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Post-WWII views of Japanese culture lecture

Upper Iowa University Assistant Professor of History Meghan Mettler will present “How to Reach Japan by Subway: America’s Fascination with Japanese Culture 1945-1965” at Upper Iowa University’s Fayette Campus on Thursday, October 25. The free public presentation is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. in the UIU Liberal Arts Auditorium.

Japan’s official surrender to the United States in 1945 brought to an end one of the most bitter and brutal military conflicts of the 20th century. U.S. government officials then faced the task of transforming Japan from enemy to ally, not only in top-level diplomatic relations but also in the minds of the American public. Only 10 years after World War II, this transformation became a success as middle-class American consumers across the country were embracing Japanese architecture, films, hobbies, philosophy, and religion.

Mettler studies the phenomenon in which middle class consumers embraced Japanese culture while exoticizing this new aesthetic. By examining the popularity of samurai movies, ikebana flower arrangement, bonsai cultivation, home and garden design, and Zen Buddhism, she provides a new context and perspective for understanding how Americans encountered a foreign nation in their everyday lives.”

For additional information about the presentation, contact Meghan Mettler at mettlerm76@uiu.edu.

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