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Nippon ModernJapanese Cinema of the 1920s and 1930s$
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Mitsuyo Wada-Marciano

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780824831820

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824831820.001.0001

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Imaging Modern Girls in the Japanese Woman’s Film

Imaging Modern Girls in the Japanese Woman’s Film

(p.76) Chapter 4 Imaging Modern Girls in the Japanese Woman’s Film
Nippon Modern

Mitsuyo Wada-Marciano

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines how the trope of the moga, or modern girl, is depicted in the Japanese woman’s film. It considers how latent Japanese anxieties over modernization are made visible through representations of the modern girl image in critical discourse and film. It analyzes the woman’s film as both a critical term and a historical practice in the context of Japanese modernity and asks what sort of female identifications the genre allows. It also discusses the inherently political nature of the woman’s film by focusing on the construction of Japanese female subjectivity, along with some alternative structures for how to understand the apparent changes in Japanese identity in the historical transition between modernity and 1930s nationalism. Finally, it explores the use of the modern girl image in the films A Burden of Life and Woman of Tokyo to show how the Japanese woman’s film genre created an imagined female subjectivity as a visible reenactment of Japanese anxiety over the transformative aspects of modernity.

Keywords:   moga, modern girl, Japanese woman, modernization, modern girl image, female subjectivity, Japanese modernity, nationalism, A Burden of Life, Woman of Tokyo

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