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Japan Station 08: The Origins of Shōjo Manga (Dr. Deborah Shamoon)

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Episode eight of the Japan Station podcast is here and this time we’re exploring the fascinating history of shōjo manga.

Dr. Deborah Shamoon is an associate professor in the Department of Japanese Studies at the National University of Singapore. She is the author of Passionate Friendship: The Aesthetics of Girls’ Culture in Japan, a book which examines the emergence and history of shōjo manga (a genre of Japanese comics aimed at girls and typically produced by women). In this episode we discuss the true meaning of the word shōjo, Meiji-era girls’ culture and girls magazines, how important a role Osamu Tezuka played in the development of shōjo manga, the connection between the Takarazuka Revue and Osamu Tezuka’s series Princess Knight (Ribon no Kishi), the potentially influential role of manga artist and Osamu Tezuka protege Hideko Mizuno, the importance of eyes in shōjo manga, how Boys’ Love (yaoi) fits into the shōjo manga genre, the iconic shōjo manga series The Rose of Versailles (Berusaiyu no Bara), and much more.

Yeah, this episode is overflowing with all sorts of great information.

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Extra Stuff

If you would like to find out even more about shōjo manga, then you should check out Dr. Deborah Shamoon’s book, Passionate Friendship: The Aesthetics of Girls’ Culture in Japan. You can purchase it via Amazon, just click on the image below.

And in case you were curious, here’s the opening sequence of The Rose of Versailles.

Special Thanks

Opening/Closing song: Oedo Controller (大江戸コントローラー) by Yunomi featuring Toriena
To listen to more of Yunomi’s music, check out his Soundcloud page or YouTube channel.

Japan Station cover art: Provided by Erik R.

Images: Courtesy of Deborah Shamoon

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