[japan@ihj] Stitching in Modern Times: The Sewing Machine, Women, and Consumers in 20th Century Japan

  • Date: Wednesday, March 17, 7:00 pm
  • Speaker: Andrew Gordon, Professor, Harvard University
  • Moderator: Shunya Yoshimi, University of Tokyo
  • Admission: Free
  • Language: English (no Japanese translation provided)

Andrew Gordon

Andrew GordonHaving received his Ph. D. in History and East Asian Languages from Harvard University, Professor Andrew Gordon taught at Duke University (1984-1995). He joined the Harvard faculty in 1995. Prof. Gordon served as Director of the Edwin O. Reischauer Institute (1998.2004) and Chair of the Department of History at the university (2004.2007). Centering upon labor relations in Japan, he has been engaged in the studies of the modern history of Japan as well as economic and cultural history. Focusing on the prominent emergence of consumers in Japan’s 20th century history, in this lecture, Prof. Gordon will discuss the Singer Sewing Machine company’s export to Japan along with a modern concept of the family. He will also discuss the multi-sided character of modern consumer life that was connected to and promoted by this American export, touching on the”wartime modernity” and the postwar ascendance of the Japanese consumer-oriented society.

His publications include The Evolution of Labor Relations in Japan: Heavy Industry, 1853-1955 (Harvard East Asian Monographs, 1985), Labor and Imperial Democracy in Prewar Japan (University of California Press, 1991), Postwar Japan as History (editor, University of California Press, 1993), The Wages of Affluence: Labor and Management in Postwar Japan (Harvard University Press, 1998), A Modern History of Japan: From Tokugawa Times to the Present (Oxford University Press, 2003), and Nihonjin ga shiranai Matsuzaka mejaa kakumei [Matsuzaka’s Unknown Major League Revolution] (Asahi Shimbunsha, 2007).

Shunya Yoshimi

Shunya Yoshimi: Specializing in Media and Cultural Studies; currently teaching at the Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies, Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies, University of Tokyo. His major publications include Cultural Turn for the Politics of Cultures (Jinbun Shoin, Kyoto, 2003) and Pro-America, Anti-America: Political Unconsciousness in Postwar Japan (Iwanami Shoten, Tokyo, 2007).