“Modern girls モダンガール (modan gaaru?) were Japanese women who followed Westernized fashions and lifestyles in the 1920s. These moga were Japan’s equivalent of America’s flappers, India’s kallege ladki, Germany’s neue Frauen, France’s garçonnes, or China’s modeng xiaojie.1 By viewing her through a Japanese vs Western lens, the nationalist press could use the modern girl archetype to blame such failings as frivolity, sexual promiscuity, and selfishness on foreign influence.” the niece setsuko in"What Did the Lady Forget?" is the first expression of that 1920s and 30s archetype “the moga” that i encountered in ozus oeuvre yet with a few slight yet telling deviations from the above definition ie: sexual fluidity alongside possible promiscuity. an example of that fluidity is the flirtatious rapport setsuko establishes with a geisha. after admiring the geishas homespun purse she exchanges her own far more high-end purse while maintaining an intense heavy-lidded eye contact with the reluctant and disconcerted geisha![ later in the film she supports, in chauvinist fashion, her uncles violence towards his wife.] are there any other examples of “the moga” in 1930s Japanese film that i should know about?
You could try Shimizu’s Japanese Girls at the Harbor. It may not be exactly what you are looking for, since I am unfamiliar with the term, but it sounds like it might be in a similar vein anyway. If not, it’s still a great movie so at least you wouldn’t have wasted your time…
Are there moga in Imamura’s Pigs and Battleships ?
The film depicts the mutually exploitative relationship that exists between the U.S. military and the lower elements of Japanese society.
both decent examples but i wouldn’t mind some accompanying analysis of those films!
so two decent examples appears to be the natural endpoint for this discussion! i suppose my natural predisposition towards negativism finds that fact deeply depressing. [one thing i have noticed about the most successful and rewarding discussions on this forum is their abstractly theoretical basis or their sheer stupidity or provocativeness. the stupid and provocative comparison i made between this forum and criterion was depressingly more successful then my attempts at more productive discussion. sometimes that was my fault other times not ]
The Girl in the Rumor
Three Sisters with Maiden Hearts
(In both of those films, the moga are compared and contrasted with their traditionally-inclined sisters.)
Wife! Be Like a Rose!
Our Neighbor, Miss Yae
(Here, the eponymous young girl starts to behave like a moga after the boy she admires comments on her friend’s more modern disposition.)
The Neighbor’s Wife and Mine (aka Moga and Wife)
Mr. Thank You
*Some might consider Tanaka’s character from Ozu’s Dragnet Girl, but she’s more than a mere “moga,” she a moll!
Sorry Liam, I am just not knowledgeable enough about the concept to really give any sort of analysis of it. Perhaps Arsaib could correct me on my guess that Two Japanese Girls might fit your query, it certainly seems to have some of the hallmarks of the modern girl concept working in it, but I don’t know if there’s some aspect of the idea that I am missing so I wouldn’t feel comfortable making any more solid assertion along those lines. I strikes me that Suzuki might have also played with this notion, but, of course, years later looking back on it.
Greg: I’m not sure if you have seen Shimizu’s Mr. Thank You, but the western-looking, independent-minded young woman (played by the same actress, Kuwano Michiko, who embodied Setsuko in the Ozu film cited earlier) who used colorful language and chain-smoked throughout the trip is the kind of individual being sought, I believe. In Japanese Girls, one becomes a geisha, the other a housewife, so I’m not sure if they would quite fit here, though I couldn’t agree more that it’s a great film and deserves to be seen no matter what.
Thanks Arsaib, yes, I’ve seen Mr. Thank You and know exactly what you are getting at now. I was focusing more on the attitudes of the two girls and the sexual aggressiveness or desire of the one and how she acted more than the outward affect or looks, so I see more clearly what is being sought. I’ll have to ponder this some more to see if there are any examples that leap to mind, but I suspect I won’t be able to come up with anything you haven’t thought of.
ARSAIB@ has already answered my question but i am still bumping this to the top in protest at the continuation of the popes visit thread!
Check The Daily Notebook, yo, we always anticipate trends!
it seems that there were many films were made about Moga in those days.
I myself have not seen any of those which are probably not existing any more
or not available for public viewings.
The most famous moga actress was Takako Irie,
who is ironically now most noted for the Mizoguchi’s ’"White Threads of Cascade",
in which she played a very traditional role.
Actually she played the part called “Modern Girl” in “Nikkatu Koshinkyoku(Nikkatsu March)” in 1929,
and also she starred in the film called “Miss Nippon(The Beauty Queen of Japan)”,
both of them were directed by the great Tom Uchida.
According to the book I have about old Japanese actresses,
Irie starred in a series of Moga movies like
“Shizumiyuku Ningyo(Sinking Mermaid)”“Kindai Kureopatora(Modern Cleopatra)”
“Karita Yubiwa(Borrowed Ring)”“Chikyu ha Mawaru(The Earth is Turning)”
In this book, some other actresses are listed as Moga actresses,
such as Komako Sunada, Ginko Mine, Yoshiko Okada, Ranko Sawa and Satoko Date
though I do not know any of these women except infamous Okada.
They were called Moga actresses
because their looks, attires and attitude were more westernized/modernized
than the main stream actresses of that time like Sumiko Kurishima.
I found these clip of Takako Irie’s film, and this is so Hollywood.
Probably this is a more typical Moga movie,
the life of very a modern looking woman in very modern settings.
This the clip from the TV show of 1987 in which Takako Irie starred
with her real daughter Wakaba Irie,
two women in Black you see in 1 min mark are them.
Also at the very end you see the B&W pics of Takako Irie from 20’s and 30’s.
This show was directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi of “Hausu”
Here is Michiko Kuwano in a very modern girl look with Shin Saburi in “Otoko no Tsugunai”
Another Michiko kuwano in Shimizu’s “Koi mo Wasurete”
Ozu’s “Dragnet Girl” with Kinuyo Tanaka who did not look like Moga.
How about young Setsuko Hara in “Tokyo no Josei”
My, my, she was a bad actress though she looked great.
thank you acatinny!
even though arsaib is right about the definition of tanaka’s character leaning far more towards moll then moga, this is still a great clip. i hope that the bfi release this important early ozu in the next batch of ozu bluray and dvd releases!
“i hope that the bfi release this important early ozu in the next batch of ozu bluray and dvd releases!”
I hope so as well, Liam. But Dragnet Girl is currently available on English subtitled DVD from Panorama (Hong Kong). Thanks for the YT links.