Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential : How Teenage Girls Made a Nation Cool, Paperback Book

Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential : How Teenage Girls Made a Nation Cool Paperback

3 out of 5 (1 rating)


"Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential", is a must for anyone curious about the girls that populate Japan's pop culture.

For years schoolgirls have shown up in internationally popular anime such as "Sailor Moon", "The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya", and "Blood: The Last Vampire".

Films such as "Battle Royale" inspired Quentin Tarantino to include a fighting schoolgirl in Kill Bill, and recently Rinko Kikuchi received an Oscar nomination for her role as a schoolgirl the film Babel.

There are schoolgirl characters in videogames such as "Street Fighter". And the "Japanese Schoolgirl Watch" column in "WIRED" magazine has long kept an eye on the trends emerging among these stylish teens.

These days the Japanese schoolgirl has all but replaced the geisha-girl to become Japan's new female icon.

But how and why has the Japanese schoolgirl become such an arbitrator of cool?

Brian Ashcraft, the acclaimed author of "Arcade Mania!", and his sidekick Shoko Ueda, take the reader beyond the realm of everyday schoolgirls to discover the secrets behind this iconic creature. By talking to Japanese women including former and current J-pop idols, well known actresses, models, writers, and artists-along with film directors, historians and marketeers - the authors discover the history behind Japan's obsession with schoolgirls.

Whether you want to know where the iconic sailor-style uniform came from, or how the Japanese schoolgirl became a brand that can be used to sell anything from kimchi to insurance, the answers are inside "Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential".

You can find out why Japanese schoolgirls have become such a symbol of girl power, and why they are so very very cool!


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 192 pages, 1
  • Publisher: Kodansha America, Inc
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Comics and Graphic Novels
  • ISBN: 9784770031150

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An interesting look at the Japanese schoolgirl as a cultural icon and a few ideas about why she might have come to be that way, this slim paperback is engaging but potentially in need of an edit, especially in the later pages (insets appear far after their subject matter is raised, and one whole section appears to be essentially a repeat of a previous). Ashcraft tackles many of the fora in which the Japanese schoolgirl as a character is explored and utilised, and spends a little bit of time on actual schoolgirls themselves. Enjoyable and thought-provoking, more of a starting-off point than a serious study.