What is a Japanese Schoolgirl?

From the Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential: How Teenage Girls Made a Nation Cool, by Brian Ashcraft, product description on Amazon.com:

“From manga and anime to movies, magazines, video games, advertising and music, Japanese schoolgirls are everywhere. For years, schoolgirls have shown up in internationally popular anime such as Sailor Moon, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, and Blood: The Last Vampire. Films such as Battle Royale inspired Quentin Tarantino to include a fighting schoolgirl in Kill Bill; and recently, Rinko Kikuchi received an Oscar nomination for her role as a schoolgirl in the film Babel. There are schoolgirl characters in video games such as Street Fighter. And the “Japanese Schoolgirl Watch” column in Wired magazine has long kept an eye on the trends emerging among these stylish teens. In effect, the Japanese schoolgirl has all but replaced the “geisha -girl” as Japan’s new female icon.”

from Wired magazine, April 2003:

“With the cut, color, and brand of clothing, shoes, and book bags dictated by school dress codes, hipsters have to think small. Very small. As in designer logos on their socks. In uniformed classrooms, knee-highs must be navy blue, black, or white, yet all but the most conservative faculties allow small insignias just below the knee. Logo socks, priced at around 1,000 yen ($8.50), are an inexpensive way to stand out. ‘They don’t have to be designer logos if they’re really cute, like flying hearts. But,’ warns student Makika Sudo, ‘the socks have to be ribbed, not smooth.’”

Comments are closed.