Non-Fiction Books:

Toshie

A Story of Village Life in Twentieth-Century Japan

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Paperback / softback

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Toshie by Simon Partner
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Description

Sakaue Toshie was born on August 14, 1925, into a family of tenant farmers and day laborers in the hamlet of Kosugi. The world she entered was one of hard labor, poverty, dirt, disease, and frequent early death. By the 1970s, that rural world had changed almost beyond recognition. "Toshie" is the story of that extraordinary transformation as witnessed and experienced by Toshie herself. A sweeping social history of the Japanese countryside in its twentieth-century transition from 'peasant' to 'consumer' society, the book is also a richly textured account of the life of one village woman and her community caught up in the inexorable march of historical events. Through the lens of Toshie's life, Simon Partner shows us the realities of rural Japanese life during the 1930s depression; daily existence under the wartime regime of 'spiritual mobilization'; the land reform and its consequences during occupation; and the rapid emergence of a consumer culture against the background of agricultural mechanization during the 1950s and 1960s. In some ways representative and in other ways unique, Toshie's narrative raises questions about conventional frameworks of twentieth-century Japanese history, and about the place of individual agency and choice in an era often seen as dominated by the impersonal forces of modernity: technology, state power, and capitalism.

Author Biography

Simon Partner is Associate Professor of Japanese History at Duke University. He is the author of Assembled in Japan: Electrical Goods and the Making of the Japanese Consumer (California, 1999).
Release date Australia
March 19th, 2004
Author
Country of Publication
United States
Illustrations
15 b-w photographs
Imprint
University of California Press
Pages
210
Dimensions
152x229x13
ISBN-13
9780520240971
Product ID
1906917

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