Date of this Version
From Creating Textiles: Makers, Methods, Markets. Proceedings of the Sixth Biennial Symposium of the Textile Society of America, Inc. New York, NY, September 23–26, 1998 (Earleville, MD: Textile Society of America, Inc., 1999).
The socio-historical factors of this era, including the effect of foreign culture, influenced consumer choice and production decisions regarding meisen textiles. Industrialization brought by the West generated demand for a new urban labor force, thereby providing for women work and educational opportunities that had not previously existed The cloth produced duringJhis time in history spoke of a kind of freedom and a conspicuous popular taste that celebrated women is changing position. Looking at the way women expressed themselves through textiles provides a wonderful approach to understanding this period of recent Japanese history.
Meisen was a commercial term for a popular, widely distributed textile used by middle class women and children for every day wear (kimono and haori), by working class women for special or festive occasions, and by many people for coverlets and sitting cushions (futon and zabuton). The term meisen appeared in a wide range of written materials from the late Edo period (18th century) until the early 1960s.