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Sarah Teasley's Designing Modern Japan (Reaktion, 2022) unpicks the history of Japanese design from the mid-nineteenth century to the end of the twentieth, focusing on continuities and disruptions within communities and practices of design. Designing Modern Japan explores design in the unfolding contexts of modernization, empire and war, defeat and reconstruction, postwar economic acceleration, and beyond. Throughout, Teasley is sensitive to issues of gender and class within the communities of design she studies. The book combines the history of design with social, economic, and geopolitical history, placing design and its material objects carefully in the larger currents of modern and contemporary Japan. Designing Modern Japan is a history of both the people who shaped Japanese design and the designs that were integral to life in modern Japan.
Nathan Hopson is an associate professor of Japanese language and history in the University of Bergen's Department of Foreign Languages.
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