Book Launch: Schoolgirls, Money and Rebellion in Japan


Schoolgirls, Money and Rebellion in Japan analyses the cult of schoolgirls in contemporary Japan and the interaction of girls’ street fashions and male journalistic and subcultural forms organised predominantly around the fetishistic portrayal of young girls and schoolgirls. The book is divided into three parts, of which the first part unravels the sociological sources and mediated substance of the moral panic about compensated dating (enjo kosai) in the late 1990s. The second part looks at kogyaru and ganguro street fashions and their reflexive and antiphonal interplay with a dominant stream of television and magazine journalism about deviant and sexualised girls emanating from male-oriented camps in the mass media. Throughout the book, the historical roots of the cult of girls from alternatively educated or lower-class social worlds are brought to the reader to deepen their grasp of the imagination and symbolism underlying contemporary poses. The third part of this book pursues deeper reflection on the schoolgirl conflagration in three directions: considering it as an instance of cultural appropriation and projection akin to the structure of nineteenth century black and white minstrelsy; secondly an analysis of the leftist tendency towards seeing girls as key figures of resistance against modern exploitation and appropriation; and finally, an exploration of the subtle political interplay between journalism about sexualised schoolgirls and reporting on the legal and political campaign for compensation of wartime Imperial comfort women.

Date: 6 December 2013, 6.30pm
Venue: Daiwa Foundation Japan House, 13/14 Cornwall Terrace, Outer Circle, London NW1 4QP
Tel: 020 7486 4348
Organiser: The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation

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