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Dubious prosperity: Women and entertainment in wartime Shanghai

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image of Frontiers of History in China

Wartime Shanghai (1937–1945) was a crucial period in women’s Yue opera history, during which the opera took roots in the city and was transformed into a modern art form. The opera established itself as a dominant presence in the city’s popular entertainment in the first half of the 1940s and gained national and international influence in the 1950s and 1960s with its masterpiece plays such as The butterfly lovers and Dream of the red chamber. The rise of women’s Yue opera in wartime Shanghai was more a ramification of long-term developments in urban migration, urban cultural transformation, and women’s integration into society that ran through the entire Republican even the early PRC periods.


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