As a part of the online interview series for The Textile Museum Journal, contributing scholar Yu-Ning Chen offers a historical and literary analysis of “mosurin,” a plain-weave wool fabric made in Imperial Japan (1868-1945). Chen discusses military-related patterns on mosurin fabric, representations of mosurin in print media, including Japanese prewar textbooks, and descriptions of both the consumer culture surrounding this fabric and the female factory labor involved in its production in modern Japanese literature. Chen argues that mosurin in Imperial Japan was linked with popular consumerism, labor activism, and imperial and wartime propaganda.
About The Textile Museum Journal
This peer-reviewed journal is the leading publication for the exchange of textile scholarship in North America. Published each fall, it features research on the cultural, technical, historical and aesthetic significance of textiles from all around the world. Learn more about the journal
About Yu-Ning Chen
Yu-Ning Chen is a Ph.D. candidate in the East Asian Languages and Culture and Comparative Literature departments at Washington University in St. Louis. Her research interests include clothing and textiles in modern Japanese literature and culture, Japanese textile culture, and East Asian sartorial fashion. She is working on a dissertation entitled “Reading Kimono: Textiles, Everyday Fashion, and Empire in Japanese Women’s Literature, 1930-1950.”
How to Participate
This program will take place on Zoom. To participate, please register online, and they will email you a link and instructions for joining. Simply follow that link at the time the program starts (12 p.m. EST / 9 a.m. PST). When you register, you can also request to receive a reminder email one day before the program with the link included.
About the Series
In this virtual series, authors who contributed to volume 50 of The Textile Museum Journal discuss new research on historical textiles. Browse all interviews
Photo courtesy of Mukogawa Women’s University.