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An Open Taisho Secret, Demon Slayer and Fashion History in Taisho Era Japa




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HAL14



Joined: 01 Apr 2018
Posts: 135
Location: Heart of africa
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2020 1:05 pm Reply with quote
Great article but i think there something wrong with the summary

edit: fixed


Last edited by HAL14 on Mon May 18, 2020 1:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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octopodpie
ANN Managing Editor


Joined: 02 May 2011
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Location: Washington State
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2020 1:08 pm Reply with quote
Corrected, thank you!
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Top Gun



Joined: 28 Sep 2007
Posts: 3534
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2020 3:16 pm Reply with quote
Great article. The Taisho era seems to pop up exceedingly rarely in anime, and one of the highlights of watching Demon Slayer was getting a look at the aesthetics of a timeframe in Japanese history I know very little about.
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Compelled to Reply



Joined: 14 Jan 2017
Posts: 350
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2020 5:50 pm Reply with quote
Sakura Taisen first mesmerized me with the aesthetics and architecture of the late Meiji, Taisho, and early Showa periods. Recently, the main 100-year-old central railway station in Tokyo was restored and currently, efforts to underground certain stretches of freeway built over rivers after World War II and restore pedestrian-oriented space of the prewar city plans of Count Shinpei Goto are underway, which might be to the dismay of the cyberpunk folks.

Quote:
Why Meiji officials demanded that schools specifically adopt the gakuran though, especially when it is Western-modeled and requires imported wool to make, is due to their plans for modernizing Japan.

Conversely, what made Japan so rich was silk, decades and wars before automobiles and electronics. By the early Taisho period, the economy was already diversified, and less economic competition from Europe in the interwar years, which was also the catalyst for the Roaring Twenties in the United States, provided opportunities for export.

Of course, the Great Depression happened, communism became an ever-increasing threat, and civil war in China hampering the supply chain of commodities Japanese trading houses relied on stopped everything, and led to a series of controversial interventions which manifested into...-you know.
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Neohybrid_kai



Joined: 29 Apr 2011
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Location: Indonesia
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2020 11:08 pm Reply with quote
Not following the series but any article about Taisho period is always appreciated. If anyone interested, try googling Hiromi Matsuo for more Taisho aesthetics.
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kgw



Joined: 22 Jul 2004
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Location: Spain, EU
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 4:48 am Reply with quote
Great article. I've always thought that the Taisho era was a lost chance of an "alternative Japan", before falling into the dark times of early Showa and WW2 (the annexation of Manchuria, the invasion of China, etc.).
You can tell one era from other from the Hinomaru flags everywhere or the lack of it.
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mihon



Joined: 19 May 2020
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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 1:27 pm Reply with quote
Whoa! Very nice article! I enjoyed reading it very much. Historical and cultural facts very nicely done!

I like gakuran very much. Also the mix and experimental debut on japanese modern fashion is very interesting. Maybe that was also the start of japanese famous fashion aspects that today is worldly recognized!
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Scalfin



Joined: 18 May 2008
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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2020 2:27 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
establishing mandatory primary-level Western-modeled education for all Japanese citizens


I would note that, in contrast to uniforms, the education system they adopted was very much not Prussian, as best evidenced by those very same Prussian uniforms. The Prussian model of schooling appears to have never had uniforms, hence the lack of them in countries that adopted it (such as the united states). It's actually somewhat interesting that Japan didn't adopt a Prussian school system, as that was the system to adopt at the time, either intentionally or to copy countries known for their schools like Austria.
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reanimator



Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 1315
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2020 12:13 am Reply with quote
Slightly off tangent, I noticed students in Gakuran more in western Japan than
eastern Japan while i was traveling city to city from Tokyo to Fukuoka.
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Abraham Omosun



Joined: 05 Mar 2020
Posts: 3
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2020 2:00 am Reply with quote
Nice bit of trivua:This was the original design of giyuu



According to the editor, he asked gotouge to change it because it was too "ordinary". However it was changed, it prefer the uniform+haori setup to the original
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Compelled to Reply



Joined: 14 Jan 2017
Posts: 350
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2020 7:00 pm Reply with quote
Scalfin wrote:
I would note that, in contrast to uniforms, the education system they adopted was very much not Prussian, as best evidenced by those very same Prussian uniforms. The Prussian model of schooling appears to have never had uniforms, hence the lack of them in countries that adopted it (such as the united states). It's actually somewhat interesting that Japan didn't adopt a Prussian school system, as that was the system to adopt at the time, either intentionally or to copy countries known for their schools like Austria.

Actually, Japan's education system was based on the American model at the time, with the o-yatoi gaikokujin all being Americans, and itself was based on not only the Prussian model, but aspects from others like the French with the prevalence of public schools and cafeterias instead of eating at home or in the classroom. So of course the Japanese cherry picked aspects from multiple foreign education systems where they saw fit.

Either way, a major intention of Western-style uniforms was to introduce and encourage modernization to the common folk, especially in small towns and villages where life hadn't changed much for centuries.


Last edited by Compelled to Reply on Thu May 21, 2020 9:08 pm; edited 2 times in total
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zztop



Joined: 28 Aug 2014
Posts: 445
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2020 10:50 pm Reply with quote
Top Gun wrote:
Great article. The Taisho era seems to pop up exceedingly rarely in anime, and one of the highlights of watching Demon Slayer was getting a look at the aesthetics of a timeframe in Japanese history I know very little about.


To my knowledge, the Sakura Wars game franchise is one example that really makes use of its (alt-universe-steam-mecha) Taisho era setting. Plus I'm aware the Taisho era has been used in certain manga and game titles (ex. shoujo manga series Usotoki Rhetoric or otome game series Nil Admirari).

But yes, I do think the Taisho era doesn't quite get as much attention as ancient Japan (esp. Sengoku-era Japan) or modern/futuristic Japan in popular imagination (esp. in what foreign audiences receive).
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Brent Allison
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Joined: 01 Jan 2011
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Location: Athens-Clarke County, GA, USA
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2020 10:29 am Reply with quote
I liked how the article fleshed out some of the meso-level school and macro-level international affairs and political economy contexts to explore the fashions in Demon Slayer. For contrast, I wonder what Justy Ueki Tylor's oversized coat over his uniform in Irresponsible Captain Tylor might have been informed by. There's a similarity in having the MC hark back to his previous life by wearing something over the threads of his new uniform, but I'm not sure at this point what other credible comparisons could be made.
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