Fashioning Nationalism: The Mitsukoshi Times, Its Imagined Community, and the Evocation of Nationalist Ideologies on Women’s Kimono Textiles in the Early Twentieth Century

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bush_fashioningnationalism.pdf

Citation

Bush, Sarah, “Fashioning Nationalism: The Mitsukoshi Times, Its Imagined Community, and the Evocation of Nationalist Ideologies on Women’s Kimono Textiles in the Early Twentieth Century,” Scholar@Simmons, accessed April 4, 2020, https://beatleyweb.simmons.edu/scholar/items/show/332.

Title

Fashioning Nationalism: The Mitsukoshi Times, Its Imagined Community, and the Evocation of Nationalist Ideologies on Women’s Kimono Textiles in the Early Twentieth Century

Creator

Bush, Sarah

Date

2018

Description

This thesis brings together the fields of Japanese women’s dress, consumption, and media to examine how the Mitsukoshi Department Store evoked and produced gendered nationalism through its textile designs in the early twentieth century. One of Mitsukoshi’s strategies for promoting their new designs was the department store’s public relations periodical, the Mitsukoshi Times. This combination mail-order catalog and magazine, published monthly from 1908-1914, created an imagined community of readers and customers. The members of this community in turn placed their trust in the store when Mitsukoshi developed new styles and textile designs. However, the Mitsukoshi Department Store produced designs for women’s kimono and obi textiles that had clear connections to national essence, renovationist, and gendered nationalism. The textiles’ relationships to nationalist ideologies can be seen through the seemingly idyllic historical time period their designs evoke as well as the meanings associated with particular motifs. Accordingly, we can understand that women themselves, wearing kimono with designs that evoked nationalist ideologies as part of an ostensible kimono revival, acted as the physical, living embodiments of traditional Japan that renovationist and national essence nationalisms promoted. As the bearers of tradition, the bodies of women in these kimono became commodities of nationalism as much as the textiles themselves were was in the pages of the Mitsukoshi Times.

Publisher

Simmons College (Boston, Mass.)

Format

1 PDF (83 Pages)

Language

English

Type

Masters Theses