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The Munitions Worker as Trickster in Wartime Japan

  • Benjamin Uchiyama (a1)
Abstract

Following Japan's invasion of China in 1937, Japanese bureaucratic and intellectual elites constructed a volatile image of the munitions worker as trickster. Within this discursive realm, the worker became an object of hope, fear, and rage for the guardians of an idealized home front struggling to bolster war production while still adhering to wartime goals of national austerity. In the cultural fantasies and nightmares of the Japanese home front, the munitions worker fluctuated between the valorized “industrial warrior” laboring for the nation and a violent delinquent ready to wreak havoc on society.

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