Oct 9/10 – Taishio Democracy and Culture

Kaneko Fumiko

Kaneko Fumiko

In light of the previous week’s discussion let’s slow down and concentrate on some key texts that include the major tensions and fault lines of our 1931 moment. Keeping in mind the Ishihara Kanji plan, consider our big ideas of nation/state/capital–including the emergence of mass society and locating the people economically, politically, culturally, and socially. For  last week’s readings review and focus on Minobe and Yoshino.

This week we add new identities and subjectivities in the new ideologies of the Taisho period: socialism, feminism, capitalism, consumerism, culturalism, etc.

Further, we will break the readings into key texts to read very carefully and background reading to help situate and expand those key texts.

Class Slides

Key Texts:

  1. Miriam Silverberg, “The Cafe Waitress Serving Modern Japan
  2. Kaneko Fumiko, “What Made Me Do What I Did” (cf. Sources, pp. 236-39).

Background reading:

  1. Sources, Socialism and the Left, 217-55.
  2. Final scene on the ambiguity of the “Moga” (Modern Girl) in Osaka Elegy (1936)