Magazines and the Making of Mass Culture in Japan
Published: March 2019© 2019
240 Pages, 6.25 x 9.25 x 1.00 in
Magazines and the Making of Mass Culture in Japan provides a detailed yet approachable analysis of the mechanisms central to the birth of mass culture in Japan by tracing the creation, production, and circulation of two critically important family magazines: Kingu (King) and Ie no hikari (Light of the Home). These magazines served to embed new instruments of mass communication and socialization within Japanese society and created mechanisms to facilitate the dissemination of hegemonic forms of discourse in the first half of the twentieth century. The amazing success of Kingu and Ie no hikari during the 1920s and 1930s not only established and normalized participation in a Japanese mass national audience – a community which had previously not existed – but also facilitated the rise of Japanese mass consumer culture in the postwar years.
Amy Bliss Marshall argues that the postwar mass national consumer in Japan is foreshadowed by the mass national audience created by family magazines of the interwar era. This book narrates the development of such publications, one explicitly capitalist and one outwardly agrarian, based on missions with an overarching desire to create a mass audience. Magazines and the Making of Mass Culture in Japan highlights the importance of the seemingly innocuous acts of mass leisure consumption of magazines and the goods advertised therein, aiding our understanding of the creation and direction of a new form of social participation and understanding – an essential part of not only the culture but also the politics of the interwar period.
2. The Splendid Power of Being in Perfect Harmony: How Two Publishers Made a Mass Japanese Audience
3. “We Came, We Saw, We Astonished:” How a Japanese Mass Was Won
4. Reading Together: How the Audience Participated
5. Learning to Consume: How Magazines Politicized Advertising
“Magazines and the Making of Mass Culture in Japan gives us a rich picture of how two media conglomerates successfully shaped a national mass consumer culture during Japan’s descent into militarism and war. In different yet complementary ways, Kingu and Ie no hikari tapped into, and thereby reinforced, a moral-political milieu of aligning individual with national societal aspirations that created the illusion of social cohesion and cultural homogeneity.”Franziska Seraphim, Department of History, Boston College
"Amy Bliss Marshall’s book makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the formation of mass culture in modern Japan. It should also draw the attention of scholars working in the histories of nationalism, the media, and the urban-rural divide."Mark Jones, Department of History, Central Connecticut State University