Wearing Propaganda: Textiles on the Home Front in Japan, Britain, and the United States / Edition 1

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Protest fashion from the Vietnam War years is widely familiar, but today few are aware that dramatic fashion and textile designs served as patriotic propaganda for the Japanese, British, and Americans during the Asia-Pacific War (1931–1945). This fabulously illustrated book presents hundreds of examples of how fashion was employed by those on all sides of the conflict to boost morale and fan patriotism.

From a kimono lined with images of U.S. planes blowing up to a British scarf emblazoned with hopeful anti-rationing slogans, Wearing Propaganda documents the development of the role of fashion as propaganda first in Japan and soon thereafter in Britain and the United States. The book discusses traditional and contemporary Japanese styles and what they revealed about Japanese domestic attitudes to war, and it shows how these attitudes echoed or contrasted with British and American fashions that were virulently anti-Japanese in some instances, humorously upbeat about wartime deprivations in others. With insights into style and design, fashion history, material culture, and the social history of Japan, the United States, and Britain, this book offers unexpected riches for every reader.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Produced for an exhibition at the Bard Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture in New York City, this large-format book (10' x 12') printed on heavy glossy paper, though specialized, will appeal to the general reading public. Editor Atkins, a curator of textiles at the Bard Center, has divided it into four parts: "Context," "Wartime Culture," "Fashion and Public Morale," and "Summary." Each of the 13 chapters is written by a scholar native to one of three countries: Japan, Britain, and the United States. How propaganda works in varied cultural settings is an implicit theme. For instance, in Japan, propaganda textiles often went into making men's special-occasion kimonos, while in Britain and the United States, propaganda textiles went into more ordinary things like women's scarves and kerchiefs. There are easily as many illustrations as pages, most in full color, with about 50 reproduced as full page. Wearing Propaganda points the way to studying other cultural items susceptible to propaganda use and is suitable for both public and academic libraries.-James F. DeRoche, Alexandria, VA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300109252
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 12/15/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 10.60 (w) x 11.56 (h) x 1.28 (d)

Meet the Author

Jacqueline Atkins is Kate Fowler Merle-Smith Curator of Textiles at Allentown Art Museum and curator of the Bard Graduate Center Wearing Propaganda exhibition.

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Table of Contents

Director's preface 9
Foreword 11
Introduction 19
The Asia-Pacific war and its precedents 1895-45 32
Ch. 1 Setting the context 39
Ch. 2 Propaganda on the home fronts : clothing and textiles as message 51
Ch. 3 Propaganda precedents : pre-1930 propaganda textiles 75
Ch. 4 Japan's beautiful modern war 93
Ch. 5 Potatoes are protective, too : cultural icons of Britain at war 115
Ch. 6 An American vision : propaganda on the home front during World War II 137
Ch. 7 "Extravagance is the enemy" fashion and textiles in wartime Japan 157
Ch. 8 Design and war : Kimono as "parlor-performance" propaganda 171
Ch. 9 War-promoting Kimono (1931-45) 183
Ch. 10 Keeping up home front morale : "beauty and duty" in wartime Britain 205
Ch. 11 London squares : the scarves of wartime Britain 229
Ch. 12 Showing the colors : America 239
Ch. 13 An Arsenal of design : themes, motis, and metaphors in propaganda textiles 258
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