Message-Id: <>
Date: Sun, 24 May 1998 13:36:20 -0700
Sender: H-Net list for Asian History and Culture <>
From: Frank Conlon <>
Subject: H-ASIA: Q. Japanese women's magazines, 1950s

May 24, 1998

Seeking Japanese women's magazines, 1950s

H-Asia list, cross posted from H-Japan, May 1998

From: Regina Lark <>

I am trying to locate Japanese women's popular magazines from the 1950s. Mainly, periodicals that reflect popular culture, advertisements for beauty products, household appliances, etc., along the lines of _Good Housekeeping_ and _Ladies Home Journal_. I am looking for both the names and locations of the publications. Any information would be very helpful.

I have tried the East Asian collections of two major universities and so far I haven't been able to come up with anything.


Thanks very much.
Regina Lark
University of Southern California

May 25, 1998
From: Victoria Lyon Bestor <>

Dear Regina:

I am sure I will be only one of many to note that the place to start is the Shufunotomo Women's Center in Ochanomizu, easy to find and listed in the Tokyo Book Map book, one of my favorite little pocket resources for Tokyo. They have a huge library of old magazines going back to Meiji.

Also most Japanese cities now have major Women's Resource Centers. Tokyo's is in Aoyama near from Aoyama Gakuin, Kyoto's is called Wings and is near Karasuma, there is also a big one in Osaka, and elsewhere. They have a more limited selection of old magazines than Shufunotomo which seems staggering to me.

I don't know what all is available in the states, but would love to learn if you hear of any good collections.

Good luck,

Vickey Bestor

Victoria Lyon Bestor Fulbright Research Scholar
Doshisha University
Through July 31st 1998
contact via e-mail at:

After August 1, 1998
Research Associate, Cornell East Asia Program and
Research Scholar, Rockefeller Archive Center

Postal contact:
203 East Upland Road
Ithaca, New York
e-mail address:

From: Earl H. Kinmonth <>

Aside from the National Diet Library, I would check out the Oya Soichi Bunko in Tokyo and also the Santo Toshokan (also Tokyo). Particularaly since the latter was based on the for profit lending library operations of Hakubunkan, a major publisher of popular magazines, it often has things you cannot find elsewhere.

I would not expect university libraries to have womens magazines unless they were primarily of a literary emphasis. Some of the home economics universities in Japan, may, however, have collections of such magazines. I've seen published articles on various aspects of domestic life that have come from researchers at such universities who have used womens magazines.

NACSIS Webcat may be useful in finding out what is held where.


From: Scp4 <>

You should note that the *weekly* women's magazines that we now associate with Japanese mass culture, advertising etc. did not get underway until the end of the 1950s. The pioneer was Shuukan Josei Jishin, which commenced publication in 1958. Until that time, the major women's magazines—Shufu no Tomo, Kurashi no Techou, and Fujin Kouron—were comparatively highbrow and didn't contain much advertising.

All the above are in the National Diet Library (though none on microfilm, as far as I know). Whether you can find them in the US I don't know. The weeklies were regarded by librarians as relatively trashy and not widely collected, I fear.

Simon Partner
Duke University