Using data from the Taiwan household registers established by Japanese colonial authorities in 1906 and maintained by them until 1946, Pasternak explores the sources and demographic consequences of variations in marriage and family life during that period. In the process he questions long-held assumptions about the nature of Chinese society. Why were the three post-marital residency arrangements adopted with different frequencies in different areas? How did the advent of certain technologies affect the demand for manual labor and, in turn, affect post-marital residency patterns? What was the relationship between these patterns and rates of divorce, remarriage, fertility and morality? To what extent did the mode of marriage shape relaitonships within the family? Did the oft-expressed Chinese preference for sons actually influence child bearing strategies, patterns of adoption, or female mortality rates? These are some of the questions Pasternak addresses.