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Analyzing images of Japanese housewives from the daily issues of Pacific Stars and Stripes in 1948, the paper finds that the portrayals align with the shifting propagandas of the SCAP—initially, the emancipation of women via the 1947 Constitution of Japan, and then the promotion of domesticity due to the Cold War in 1948. For example, while the newspaper does show housewives voting (a showcase of liberation), it excludes images either of women in active movements or of female politicians. Instead, many images depict the housewives’ nurturing and subservient side, and reinforce their passivity, obscuring other narratives of women in the country. The Japanese housewives are also portrayed as inferior, most especially in comparison with their American counterparts, showcasing the West’s superiority over Japan as an occupying power.


Angela Louise C. Rosario (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) is a lecturer at the Ateneo de Manila University. She holds a master’s degree in Japanese Studies, major in History from the Ateneo de Manila University, and a bachelor’s degree in Communication from the University of the Philippines. Her research interests include Japanese studies, specifically on gender and media.

Article Info

Type of Manuscript: Article
Volume, Issue, Year: Volume 58, Issue 1, Year 2022
Page: 69–98

Back to Asian Studies 58 (1): 2022