EAS347H1: Everyday Life in Modern Japan


This course analyzes the history of modern Japan from the perspective of a “critique everyday life” (la vie quotidienne; nichijō seikatsu). Analyzing the uneven transformation of Japan’s feudal society into a capitalist commodity economy, the course discusses how everyday life in Japan was produced and reproduced in ways that are specific to capitalist society, but that also open onto questions of a revolution of everyday life, an everyday life after capitalism. Focusing on different moments in Japan’s modern history (including its past colonial empire), the course looks at, reads, and listens to diverse representations of everyday life in Japan, especially in the worlds of work and labour, consumption and social reproduction. How are these worlds represented politically, as well as aesthetically? Specific topics include: literature and music, architecture and housing, war and forced labour, population control and sexual reproduction, and radio, leisure-time, and state propaganda.

Society and its Institutions (3)