The Spectacle of Woman in Japanese Underground Theatre Posters

Vera Mackie


The 1960s and 1970s in Japan saw an extraordinary flourishing of avant-garde theatre, performance art, dance and visual arts. These artistic products were created in the period of high economic growth in the 1960s and 1970s which followed Japan’s defeat in the Second World War in 1945, the period of Allied Occupation from 1945 to 1952, the program of economic reconstruction which culminated in the ‘income doubling’ policy of the 1960s, and in parallel with attempts to create a viable left-wing alternative politics. The art works of the period were produced in the shadow of the unresolved history of the Second World War, with a consciousness of Japan’s alignment with the forces of liberal capitalism in the East Asian region (Munroe, 1994). The period of activity of the underground theatre is also bisected by the rise of women’s liberation and other forms of feminism from the early 1970s.

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