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Takarazuka : sexual politics and popular culture in modern Japan / Jennifer Robertson

Main Author Robertson, Jennifer Country Estados Unidos. Publication Berkeley : University of California Press, cop. 1998 Description XVI, 278 p. : il. ; 23 cm ISBN 0-520-21151-0 CDU 050(520)
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Monografia Biblioteca Fernão Mendes Pinto
BFMP-LCO 050(520) - R Perdido | Lost Indisponível | Not available 357563
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

The all-female Takarazuka Revue is world-famous today for its rococo musical productions, including gender-bending love stories, torridly romantic liaisons in foreign settings, and fanatically devoted fans. But that is only a small part of its complicated and complicit performance history. In this sophisticated and historically grounded analysis, anthropologist Jennifer Robertson draws from over a decade of fieldwork and archival research to explore how the Revue illuminates discourses of sexual politics, nationalism, imperialism, and popular culture in twentieth-century Japan.

The Revue was founded in 1913 as a novel counterpart to the all-male Kabuki theater. Tracing the contradictory meanings of Takarazuka productions over time, with special attention to the World War II period, Robertson illuminates the intricate web of relationships among managers, directors, actors, fans, and social critics, whose clashes and compromises textured the theater and the wider society in colorful and complex ways.

Using Takarazuka as a key to understanding the "logic" of everyday life in Japan and placing the Revue squarely in its own social, historical, and cultural context, she challenges both the stereotypes of "the Japanese" and the Eurocentric notions of gender performance and sexuality.

Reviews provided by Syndetics


The all-female Takarazuka Revue represents itself as quintessential Japanese traditional theater in which unmarried (and thus implicitly sexually inexperienced) young women perform for a young female audience. In her insightful exploration of overlapping discourses of gender, sexuality, popular culture, and national identity, Robertson uses both archival research and interviews to illuminate Takarazuka as a site for the contestation of gender and national identity. Kobayashi Ichizo (1873-1957), the politically well connected businessman who founded the revue in 1913, was a staunch supporter of the dominant ideal of heterosexual patriarchy. In a well-researched chapter on the war years (1931-45), Robertson shows how staged images of "cross-ethnicking" that linked imperialist fantasies to colonial realities were technological instruments of imperialism. At the same time, however, the revue currently provides its female fans (many of them married) with a respite from their confinement to domestic roles. The female actors who play male roles constitute an androgynous image that can negotiate both the public and the private. Moreover, the androgynous performance generates an erotic tension that informs a lesbian subculture. The book includes dozens of illustrations and a lengthy bibliography. All levels. S. A. Hastings; Purdue University

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Jennifer Robertson is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan, and author of Native and Newcomer: Making and Remaking a Japanese City (California, 1991).

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