A History of the Takarazuka Revue Since 1914

Modernity, Girls' Culture, Japan Pop

Founded in the hot-spring resort town of the same name in 1914, Takarazuka is a kaleidoscopic medium, both in terms of its theatricality and visual characteristics. Yet, despite its prominence and popularity, it has not received the academic attention it deserves, especially in the context of theatre studies. This book, therefore, by taking an interdisciplinary approach, endeavours to fill this gap through a detailed analysis of the Takarazuka Revue Company’s history, educational traditions and theatrical ethos viewed from the prism of Japan’s modernization and globalization in the twentieth century. Its important relationship to Japanese popular culture, especially in the fields of manga and fashion are also given due consideration.

Furthermore, because of its unique features as an all-female performance art appealing mostly to female Japanese audiences, the study also includes an in-depth consideration of its continuing success, way of life and wider social impact from both cultural and social perspectives.

With Takarazuka’s centenary fast approaching, A History of the Takarazuka Revue Since 1914 will have wide interdisciplinary appeal, as well as in the particular context of Japanese Studies. Illustrated throughout, supported by an extensive bibliography, it is divided into five chapters: l. The Formative Years of Takarazuka; 2.The Mechanisms of Takarazuka; 3. The Stage Art of Takarazuka ‘Fantasy Adventure’; 4. The Taishō ‘Modern’; in the Female Domain of Shōjo Bunka; 5. Takarazuka in the Modern Heritage of Girls’ Culture and Beyond.
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Biographical Note

Makiko Yamanashi holds a degree in art history and philosophy from UCL. She belongs to the Opera/Musical Study Group at the Tsubouchi Theatre Memorial Museum, Waseda University, and also works as a coordinator of cultural events in Japan and Europe. In Takarazuka City, she acts as a member of the Takarazuka Film Festival Committee and the Takarazuka International Friendship Association.

Review Quotes

„Makiko Yamanashi erhellt die Geschichte des Takarazuka-Theaters, das in den Zeiten des japanischen Imperialismus auch zu Propagandazwecken missbraucht und unter anderem für mehrere Tourneen in der besetzten Mandschurei eingesetzt wurde. Die Autorin gibt, und dies macht die Lektüre besonders wertvoll, einen Einblick in die sozialen Hintergründe und die Gender-Aspekte der Revue, die zu Unrecht bisher noch nicht als eine eigenständige Tradition der japanischen Populärkultur anerkannt worden ist.“
Neue Züricher Zeitung, (14.07.12 / Nr.162 / Seite 56 / Teil 01)

Readership

All those interested in Takarazuka, Japanese theatre, modern Japan, and Japanese popular culture.

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