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Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential: How Teenage Girls Made a Nation Cool by [Ashcraft, Brian, Ueda, Shoko]
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Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential: How Teenage Girls Made a Nation Cool Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Review

""Japanese Schoolgirls Confidential" is highly valuable as a written discourse on one of Japan's most valuable exports. Authors Brian Ashcraft and Shoko Ueda do a fantastic job at deconstructing the Japanese schoolgirl and in the process elevating the discourse on the subject. There really hasn't been an entire book dedicated to such a topic released within the West before this, so it's certainly a welcomed addition. Those wanting to learn more about the Japanese schoolgirl and why she's so cool should look no further. Perhaps this is what's needed because while the cultural barriers still remain, we can still learn from one another, and with some of the most simplistic of concepts in this case the sailor uniform we can bridge the divide between entire nations. Now that is cool." "iSugio" blog"

"Every page in this book has something impressive, even to us Japanese who should be familiar with Jyosi-Kosei...The book is literally "Eye-Opening" for any reader both in and out of Japan." --Gigazine blog

-Manga, horror movies, pop music, fashion, and accessories are all popular Japanese topics and trends. Brian Ashcraft and Shoko Ueda tackle all of the above--and more--through the well-known trope of the schoolgirl in Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential: How Teenage Girls Made a Nation Cool. The authors explore aspects of trends such as blazers and skirt lengths and provide interviews with pop stars emulating the schoolgirl look. Whether your preferred schoolgirl is more the upstanding heroine Sailor Moon or the vengeful, weapon-wielding Gogo Yubari of Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill, Vol. 1, you'll come away well versed.- --Library Journal

-If you're into Japanese culture and want to know more about the Harajuku origins or why schoolgirls are on the advertisements for nearly everything, then pick this up. You'll learn about things you never thought to ask!- --Jessica Barton, Nerdist.com blog

-Every page in this book has something impressive, even to us Japanese who should be familiar with Jyosi-Kosei...The book is literally -Eye-Opening- for any reader both in and out of Japan.- --Gigazine blog

-For those of you who have always regretted not taking that course -Japanese Schoolgirl- at school--be disappointed no more as all you have to do is pick up this book and study at home instead. Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential: How Teenage Girls Made a Nation Cool is the Japanese Schoolgirl bible that will arm you with the knowledge to pass the JSPT (Japanese Schoolgirl Proficiency Test).- --Danny Choo, Culture Japan Director & Web Monkey

-Honestly, if you've got any interest in Japanese pop culture, this book is a must-have primer on one of the most influential items in Japan. I didn't think that was the case before reading this, but at this point, I have to admit, Ashcraft and Ueda have convinced me that it really is the case in Japan.- —Japanator blog

-Brian Ashcraft and his wife, Shoko Ueda, give the most comprehensive look at the girls that have shaped Japan. Whether you have interests in Japan's history, a love for videogames, or are an anime otaku, this book will definitely keep your eyes glued to the pages.- --Sit Sam! game resource blog

-Japanese Schoolgirls Confidential is highly valuable as a written discourse on one of Japan's most valuable exports. Authors Brian Ashcraft and Shoko Ueda do a fantastic job at deconstructing the Japanese schoolgirl and in the process elevating the discourse on the subject. There really hasn't been an entire book dedicated to such a topic released within the West before this, so it's certainly a welcomed addition. Those wanting to learn more about the Japanese schoolgirl and why she's so cool should look no further. Perhaps this is what's needed because while the cultural barriers still remain, we can still learn from one another, and with some of the most simplistic of concepts--in this case the sailor uniform--we can bridge the divide between entire nations. Now that is cool.- --iSugio blog

-Overall, the topics of discussion and the specific examples used seem to have been very carefully chosen, and all of the facts and information flow together nicely. The prose is intelligent, witty, and easy to read... Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential is not only lots and lots of fun but also manages to transcend the schoolgirl icon by coalescing into a rich and informative cultural history. If I were teaching a class about contemporary Japan, you can bet that this book would be required reading.- --Contemporary Japanese Literature blog

"Manga, horror movies, pop music, fashion, and accessories are all popular Japanese topics and trends. Brian Ashcraft and Shoko Ueda tackle all of the above--and more--through the well-known trope of the schoolgirl in Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential: How Teenage Girls Made a Nation Cool. The authors explore aspects of trends such as blazers and skirt lengths and provide interviews with pop stars emulating the schoolgirl look. Whether your preferred schoolgirl is more the upstanding heroine Sailor Moon or the vengeful, weapon-wielding Gogo Yubari of Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill, Vol. 1, you'll come away well versed." --Library Journal

"If you're into Japanese culture and want to know more about the Harajuku origins or why schoolgirls are on the advertisements for nearly everything, then pick this up. You'll learn about things you never thought to ask!" --Jessica Barton, Nerdist.com blog

