A Portrait of Shōjo
The Poetic Ambience of Japanese Girlhood
Shōjo, the girl positioned between child and adult, is an iconic representation of femininity and girlhood in Japanese culture. A pretty and stereotypically feminine aesthetic that sometimes disguises dark and disturbing themes, shōjo has fascinated artists working in many fields from literature to manga, film to fashion, and not just in Japan. Researching the National Library’s significant contemporary shōjo collection, Masafumi Monden explores the multifaceted importance of shōjo as a cultural imagination, a complex and sometimes shocking ideal of girlish identity in Japanese popular culture that encompasses both objectification and agency, desire and identification.
Dr Masafumi Monden is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Technology Sydney.
He is the author of Japanese Fashion Cultures (Bloomsbury, 2015). His fellowship is supported by the Harold S. Williams Trust.