The Journal of Japanese Studies

 

Abstract

MATS KARLSSON
United Front from Below: The Proletarian Cultural Movement’s Last Stand, 1931–34
 

In 1931 the Proletarian cultural movement in Japan announced a radical change of direction. Members were to desist from sectarianism and mere pamphleteering and expand the struggle into a mass movement, mobilizing workers and peasants across the nation. Cultural circles created in factories and villages were to empower the masses to take control of the production of art. This essay tracks these directives to their destination at the grass roots and reevaluates their potential by focusing on practical outcomes. Contrary to the conventional view that the movement self-imploded due to inherent defects, the article shows the movement had good prospects for success but was crushed by authorities.

Volume 37, Number 1 (Winter 2011)
© 2011 Society for Japanese Studies


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