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Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential: How Teenage Girls Made A Nation Cool

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3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  162 ratings  ·  23 reviews
"The schoolgirl is the main driver of Japan's Gross National Cool, and Brian Ashcraft's book is the best source for those hoping to understand why."—Chris Baker, WIRED Magazine

Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential takes you beyond the realm of everyday girls to the world of the iconic Japanese schoolgirl craze that is sweeping the globe.

For years, Japanese schoolgirls have appe
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Paperback, 192 pages
Published August 1st 2010 by Kodansha
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(showing 1-30 of 591)
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Randee
I enjoyed this brief exploration into Japanese pop culture and how teenage girls have dominated trends in everything from fashion to music. Each chapter discusses a different medium in which female teens have prevailed into making something like cell phones fashionable, trendy and popular to the Japanese public. I, myself, am a big fan of Japan and found some of the origins to be quite interesting. I wish the writer had gone into more detail. Each chapter is relatively brief with lots of drawing ...more
Steve
OK, so I’ve read a book about Japanese Schoolgirls; It really isn’t what you think.

Here’s the thing. If you watch a Japanese film, anime, read manga or Japanese literature, the hero, the villain, the principle characters always seem to either be, or have connections to Japanese School Girls, and I want to know why. Why is it modern Japanese stories always feature young, strong, female characters, when other nations output almost always has girls as fodder for the male leads and, at best, love in
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Sarah
Pretty entertaining book, though it is quiet short and tells a lot of its story through pictures. If you're looking for an in-depth description of elements of Japanese popular culture, this isn't it. But it touches on quite a few interesting elements, and it's an entertaining, light read.
Sam Brattle


An interesting book that is a must for all fans of Japanese culture.
Brenna
I LOVE this book!
Holly Letson
Once you get past the boring first chapter of this book, which discusses uniforms, this book is really good. I'd give it 4.5 stars myself. I won this book from Tuttle here on Goodreads from First Reads. I was excited to receive it, and was not let down.
I consider myself pretty read-up and in-the-know about anime and manga. But, still, I enjoyed reading that section of the book, and learning the stories behind what we read and watch.
I also enjoyed reading the sections on music and gaming as w
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Randee
I enjoyed this brief exploration into Japanese pop culture and how teenage girls have dominated trends in everything from fashion to music. Each chapter discusses a different medium in which female teens have prevailed into making something like cell phones fashionable, trendy and popular to the Japanese public. I, myself, am a big fan of Japan and found some of the origins to be quite interesting. I wish the writer had gone into more detail. Each chapter is relatively brief with lots of drawing ...more
Josh Brown
For anyone who has ever shown an interest in Japanese culture, Brain Ashcraft's 'Japanese SchoolGirl Confidential' brings 200 pages of well-written, thouroghly engaging historical facts and trivia surrounding what you'll learn to be almost the bread and butter of modern Japanese society.

Even though the book's cover may not be the first thing you'd like to envision other commuters eye-balling on your way to work - and certainly being one to raise a few questions when seen sitting on your bookshel
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Michelle
This book is an light overview of what kind of impact Japanese schoolgirl have had in popular culture. The first chapter covers the history of school uniforms, and the other chapters thematically cover the rest of pop culture. It's a good book for getting an understanding of that part of Japanese culture. It avoids a prurient and immature view of schoolgirls and goes for an understanding of them beyond sexual fetishes but rather the independence and economic power of teen girls that give them cu ...more
abatage
Remember that the author is a journalist, so there isn't a lot in the way of academic integrity. His research methods (unsurprisingly) are convenience based and often the result of limited surveying. He can't decide whether he's writing a piece for a magazine, or a serious investigation into this unique culture. There are some sentences that stand out for being too much like an attempt at prose, especially when they are plonked at the beginning of a typical magazine interview. Do I need to hear ...more
Natalie Salhanick
Loved this book. It's right along the lines of Japanese Schoolgirl Inferno. It's a quick read on the cultural influence of schoolgirls on Japan. The chapters are broken up in to different mediums and themes. I greatly prefer the focus on fashion and culture rather than anime and manga in this book. Absolutely recommended to anyone interested in modern Japanese pop culture.
kb
Informative and entertaining read! I liked that it discusses theories about how the school girl is a Japanese icon (and of course, other elements of pop culture) but does not use the academic approach and instead talks about things in a friendlier and more consumable way. And the pictures! They are glorious! Great for anyone fascinated by the Japanese culture AND those who have yet to get into the fan club.
Rachel
Interesting look at pop culture and the teen influence, gets a little repetitive.
Hollowspine
I think I know much more than I needed or ever wanted to know about Japanese School Uniforms. It was interesting to read about some of the Japanese Originals, like the Ko-Gals, and also to take a look at the language of teenage girls in Japan, similar to the text speak we have developed among young girls here. The face letters ( ^o^ ) of course originated in Japan, but in teenage girls rather than anyone else.

I don't think teenage girls are very trendsetting here in the States...at least I hope
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Kate
I liked this book. Love Japanese culture. This was a good intro to "schoolgirl" culture with a lot of mentions of different aspects of it (fashion, manga, bands, magazines). Would love to see a companion website with links to everything they mentioned. Good jumping off point for further investigation.
FutureSimp
3.5 stars actually. This book was better than it had to be, but I wish there was a closer chapter. The book immediately ended after a brief anime summary. But will summarize the appeal of schoolgirls listed in the book for you right now: "Natsukashii" and "Seishun".
Gwynzie
It was interesting and I can't say that I got bored in the least while reading it. The first chapter with the history of the uniform was the best and I liked learning about loose socks too. I'm now planning on knitting a pair (if I can).
Tasha
Slightly repetitive, at times a bit shallow in its analysis, but quite interesting exploration of the schoolgirl figure in Japanese art and media. Good historical view. Great pictures, wish some of them were bigger or in color.
Alexa
Good only if you are interested in learning more about the Japanese school uniform, otherwise this is not the book for you. Very cute and easy to read. Lots of fun pictures too.
Jennifer
Cute and trendy but superficial book about the appeal of the schoolgirl stereotype. Some fun stuff, some inaccuracies, nothing too serious in any direction.
Geku
Quite insightful and informative, an easy and fun read with a ton of helpful photos and illustrations.
Marissa
Eh. Why do I keep reading pop culture non fiction? Needs moar editor.
Spencer
dont judge me
Scott Fassett
Scott Fassett marked it as to-read
Sep 04, 2015
Lara Zitko
Lara Zitko marked it as to-read
Aug 28, 2015
Hallie
Hallie marked it as to-read
Aug 27, 2015
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Brian Ashcraft is a writer based in Japan. He is the Senior Contributing Editor for video game site Kotaku. Ashcraft was previously a Contributing Editor at Wired Magazine and his work has also appeared in Popular Science, The Guardian, The Japan Times, and design journal Metropolis Magazine as well as publications in the United Kingdom, Portugal, Italy and South Africa. He has been interviewed ab ...more
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