Abstract

This article examines the promotion of American ideals of womanhood and beauty by the military forces that occupied Japan following World War II. It analyzes an array of U.S. Occupation records, including prominent postwar Japanese women’s magazines and the American propaganda and censorship records that pertain to these periodicals. While foreign military occupations are not frequently associated with dispensing fashion advice or sponsoring beauty contests, this essay will explore why the United States deemed such measures essential. As this article shows, the victors conceived of their gendered interventions as a means for developing America’s vision of democracy and containing the spread of communism abroad. In addition, their labors functioned as a way to showcase the positive effect they believed their presence was having on the women of Japan.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-2036
Print ISSN
1042-7961
Pages
pp. 83-107
Launched on MUSE
2014-12-09
Open Access
No
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