Aspiring to Prosperity Americana in the 1960s: The White Goods that Get the White Glove Treatment

A GE advertisement in Life Mgazine, October 9, 1964
A GE advertisement in Life Mgazine, October 9, 1964

During the American occupation of Japan, American soldiers and their families lived in Washington Heights, a fabricated neighborhood of American houses, with American lawns and American kitchens in Tokyo. Japanese who got a glimpse inside these homes were astonished by the size of the rooms, the roar of the cars and the gleam of the white goods in the kitchen.

My mother, who was born and raised in Tochigi, Japan, met my father in 1957, got married in 1958 in Tokyo, and then took a ship back to the United States. They settled in Kentucky, where my father worked as a reporter for the Louisville Times, and my mother began life as an American housewife.

I think my father was kinda being cheeky when he took this picture, but hey, their new kitchen was probably the size of the apartment he rented out in Tokyo.

Louisville #3