First published the same year Hugo Gernsback came out with his legendary science fiction magazine, Amazing Stories, in 1926, The Young Companion《良友》catered to the tastes of young middle class people, but it was also a force for social change. This fascinating article (in Big5) talks about 《良友》the “natural breast movement” 「天乳運動」 among young women in the 1920s-30s, and this sohu article (GB) discusses the fashion sense displayed in the pages of the magazine. In this pic you can see that the bobbed, flapper hairstyle we associate with the West was popular in China of the 20s also. The Young Companion is often thought of as product of Shanghai’s hybrid culture, but this article talks about its founding by a Guangdong native, Wu Lian-de (伍聯德).
“Reading this paper half a century later, I would grade it “C” on my
overall scale, meaning “fair with quite a few serious problems”. Knowing
what I think I know better today than I did then, I wax between
cynically disputing every assertion I made in the paper, and generously
dismissing only 20 or 30 percent of what I wrote.
I wrote the paper to showcase a variety of real and imaginary
research and analytical abilities, applied to topics and materials drawn
from popular culture. Mass magazines and their content were totally
beyond the scope of “serious” contemporary scholarship, which was
supposed to be about economic, political, and social institutions,
intellectual history, religion and philosophy, and the fine arts. De
Vos’s lectures, however, had left me with the impression that he might
accept the subject matter of my paper – and he did. I did not yet know
him personally, and was prepared for a lower grade, but he gave my paper
an “A” and wrote a number of remarks which indicated that he liked what
I did or tried to to do. Tellingly, he did not comment on my odd jargon
and pretentious style, nor mark a single spelling, grammar, or usage
problem. This was a new experience for me, as most of my papers came
back with at least some remarks about the mechanics of writing….
Fukushima (1936 – 2006), a scholar and collector of printed
publications, was an influential member of the Institute. He started
collecting magazines from the 1950s and accumulated over 10,000 items in
total, including publications during the 6 years and 8 months of the
occupation of Japan after World War II. His collection was donated to
the Waseda University Library in 2007.