“Barbara Sato has produced a superb book on the construction of a new women's culture in Japan in the interwar period. In captivating detail, she documents the creation of a new subjectivity—'women'—through the interactions of middle-class women with consumer capitalism and the mass media. By showing us the myriad ways that women wrote themselves into the narratives of modernity, Sato's book opens up new ways of thinking about the relationship between women and the modern.”—Louise Young, author of Japan’s Total Empire
“In no other study of Japanese women are issues of gender and social history so magnificently intertwined. No other work in the English language provides such a detailed view of the multiple configurations of mass culture (film, radio, popular magazines, department stores, fashions, etc.) in the 1920s and 1930s. This is a remarkable accomplishment.”—Don Roden, author of Schooldays in Japan
“Now the 'new women’ of interwar Japan join their subversive sisters around the globe in this vivid presentation of the social imaginaries of the modern girl, the housewife, and the professional working woman of middle-class Tokyo. Self-consciously modern, they were also evoked by their critics to redefine modernity, though not necessarily in directions they themselves might have wished. A new story, an old story, well told and nicely illustrated.”—Carol Gluck, Columbia University
About the Author
Barbara Sato is Professor of History at Seikei University in Tokyo. She is coeditor of Gender and Modernity: Rereading Japanese Women's Magazines.