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Modern Girls: Japan's 1920's "Moga" Movement

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on 28 July 2014

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Transcript of Modern Girls: Japan's 1920's "Moga" Movement

Modern Girls/Moga
The reaction to the Moga women...
...was often that of fear and resistance, as traditionalists and others felt that the new female identity that many Japanese women assumed would threaten the family structure and "moral compass" of society. In that sense, Moga women were often misunderstood and mistreated because of stereotypes and sensationalism. Moga women at times were accused being "un-Japanese," as some viewed their sense of expression as that of disrespect to traditional Japanese culture and dress. Moga women experienced this bittersweet aspect of enjoying new freedoms, while be criticized for asserting themselves.
Moga women were fashion conscious and stylish, and preferred a slim, Westernized profile with bright colors and patterns to accentuate their new social presence. These Japanese women were reminiscent of American "flapper" girls, and embraced their new sense of self with their own cropped coifs and sleek hairstyles. The Moga were comfortable with their femininity and embraced their own sense of sexuality. The Moga women often worked in urban offices, and were quite financially stable for the time period. They also participated in political activism for women's movements and enjoyed romantic relationships.
This time of modernization...
...excited most Japanese women, as they had often longed for opportunities and a lifestyle that compared to their Western counterparts. This era marked cultural trends that embraced a new sense of rationality and brightness, expanding the climate into one of vibrancy. The women who embodied these new ideals and cultural trends came to be called "modern girls," or "Moga." These women had also become the focus of new literature, music, and motion picture, which at times attracted criticism and controversy. These Moga epitomized the 1920's Japanese popular culture and emphasized the role of the newly liberated female.
Moga Artwork, Literature and Ads
It was the 1920's in Japan...
...and the social structure was quickly changing. Japanese women were enjoying the new freedoms that the successful and thriving middle class afforded them. Japan was embracing Westernization in a variety of ways including their sense of style, entertainment and popular culture, and an array of consumer goods. This time was marked by significant growth, as Japanese society broadened politically, economically, socially and culturally. Japanese women were especially impacted, as they discovered a new identity that began to challenge the traditional values and expectations of women in Japanese society.
In spite of harsh criticism, Moga women continued to enjoy their new sense of style, success and femininity.
Today's "Harajuku" girls share a resemblance to the attitude and sense of style of the Japanese Moga women. They also enjoy displaying their unique, colorful and youthful sense of style. "Harajuku" girls reflect the style and attitude of the center of Japan's fashion-forward culture.
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