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Taishō Roman (大正ロマン) or Taishō Romance (大正浪漫) aesthetic was a result of the radical shift in Japanese culture towards industrialization and liberalism during the Taisho era (from 1912 to 1926). The Taisho period is best known for its quirky, roaring 20s-inspired reinterpretation of traditional culture. It is called Taisho "Roman," short for "romance," because of the ideals of European Romanticism spread to Japan during the period.

Visuals[]

Both art and fashion of this time were influenced by the larger Art Deco trend of the 20s.

Art movements in Japan were revitalized by modernization and romanticism. The Sousaku-hanga movement in particular arose from the ideals of individuality and self expression.

Nihonbashi dori

Nihonbashi buisness district of Tokyo (1922)

Taisho Roman often features elements of technology that were emerging in Japan at the time.

  • Brick buildings featuring western Art Deco and Neoclassical architectural styles
  • Trains
  • Streetcars
  • Electricity

Ideology[]

In the Taisho period, politics experienced a progressive and liberal trend called Taisho Democracy. A representative democracy in the Japanese monarchy was formed with political parties representing the people. Political movements such as feminism, universal suffrage, leftism, and anarchism had spread. However, due to the militarization of Japan in the 1920s, this democracy quickly vanished with the Kantō Massacre in 1923 and enactment of the Peace Preservation Law in 1925, eventually leading to World War 2.

Fashion[]

Taisho Roman Train

Nose Railway Retro Taisho Roman Train

Taisho Roman was greatly influenced by western fashion that spread to Japan after it opened to trade. The word haikara describes this popularization of Western styles. Western business suits and bowler hats became popular with men in Japan. The western-style sailor suit became the school uniform for girls as serafuku. Synthetic fibers and dyes began to be manufactured more widely in Japan, and a wider array of clothes than ever before began to emerge in in new styles and colors.

While high-class women were able to embrace the Western flapper fashions completely, creating a style known as moga ('modern girl'), lower-class women incorporated the iconic styles of the era (such as shawls, cloche hats, etc) into styling. Geometric motifs on kimonos were also commonly seen.

The male equivalent to moga is known as mobo ('modern boy'). It featured bowler hats and sunglasses with the lenses removed. These glasses were called Lloyd glasses because they were popularized by the 1920s comedian Harold Lloyd.

Media[]

Music[]

  • 1925 by T-POCKET featuring Hatsune Miku
  • Senbonzakura by Kurousa-P featuring Hatsune Miku
  • Haikara-song by Kaminaga Ryōgetsu (recreated by Toshi Tsuchitori)

Anime[]

  • Haikara-San: Here Comes Miss Modern
  • Demon Slayer is set in the Taisho period and the influence of modernization can be seen throughout
  • Sakura Wars TV
  • Attack on Titan
  • Taisho Otome Fairy Tale
  • Bungo Stray Dogs

Games[]

  • Sakura Wars
  • Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. the Soulless Army
  • Demon Gate
Movies[]
  • Orochi (1925)
  • A Page of Madness (1926)
  • Millennium Actress (2001)
  • The Wind Rises (2013)

Gallery[]

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