chapter  5
17 Pages

Legends of Common Culture

I have argued that cartoons and vaudeville dialogue occupy a place at the periphery of common culture in Japan and criticize the allpervading middle-class smugness of the era of economic prosperity from their particular vantage point. I have discussed why Japanese comic strips, which began as an imitation of their U.S. counter­ part, deviated from the U.S. pattern and developed into an art form which can voice resentment and criticism, and suggested that picture-card showmanship and the lending libraries were a crucial influence. I turn now to mainstream common culture, as represented by the Great River Drama on television.