Japan's defeat in the Second World War represented an opportunity for radical reform of the institutions and practices of art and for rethinking the role of art and artist in the public sphere. Calls for change and revolution were couched in terms of "democratization." Women were some of the earliest and most obvious beneficiaries of the Allied Occupation of Japan's democratization policies. This article asks how female artists sought to capture the potential of social and political change for women in particular and society in general at this transformative moment in Japanese history. Focusing on Akamatsu Toshiko and Migishi Setsuko, two of early postwar Japan's most successful female painters, it reveals how women artists across the spectrums of artistic practice and political conviction enacted women's liberation in the public sphere and engaged in the democratization of art.


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pp. 21-56
Launched on MUSE
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