Splitting Hairs: History and the Politics of Daily Life in Nineteenth-Century Japan

@article{OBrien2008SplittingHH,
  title={Splitting Hairs: History and the Politics of Daily Life in Nineteenth-Century Japan},
  author={Suzanne O'Brien},
  journal={The Journal of Asian Studies},
  year={2008},
  volume={67},
  pages={1309 - 1339}
}
This essay examines the changes in hairstyles that have become overdetermined signs of Japan's transition to modernity in histories of the Meiji era (1868–1912). It demonstrates that Japanese men's adoption of short styles, relentlessly cited as a key example of modernization (understood as Westernization), was a much longer and more complex process than most accounts suggest. It explores the politics of pervasive assumptions about how and why men and women cut their hair in the 1870s, and… Expand
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