Japan's carnival war : mass culture on the home front, 1937-1945

Carnival war
Uchiyama, Benjamin, 1979- author

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  • Creator Benjamin Uchiyama
  • Format Books
  • Publication Cambridge, United Kingdom ; New York, NY : Cambridge University Press, 2019. ©2019
  • Physical Details
    • xii, 280 pages ; 24 cm
  • ISBNs 9781107186743, 1107186749
  • OCLC on1053609542


  • "This book is about the evolution of mass culture into what I term "carnival war" in Japan, reorienting our perspectives on daily life between 1937 and 1945. Although the Asia-Pacific War created the opportunity for the state to expand its control over society, it also fractured Japanese people's sense of identity, which spilled out through a cultural framework which, this book will argue, is best understood as carnival war. Carnival war encompassed both "official" cultural practices shining in the spotlight and "unofficial" cultural practices lurking in the shadows. It requires thinking not only about the activities of official purveyors of entertainment like Kinoshita Circus, but also the "ghetto" circus, the half-man, half-dog circus freaks who echoed, mocked, and inverted the pristine, official national culture the wartime state was trying to build. Second, a study of carnival war examines the unevenness of state attempts to mobilize society for war; the dynamic, improvisational dimension to total war mobilization"--


  • Revision of author's thesis (doctoral)--University of Southern California, 2013, titled Carnival war : a cultural history of wartime Japan, 1937-1945.
  • Includes bibliographical references and index.


  • The reporter -- The munitions worker -- The soldier -- The movie star -- The youth aviator -- Gendering carnival war -- Global echoes of carnival war -- The circus freak next to the policeman
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