historical Aspects of Maternal and Child Health in Japan.” In Japanese Society Since 1945. Edward R. BEAUCHAMP, ed. UK: Garland Science, 1998. 153-178.
PLATH, David W. Long Engagements: Maturity in Modern Japan. Stanford, CA: Stanford UP, 1980.
PLATH, David W., ed. Adult Episodes in Japan. Leiden: Brill, 1975.
See the following chapters:ROBERTS, Glenda. “Pinning hopes on angels: reflections from an aging Japan's urban landscape.” Family and Social Policy in Japan. Ed. Robert GOODMAN. Cambridge, 2002.
SEATER, Barabara. “Social Science Meets Literature: Using Sawako Ariyoshi’s The Twilight Years in Sociology and Psychology Courses.” http://www.exeas.org/resources/twilight-years.html
Provides notes on the novel, discussion questions, and suggestions for further reading.THANG, Leng Leng. “Touching of the hearts: an overview of programs to promote interaction between the generations in Japan.” Family and Social Policy in Japan. Ed. Robert GOODMAN. Cambridge, 2002.
WHITE, Merry I. Perfectly Japanese: Making Families in an Era of Upheaval. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002.
ARIYOSHI, Sawako. The Twilight Years. Trans. Mildred TAHARA. Tokyo: Kodansha International, 1984.
High-powered career woman Akiko becomes overburdened when it falls to her to care for her senile father-in-law, Shizego. Not only does she risk losing her job and being forced into a traditional homemaker’s role; she must also overcome her feelings towards the hostile Shizego. See also “Social Science Meets Literature: Using Sawako Ariyoshi’s The Twilight Years in Sociology and Psychology Courses.” http://www.exeas.org/resources/twilight-years.htmlFilm
Tokyo Story. Dir. Yasujiro OZU. 1953. In Japanese with English subtitles. Widely available for rental or purchase through retail outlets.
When an elderly couple (Shukishi and Tomi) makes the difficult journey from their village to Tokyo to visit their children, they discover that the modernized younger generation of the family is too busy to give them a proper reception. In an attempt to shirk their responsibility, the children send their parents off to a nearby health spa. A subsequent tragedy, however, forces the children to face up to their own selfishness.
Revisions to South Korea’s Civil Law may provide an interesting case study for classroom discussion. Under a new provision of the South Korean Civil Law that took effect in 1999, an individual who has been supporting an elderly parent, either by having the parent live in-home or by paying for at least 50% of the parent’s living expenses, receives an extra 50% bonus added on to his or her inheritance upon the parent’s death.
The Way Home. Dir. LEE Jeong-hyang. 2002. In Korean with English subtitles. Available for purchase on DVD and VHS through amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and other retail outlets. Available for rental through some retail rental outlets and through Netflix.
Seven-year-old Sang-woo, born and raised in Seoul, knows nothing but an urban, modernized lifestyle. When his mother leaves him with his grandmother in a remote rural village for an extended visit, he immediately clashes with his traditionally-minded grandmother and refuses to accept his new life. Gradually, though, he realizes that family ties prevail over inter-generational gaps.Special thanks to ExEAS intern Sarah McGill for her contribution to this list of resources.