Changing fashion (Swimsuit) #2, c. 1910.

1910sAmusements & RecreationsFashionSports & Athletics
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Swimsuit fashion, c. 1920.

“The new body consciousness of the moga [modern girl] was manifested in the popularity of ocean bathing and the swimsuit. By the mid-Taisho period, sea bathing [for recreation] was increasingly common for young middle-class Tokyoites.

“… Modernity has forms – it does not necessarily need a fully articulated idea. For the moga, the sporty clothing she adopted as her form of modernity was as much about desexualizing her body as it was about sexualizing it.

“The modern girl entered into a new discourse of desire with its model being American movie culture, dynamic, fluid and vital, and her clothes reflected this. Some parts of the body, which for so long had been wrapped and hidden by the kimono, were shown by modern dress – ankles, wrists, necks, waists, hips, busts. The physical form of the female body was reflected in clothes rather than repudiated by them.”

Japanese Fashion: A Cultural History, Toby Slade, 2009

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