Fabricating Consumers (Hardcover)

The Sewing Machine in Modern Japan (Asia: Local Studies / Global Themes #19)

By Andrew Gordon

University of California Press, 9780520267855, 304pp.

Publication Date: November 1, 2011

List Price: 85.00*
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Since its early days of mass production in the 1850s, the sewing machine has been intricately connected with the global development of capitalism. Andrew Gordon traces the machine’s remarkable journey into and throughout Japan, where it not only transformed manners of dress, but also helped change patterns of daily life, class structure, and the role of women. As he explores the selling, buying, and use of the sewing machine in the early to mid-twentieth century, Gordon finds that its history is a lens through which we can examine the modern transformation of daily life in Japan. Both as a tool of production and as an object of consumer desire, the sewing machine is entwined with the emergence and ascendance of the middle class, of the female consumer, and of the professional home manager as defining elements of Japanese modernity.

About the Author

Andrew Gordon is Lee and Juliet Folger Fund Professor of History at Harvard University. His previous books include Labor and Imperial Democracy in Japan (UC Press) and A Modern History of Japan.

Praise For Fabricating Consumers: The Sewing Machine in Modern Japan (Asia: Local Studies / Global Themes #19)

“The book will excite readers interested in material culture, gender and socioeconomic change. . . . A brilliant portrait of modernizing Japan.”

— M. William Steele/International Christian University

"Gordon asks questions and draws connections that less ambitious studies of business or society alone cannot achieve . . . [he] reinvigorates the history of the sewing machine and suggests that there is much more to learn about this extremely significant piece of household technology."

— Anna Johns