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Topic: meiji era  (Read 1066 times)
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« on: March 18, 2007 08:16:03 PM »

sadly my next knitting project isn't a knit article. -sigh.
'm doing a research paper on knitting in japan, specifically the ramifications on knitting in the economy during the Meiji period. i am in desparate need of primary sources. the miniscule amount of secondary sources i've found have led me to shape my thesis into something along these lines: the introduction of knitting into Japan changed the textiles industry to the extent that.... (here i'm not sure what to say because i dont' have any hard numbers) NEED SOURCES !! i wish i didnt' have to be so specific in the area of study, but my history teacher wants us to write something "new! different! exciting! and backed up with authentic proof." knitting/textiles is not his forte and sadly there doesnt' seem to be any faculty here who is, so i'm resorting to the plethora of knowledge held in the craftster community.
so if anyone know of any reputable primary sources, i would be INSANELY grateful.
I'm the ne plus ultra, of B+ cultcha'
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« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2007 08:46:06 PM »

Sorry, don't have anything here to help you about knitting, but if it's not too late to change your topic, you might instead look at the impact of the modernization of the Meiji era on traditional woven fabrics--specifically those that were originally made using woodblock printing techniques. These are the fabrics that make you think of Japan when you see them, and the woodblock technique was pretty specific to Japan, I think. The importance of the Meiji era was in its adoption of Western industrial practices, so this might bear a little more fruit. Hope this helps--I was a Japanese culture/language major, but the Meiji era was definitely not my favorite  Tongue Let us know what you decide to write about  Smiley

« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2007 11:56:24 PM »

I'm doing an assignment on the effect of gender studies on how crafts are interpreted, and I found that there is bound to be an academic somewhere who has studied something similiar. With that in mind, I found all the texts I need at the State Library, though if you have access to a University library (or can get it) it might be worth looking there, especially if it has a strong textile arts/ history faculty.

If you can find secondary sources, they will lead you to primary ones.

I think I might agree with DeadDisco though, that it may be that this topic might be too hard to find info on. There may be so few sources because it was not considered an important industry. I know nothing about who did the knitting in Japan in that period, but if it was women in the house and didn't contribute a great deal to the family income, chances are it wasn't considered important enough to write about.

Also, this may be a long shot, but have you checked out Project Gutenberg, or do you read Japanese?
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2007 10:45:32 AM »

DeadDisco- What you suggest is interesting. I hadn't thought of looking at it from that point. I'm rather stuck on knitting simply because it is close to my heart.

Zeeblebee- I'm looking at Gutenberg, now that you mention it. Unfortunately I don't speak any Japanese. Initially commerical knitting was picked up by unemployed or poorer samurais, so I thought information on it would be easier to find as the samuari class was rather prestigious until the Meiji Era, and I'd be able to use that as background leading into knitting during the Meiji Era. However... I've got nothing.

I have alternative topics in case this doesn't pan out, but I'm really holding out hope it will. I've e-mailed a few schools and Eunny Jang (haha maybe she'll reply, she might know a little since she talks about the history on her blog)

Anyways, thanks for the replies thus far. They've been very useful.

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« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2007 12:52:56 PM »

I don't have any primaries, but I offer secondaries in hopes they might help.  I just checked Rutt's "A History of Handknitting", which has just two paragraphs devoted to Japanese knitting ( Tongue), but here's one of his sources:

Sakata, Nobumasa, and Harvey, Michael.  "400 years of knitting in Japan," In Harvey, Michael, "The History of Knitting".  Patons Trades Services Publications No 2.  1974.

It might also be worth looking thru Rutt for you.  He mentioned (albeit briefly) that the geisha of Nagasaki learned to knit during the Genroku period (1688 - 1704).  So, maybe going thru either of those two will help you find some primaries.   

And a final thought I had, was checking out woodblocks (and their own history) for your sources.  I interned at my Uni's art museum and we have an enormous Japanese woodblock print collection.  For one exhibit they pulled out/ and borrowed "trade" pictures - girls diving for pearls, women dyeing fabric, women knitting, and a woman spinning on a drop spindle.  The wood blocks we had didn't go much farther back than the Edo period, but... you're interested in Meiji Grin

the qfa:
unequivocally proving that knitting is not an intelligence test

Got a tape measurer?
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« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2007 08:14:46 PM »

Not sure if you've seen this yet, but it might give you an idea of where to start digging; my apologies if you've already been here.  Wink


« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2007 08:06:40 PM »

I do appreciate everyone's efforts to help, however, after perusing the sources I found... um... I'm switching topics.  Cry
It's way too crazy trying to do it on knitting in Japan preindustrialization era.
Instead I'm gonna do it on something I find just as amusing: Anime! hahahahha! I'm doing it on the representation of environmental issues in anime, so it should be fun. I've already got some good printed sources on it. Finally my collection of anime will be useful academically.
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2007 11:35:26 PM »

In my Asian Cultures class a couple years ago, a fellow student did a presentation on exactly that topic (environmental issues rep. in anime). It was great. She brought in a couple of video clips from her own collection and some graphic novels, too. She even gave a short how-to tutorial for drawing some of the animals common to anime flicks just for fun. You're sure to be hit with this topic.

I like to do personal swaps now and again.

I knit, crochet, and make stitch markers.

Just pm me if you wanna swap. Smiley
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2007 06:02:01 AM »

The Museum of Art in Boston recently had an exhibit on Japanese Textiles.  There was definitely a lot of knitting.

Their website is www.mfa.org.  If you search "Japanese Textiles" you'll get a few hits, then you can enter "Japanese Knitting".  Not a lot of info but it might lead you to a contact.

Also, I googled "Japanese Knitting" and got a lot of interesting hits.
Check this out (cut and paste onto your browser) http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rls=GGLD,GGLD:2005-17,GGLD:en&q=japanese+knitting%2cmeiji

I find most people are very generous in their response when you ask about their subject of study. 

Good luck!
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