The first thirty years of the twentieth century was a key period in the development of Japanese society, during which it began to face directly the political, economic and cultural power of the West in order to establish a modern Japan that was distinctive from both the West and the rest of Asia. Becoming modern not only entailed the reform and re-education of the Japanese people into a nation; it also resulted in the reform of everyday life and the redefinition of the people as consumers and citizens. Women, in particular, were at the forefront of these changes and experienced directly the new forms of consumer culture. This book examines this key phase in Japanese modernity and explores how women in Japan played a significant role in shaping the burgeoning Japanese consumer society. It also unveils the cultural myth of docile Japanese women embedded in tradition and examines the ways in which women developed a new type of active femininity by becoming modern. The period also saw the beginnings of mass consumption alongside rapid urbanization with the rise of the department store and the growth of mass media. One of the most important Japanese department stores to emerge was Mitsukoshi, which provided an experimental site for the new tastes and lifestyles of consumer culture and the 'exotica' of western modernity. In effect, the store could be seen as a new form of 'public sphere' for women. Women's magazines and films also provided images and information on the new consumer culture. The book provides a new account of the development of Japanese consumer culture in the twentieth century and explores the importance of the emergence of a new type of femininity for Japanese women. It will therefore appeal to those studying consumer culture, visual culture, body studies, sociology, media and film studies, business studies (retailing), and gender studies.