Contemporary Japanese Women’s Theatre and Visual Arts

$70.71

This book explores the concept of ‘girls’ aesthetics,’ where adult Japanese women create art works about ‘girls’ that resist motherhood. It traces their beginnings in homoerotic novels about schoolgirls around the 1910s and their later expression in early ‘Boys’ Love’ (BL) manga in the 1970s. The aesthetics are also manifested in contemporary theater and dance […]

This book explores the concept of ‘girls’ aesthetics,’ where adult Japanese women create art works about ‘girls’ that resist motherhood. It traces their beginnings in homoerotic novels about schoolgirls around the 1910s and their later expression in early ‘Boys’ Love’ (BL) manga in the 1970s. The aesthetics are also manifested in contemporary theater and dance performances both in avant-garde and popular theater groups (e.g, Takarazuka) as well as in cult films. ‘Girls’ aesthetics’ are distinct from the well-known ‘kawaii’ (cute) culture and contemporary art theories that emphasize the child-like nature of Japanese arts. The book situates these aesthetics within a history of Japanese performance and visual arts during the modern and contemporary period and links them to historical events such as the violent 1960s leftist movements, the 1970s women’s liberation movements, and the post-war Japan-US relationship. The aesthetics provide an alternative to Western approaches for theorizing women within feminist theory. This is an important book for scholars and upper-level students of international performance and Japanese studies.

Performing Arts


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