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Passionate FriendshipThe Aesthetics of Girl's Culture in Japan$
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Deborah Shamoon

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780824835422

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824835422.001.0001

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date: 22 September 2017

Prewar Girls’ Culture (Shōjo Bunka), 1910–1937

Prewar Girls’ Culture (Shōjo Bunka), 1910–1937

Chapter:
(p.29) Chapter 2 Prewar Girls’ Culture (Shōjo Bunka), 1910–1937
Source:
Passionate Friendship
Author(s):

Deborah Shamoon

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824835422.003.0003

This chapter focuses on girls' culture (shōjo bunka) in Japan during the period 1910–1937. It considers how a private, closed world of girls emerged in single-sex secondary schools and gave rise to a discourse of that culture in girls' magazines, where friendship between girls was expressed in the language of spiritual love. After providing a short history of girls' magazines in Japan, the chapter explores how the culture of girls' schools became the aspirational norm of girlhood. It then turns to homosociality, S relationships, and the culture of sameness as prevalent features of the rising girls' culture during the period. It looks at the novel Otome no minato (The Girls' Harbor) and the all-girl Takarazuka Revue as two examples of the homosocial bonds of girls' culture. The chapter explains how passionate friendships helped to develop the dominant aesthetics of girls' culture: purity, elegance, innocence, and chastity.

Keywords:   girls' culture, girls' magazines, spiritual love, girls' schools, homosociality, S relationships, sameness, Otome no minato, Takarazuka Revue, passionate friendships

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