Japan, 1972: Visions of Masculinity in an Age of Mass Consumerism presents a fascinating cultural history of Japan's era of high economic growth. This period, which spanned the mid-1950s to the early 1970s, marked a dramatic transformation in everyday life as Japan's consumer culture rapidly expanded alongside the economy. Yoshikuni Igarashi argues that this transformation toward a mass consumer society spurred a crisis of masculinity, as men found themselves occupying a consumer role that was anathema to traditional models of masculinity defined through production. Japan, 1972 brings together analyses of popular media that register these anxieties and attempts to stake out a masculine identity outside of an increasingly totalizing consumerism.

The book's examination of mass consumer society is divided into three sections. The first, “Television,” presents a broad analysis of the historical conditions that led to the rapid growth of Japan's postwar economy beginning in the mid-1950s. The first chapter...

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