2020 年 97 巻 p. 35-46
According to the popular belief held today regarding the masses and popularization
in Japan, the Great Kanto earthquake marked the dawn of popularization
and popular culture. But the notion has come into circulation without sufficient
factual evidence. The reality among people during this period was
revealed with reference to subscription records of newspapers, magazines,
books, and the like in Yanagawa, a small town in Fukushima Prefecture. The
media, as it turned out, did not evenly take root in society. On the contrary,
society was polarized between the upper class, who enjoys the benefits of
media and the lower class, who hardly embraced media. In fact, their gap widened.
In no way does the term popularization describe what really happened.
This is just an example pointing to the need to scrutinize the prevailing belief
that popularization in Japanese society took place in the 1920s.