Dominique Luongo Sugar (and Sweets) in Japan
For my project, I would like to analyze the commodification of sugar as a crop and its increasing popularity in products such as desserts, candies, and pre-prepared foods. I will be looking at how sugar production resulted from changing agricultural and economic practice, using Satsuma domain as a case study of how monies generated from cash crops financed modernization. I also look at the role that international interaction played in the growth of the industry, including the influence of westerners (especially the Portuguese and the Dutch) and Japanese imperialism in Taiwan. Finally, I will consider the role that advertising and ‘health’ concerns played in the promotion and subsequent popularity of sugar in Japan. My primary sources will largely be images, which I will contextualize with secondary sources and information from lectures and course readings.