"For those of you who have always regretted not taking that course "Japanese Schoolgirl" at school--be disappointed no more as all you have to do is pick up this book and study at home instead. Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential: How Teenage Girls Made a Nation Cool is the Japanese Schoolgirl bible that will arm you with the knowledge to pass the JSPT (Japanese Schoolgirl Proficiency Test)." --Danny Choo, Culture Japan Director & Web Monkey

"Honestly, if you've got any interest in Japanese pop culture, this book is a must-have primer on one of the most influential items in Japan. I didn't think that was the case before reading this, but at this point, I have to admit, Ashcraft and Ueda have convinced me that it really is the case in Japan." —Japanator blog

"Brian Ashcraft and his wife, Shoko Ueda, give the most comprehensive look at the girls that have shaped Japan. Whether you have interests in Japan's history, a love for videogames, or are an anime otaku, this book will definitely keep your eyes glued to the pages." --Sit Sam! game resource blog

"Japanese Schoolgirls Confidential is highly valuable as a written discourse on one of Japan's most valuable exports. Authors Brian Ashcraft and Shoko Ueda do a fantastic job at deconstructing the Japanese schoolgirl and in the process elevating the discourse on the subject. There really hasn't been an entire book dedicated to such a topic released within the West before this, so it's certainly a welcomed addition. Those wanting to learn more about the Japanese schoolgirl and why she's so cool should look no further. Perhaps this is what's needed because while the cultural barriers still remain, we can still learn from one another, and with some of the most simplistic of concepts--in this case the sailor uniform--we can bridge the divide between entire nations. Now that is cool." --iSugio blog

"Overall, the topics of discussion and the specific examples used seem to have been very carefully chosen, and all of the facts and information flow together nicely. The prose is intelligent, witty, and easy to read... Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential is not only lots and lots of fun but also manages to transcend the schoolgirl icon by coalescing into a rich and informative cultural history. If I were teaching a class about contemporary Japan, you can bet that this book would be required reading." --Contemporary Japanese Literature blog

Book Description

"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 appeared in hugely-popular anime and manga series such as Dragon ball, Sailor Moon, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, and blood: The Last Vampire. These girls are literally showing up everywhere—in movies, magazines, video games, advertising, and music. WiRED Magazine has kept an eye on the trends emerging from these stylish teens, following kick-ass schoolgirl characters in videogames like Street Fighter and assassin schoolgirls in movies like Quentin Tarantino's Kill bill.

by talking to Japanese women, including former and current J-Pop idols, well-known actresses, models, writers, and artists—along with famous Japanese film directors, historians and marketers—authors brian Ashcraft and Shoko ueda (who have both contributed to WiRED's "Japanese Schoolgirl Watch" columns) reveal the true story behind Japan's schoolgirl obsessions.

You'll learn the origins of the schoolgirls' unusual attire, and how they are becoming a global brand used to sell everything from kimchi to insurance. in Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential, you'll discover:
  • Sailor-suited pop-idols
  • Cult movie vixens
  • Schoolgirl shopping power
  • The latest uniform fashions

Japanese schoolgirls are a symbol of girl empowerment. Japanese Schoolgirl Confidential shows why they are so intensely cool. Don't miss this essential book on the Japanese youth culture craze that is driving today's pop culture worldwide.

"Whether your preferred schoolgirl is more the upstanding heroine Sailor Moon or the vengeful, weapon-wielding Gogo Yubari of Quentin Tarantino's Kill bill, Vol. 1, you'll come away well versed." —Publishers Weekly

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 34646 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Tuttle Publishing (13 May 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00J75N5BA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #622,882 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top customer reviews

Format: Paperback
I first read a review for this book in the 'Japan Times' that I like to read online and I was curious !
Anime and manga is so popular now it is hard not to have come across Japanese schoolgirls, these days they are a world-wide icon and this book will tell you everything you want to know about these incredibly cool teenage girls !
Read how they are keeping Japanese companies alive in the recession with their amazing spending,the book says the girls have at least 10,000 Yen to spend but I have been lucky enough to speak with real Japanese schoolgirls and they say the figure is far higher than that !

