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Takarazuka: Sexual Politics & Popular Culture in Modern Japan
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Takarazuka: Sexual Politics & Popular Culture in Modern Japan

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  109 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
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 Ro ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published July 21st 1998 by University of California Press (first published June 21st 1998)
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Hadrian
Academic monograph about the famous Japanese all-womens' theater troupe, the Takarazuka Revue. Starts with the group's origins, its performances during the war era, and a description of its fans. Also interesting to see the assignment and performance of gender roles - literally!
Tosh
Oct 26, 2007 Tosh rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Obessive Japanese culture fans
While I was in Osaka a friend of mine had an extra ticket to the Takarazuka Theater. Which by the way, is very hard to come by - due to the fact that it's fan base are all women - from early 20's to middle-aged. And they never ever give up a ticket for a performance with this performance group or school of theater.

Basically what the Takarazuka specializes in doing is sort of a low-rent style of bigger theater broadway pieces or classic narrations - such as 'Gone With The Wind.' The catch is all
...more
Dani
I read this book, and relied on it heavily for my thesis on Japanese rock music. I made comparisons between the all female theater and otokoyaku with the visual kei males who sometimes played female roles. I also referenced kabuki and onnagata, writing about how all these performers portray the opposite gender, and how the performers use it to cater to their audiences.
Bianca
Dec 23, 2016 Bianca rated it liked it
A book trying to talk about Takarazuka as best as it can but not quite getting there. While it gives an interesting history I wish that there was more discussion of how it functions in modern day and its cultural significance. I understand that it is a challenging subject to get any information about but I was hoping for a little more than I received.
Gabe
Feb 04, 2014 Gabe rated it it was amazing
As a Takarazuka fan and consumer of Japanese pop culture, I highly recommend this text for insight not only to the Revue, but to the role of gender and female sexuality in Japanese culture both past and present.

The research spans the (then) 80 year life of the Takarazuka Revue, and blends in the sociological research seamlessly. I'd say this is a must read for anyone who has an interest in modern Japanese popular culture, especially in regards to the "shoujo" genre. The research on the social a
...more
yengyeng
The author definitely cares very much about the subject matter and took great pains to research it thoroughly. The only grouse I have is that the hyped-up expose of the tawdry, shady world of Takarazuka never happened in the book, Or did I miss it?

Takarazuka, from the performance I saw at the Takarazuka Theatre in Hyogo Prefecture a couple of years ago, is a well-oiled entertainment machine with a successful business model that is determined to thrive and profit. The stable of stars ensure the s
...more
kyle
Feb 24, 2009 kyle rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Meticulously researched, clearly written. The topic is utterly fascinating. Robertson, an anthropologist, writes about the all female Takarazuka review theater in Japan, outlining its history, unpacking the complex gender issues at play in the performances and the institution established, looking at its collusion with the age of Japanese imperialism, and finally a fascinating look at the fan clubs that have been established around it. Anyone interested in world theater, Japane ...more
Oscar
A really great book about the Takarazuka Revue, which is a theatrical company producing all-female musical spectaculars in Japan. This well-researched tome focuses on the psychology of the people who go to see the Revue, and the gender politics which have shaped the Revue's place in the entertainment industry.

Takarazuka provides a scholarly as well as entertaining view of the Revue. I came away knowing much more about the institution as well as Japan. I'd recommend it to anyone with an interest
...more
Mely
Jan 26, 2011 Mely rated it liked it
Shelves: race, sexuality
The Takarazuka is an all-female theatrical revue famed for its splendor and its otakuyaku -- women playing male roles, offstage as well as on.

More theory than history. Focused on the immediate pre- and post-war years; not much sense of the current Takarazuka. Despite Robertson's claims that femininity is as learned as a masquerade as masculinity (which I believe), she mostly focuses on the otakuyaku instead of the musumeyaku.

The pictures are great. The androgynous otakuyaku are seriously hot.
Lindsey
Jul 30, 2012 Lindsey rated it it was amazing
I genuinely enjoyed this, despite it being rather dry in places. It definitely reads like a thesis! However, the research had been well done, and thus provides a wonderful overall view of Takarazuka and its place in modern Japan.
Jocilyn
Dec 18, 2011 Jocilyn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Robertson's Takarazuka is easily my favorite non-fiction work to date. I loaned this book to a friend a few years ago and have yet to get it back. I will post a fuller review when I have obtained a new copy.
Sus
Oct 02, 2012 Sus rated it really liked it
Absolutely fascinating.
Ninja
Nov 11, 2010 Ninja is currently reading it
This is obviously Jennifer Robertson's thesis. And it reads like one. Very dry but I swear I will finish it. It took me 4 years to read Proust's Remembrances, so I think I can do it.;-)
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Jennifer Ellen Robertson is Professor of Anthropology and the History of Art at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She has a non-budgeted appointment as Professor of Women's Studies and is a faculty associate in the Anthropology/History Program. Robertson is a former director and member of the Center for Japanese Studies, and an associate in the Science, Society and Technology Program and Cent ...more
More about Jennifer E. Robertson...

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