This site was constructed with the goal of incorporating Japanese women into the history of the Occupation period, 1945-1952, immediately following Japan’s defeat in World War II. It looks at a broad range of activities and draws upon a wide variety of sources. In embracing gender as a vital but neglected means of approach, it also encompasses class and race. Oku Mumeo, whose figure appears on the home page, was a prominent political and social activist from the 1920s to 1945 and won a seat in the Upper House in the first election under the new Constitution of 1947. She also helped to create and lead the Housewives League of 1948 and is sometimes considered to be the founder of Japan’s postwar consumer movement. Her name, her achievements, and her philosophy of kitchen politics appear nowhere in early or recent standard histories, although Oku has been rediscovered in women’s histories. Yet, even with the advent of women’s history in Japan and the rise of feminist consciousness, Japanese women’s magazines, newsletters, networks, and creativity in art, drama, and literature, not to mention resilience in daily survival, remain a huge source for study, discourse, and revelation. Another goal in making this site is to encourage research in gender topics and enhance undergraduate studies on Japan across all disciplines from the humanities to the social sciences and sciences.
Due to rights restrictions, the content for this project can no longer be made publicly available. If you would like to inquire about access to the archived site files, please contact MITH for more information.