Rediscovering the "Moga" Spirit: The 1929 Guide to Being a Modern Girl

March 18, 2024 in Arts & Culture by Charlotte Sinclair

"Women's World" magazine

Dive into the roaring '20s with the "Moga" (Modern Girl) lifestyle, as outlined by the 1929 edition of "Women's World" magazine. This fascinating snapshot of cultural history reveals ten rules that defined the essence of an emancipated woman in the vibrant era, much like the flappers in the West. Here's a glimpse into the spirited life of a Moga:

  1. Embrace Strength: Breaking away from traditional femininity, being strong was the new vogue.
  2. Western Indulgence: Flaunt a penchant for all things Western, from fashion to lifestyle.
  3. Jazz, Dance, and Smokes: Loyalty to jazz, dance halls, and Golden Bat cigarettes was non-negotiable.
  4. Liquor Literacy: Know your Western spirits, a must for the sophisticated palette.
  5. Fashion Aficionado: Cherish fashion fervently, from haute couture in Paris to Hollywood's screen glam.
  6. Cinema Enthusiast: Be captivated by the magic of movies, a true cinephile at heart.
  7. Party Connoisseur: Display a keen (or at least feigned) interest in parties to cultivate a despondent image among the "mobo" (modern boys).
  8. Weekend Strolls in Ginza: Saunter through fashionable districts like Ginza on weekend evenings, a statement of elegance.
  9. Seasonal Wardrobe Refresh: Commit to updating your wardrobe every season, even if it means visiting the pawnshop.
  10. Prudent Romance: Kiss useful men, regardless of looks, but maintain chastity as breaking the "morality law" was unfashionable.

These rules, illustrated by Kaseo Takabatake, a prominent figure in children's and women's magazines until the wartime era, reflect the Moga's revolutionary spirit. The term "Moga," derived from "modan garu," symbolizes the emancipated women of the '20s, akin to the flappers in the Western world.

"Women's World" magazine

"Women's World" magazine, published by Jitsugyo no Nihon Sha, one of the largest publishing houses from 1906 to 1933, wasn't just about lifestyle tips and entertainment; it was also a beacon for trendy products, making aprons featured on its first pages a hot commodity.

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