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Moga Girl

Moga Girl

Moga Girl by Kasen Ohira (ca.1930)

The above print depicts a beauty dressed in the latest fashion style of the period. In the 1920s and 1930s such fashionable women were called ‘moga’ (abbreviation of 'modern girl'). This was Japan's equivalent of America's flappers, Germany's Neue Frauen, and France's garçonnes.

Decadent and hedonistic, the moga girls would work, enjoy financial as well as emotional independence, and they would enjoy smoking, watching movies and socialising at cafes and dance halls.


Yuki Moyo (It Looks Like Snow) by Ito Shinsui (1926)

Sometimes they would wear the traditional Japanese kimono but with the trending western hairstyles, and most times, wearing pumps and short dresses, the Western style would be the preferred choice of attire. Indeed, during the 1920s and 1930s, Japanese dress underwent a new wave of Westernisation, especially women’s dress. Entering the workforce in growing numbers, women would wear western clothes at their workplaces, be it offices or factories.

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