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Countdown to the demise of girls' novels
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-21, 16:26 authored by Yoriko, K, Barbara HartleyBarbara Hartley
Japan, shōjo shōsetsu, or girls' novels, have been a fixture in the field of popular literature for at least the past century. In recent decades, the principal publisher of this narrative form has been Shūeisha's Cobalt Library (Kobaruto bunko). However, with material no longer published in print form and with Shūeisha establishing a new Orange Library (Orenji bunko) series of "light novels" (raito noberu, easy to read stories for young adult readers), to which many previous Cobalt writers have migrated, it appears that the shōjo shōsetsu genre may well disappear. This article positions the historic and more recent production of girls' novels within the socio-historic parameters of Japanese society to investigate the apparent demise of works of this nature. In doing so, connections are made between the shōjo shōsetsu and the gender norms that have marginalized Japanese women in the past and that arguably continue to do so today.
Publication titleUS - Japan Women's Journal: English Supplement
Department/SchoolSchool of Humanities
Place of publicationUniversity of Hawai'i Press