Taisho Chic: Japanese Modernity, Nostalgia, and Deco by Brown, Kendall H.Taisho Chic: Japanese Modernity, Nostalgia, and Deco by Brown, Kendall H.

Taisho Chic: Japanese Modernity, Nostalgia, and Deco

byBrown, Kendall H., Sharon A. Minichiello

Hardcover | February 1, 2002

Pricing and Purchase Info

$30.56 online 
$33.95 list price save 9%
Earn 153 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


Ships within 1-3 weeks

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


The Taisho period, loosely the first three decades of the twentieth century, was a dynamic era in Japan. On one hand, it spawned social liberalism and political radicalism; on the other, it generated the social conservatism and cultural nativism that grew into the ultra-nationalism of 1937-1945.

In art, it produced an infatuation with Western modernism as well as a new exploration of traditional aesthetics. Between these dramatic polarities was a rich middle ground of cultural synthesis and symbiosis in which Western concepts of modernity and nostalgia for Japanese tradition seamlessly merged or creatively contrasted. These values are witnessed in the Art Deco style, particularly as it infused Japanese art of Taisho.

Much of the debate over Japanese cultural identity centered on the appearance and social role of women. The primary focus in this volume is the nexus of tradition and modernity manifest in popular images of women, as well as in domestic furnishings and fashions made for women.

In an introductory essay, historian Sharon Minichiello provides a broad context for these issues by sketching major domestic and international events and themes of the period. In his essay and catalogue entries, art historian Kendall Brown first examines how women were at the center of the sociocultural debate on Japanese modernity, then details how artists helped fashion various female types, including the modern girl, the traditional beauty, and a new type of hybrid woman.

The nihonga paintings, woodblock prints, textiles, and domestic artifacts discussed and illustrated here are a broad range of objects representative of mainstream Taisho visual culture, and reconstruct the styles popular from 1915 to 1935 in a celebration of Taisho- Chic.

Kendall H. Brown teaches Asian art history at California State University, Long Beach. Sharon A. Minichiello is professor of Japanese history and director of the Center for Japanese Studies at the University of Hawai?i. The other contributors are Reiko M. Brandon, Patricia Salmon, Eriko Iijima, and Annie M. Van Assche.
Title:Taisho Chic: Japanese Modernity, Nostalgia, and DecoFormat:HardcoverDimensions:176 pages, 10.25 × 10.27 × 0.75 inPublished:February 1, 2002Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0295982446

ISBN - 13:9780295982441

Look for similar items by category:


Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgmentsGreater Taisho Japan 1900-1930Flowers of the Taisho: Images of Women in Japanese Society and ArtPaintings and Prints, nos. 1-41Decorative Arts, nos. 42-62Textile Arts, nos. 63-74Popular Songbooks of Taisho, no. 75General Bibliography Index

Editorial Reviews

Strongly influenced by Western advertising art, [these] prints and drawings are a powerful graphic record of the changes that gave rise to the 20th-century 'moga' (modern gal). Short historical and sociological essays by scholars of Japanese art and politics accompany high-quality illustrations, making this book valuable to readers interested in both Japanese art and history.

- Library Journal