I highly recommend it to anyone with a interest in Japanese culture.
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Format: Paperback
I first bought this book a couple of years ago in a small book-shop in one of the covered shopping arcades in Kyoto. Although it's written in a light-heated & very readable way, it nevertheless contains a mine of fascinating information about the intriguing world of the Japanese schoolgirl. A must for anybody with an interest in modern Japan & its youth cultures & all that that involves, whether manga, anime, J-pop, idols, J-horror, art, fashion, consumerism - you name it. Brian Ashcroft has written for many popular Japanese youth orientated magazines & therefore presents his work in the casual, easily accessible style that you would expect of such publications - in fact I think that his present work is partly an expanded compendium of those articles. But this is just detail, the fact is that this little hand-book is brilliantly written & presented.
Mine is an earlier non "full colour" version & reading the "look inside" facility on Amazon I can see that it has been improved visually quite a lot. I also noticed in other reviews that there had been criticism of inaccuracies in Chapter 2 on "Idol Worship". I had noticed an inaccuracy myself on first reading the book & checked to see if it had been corrected in the new revised version, but it had not. I refer to the article on the all-girl rock band Scandal where the author interviews the band & introduces "Haruna Ono on rhythm guitar, Mami Sasazaki on bass, Tomomi Ogawa on lead guitar & Rina Suzuki pounding the crap out of the drums". Well I think Scandal are well enough known by now for anyone to know that Mami plays lead guitar & Tomomi plays bass, not the other way round, but I'm surprised that this has not been corrected.
Other than that, an impressive work. Other reviewers have gone into detail on content so I won't repeat them. Well worth buying - I refer to it again & again.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book, much more than I expected to be honest. The quality of images and the writing style in general are great :) I'm going to be using this for part of my English dissertation and I would definitely recommend it to anime/manga fans (as someone who has been into manga for almost a decade it's always lovely to learn something new which this book definitely provides).
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You might look like a bit of a pervert reading this in public, but it is a fantastic resource on various aspects of Japanese culture, using the figure of the Japanese schoolgirl as the shared point between film, music, technology, history, and more. You'll learn a lot
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Put Aside Your Assumptions 21 July 2014
By Kate M. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was already completely satisfied with the original volume; this full-colour update is well worth a look! Written in an approachable style, Ashcraft covers many different aspects of Japanese culture, from anime to J-pop. While those might be the "expected" categories, there's also a smattering of history and the evolution of various trends. The author himself remarks on the fact that writing a book about Japanese schoolgirls was met with "coy assumptions that were clearly a carryover of stereotype and fantasy". Indeed, to dismiss this book based upon those sorts of assumptions would be a mistake--it is well written and informative, a worthy addition to the overall library surrounding Japan's modern culture. Based upon this and his other title, I am eagerly awaiting Ashcraft's next book.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Delightful Introduction to the Culture Behind Magical Girls 2 Aug. 2012
By Dani Richard - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Do you want to dive into Japanese pop culture? Do you like manga and anime? Do you like stories that include Japanese school girls or magical girls like Sailor Moon? Do you like or own a school uniform or sailor suite? Answer yes any of these question this book may be for you. Answer yes to all these questions you need this book. From Sailor Moon to Kill Bill, the Japanese Girl in her school uniform is ubiquitous and the center of attention. In Japan there are stores dedicated to "fake" school uniforms for when one's real uniform is not cool enough. (I have two "fake" uniforms I wear and have a sailor suit on order.) The book provides context and the backstory of the Japanese School Girl icon. The eight chapters cover the presentation of Japanese girls in their uniform, in music, in shopping, in print media, in art, in games, and of course in anime and manga. Every page includes a photo or drawing of people and/or events in current Japanese culture. This is fun and informative read. it includes a bibliography and index. The book is printed in Japan with a soft cover. Like most books made in Japan it includes a dust cover and the cover is two thick papers that are glued together at the edges. I enjoyed this book and enjoying reading it for a third time.
5.0 out of 5 stars I liked it! 24 May 2011
By m - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book, and think it makes a good compliment to Patrick Macias' Japanese Schoolgirl Inferno: Tokyo Teen Fashion Subculture Handbook (reading one made me feel like I understood the other a bit better).

The main negating factor for me is that I want to know more about the various topics, as this is a part of Japanese pop culture I am quite interested in (which maybe sounds kind of creepy, but I promise you it isn't, haha).

I don't really want to detract stars for that though because I personally feel that:
1) there might not be that much more info on the topic
2) if there is more info, it may not be interesting enough to put in the book (being appealing only to those who are super interested)
3) some of it may not translate over well (to explain one thing, you have to explain all this other stuff and maybe it's hard to summarize).

I trust what Ashcraft wrote pretty well; from what I've seen he's been writing about this kind of thing for some time, and in my opinion he does it well (examples: his work with Wired, Kotaku). So I'd say he's credible.

Overall, for me it was a neat look into the impact and influence that the symbol of the Japanese schoolgirl has. Being a young American woman who enjoys Japanese fashion, the "Material Girls" section was my favorite part, especially learning about the history of Egg magazine and how companies seem to have a more direct relationship with their young customers (in contrast to here, where it seems to be mostly top>down). It might not be to everyone's tastes though, so I suggest giving a quick flip-through before purchase.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great! 24 April 2016
By Hetaliafan523 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Cute & the book is smaller than expected, but I don't care about that. :) the pages are all in color! Fun to read!
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read. 30 Jan. 2016
By Lee A. Vercoe - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Interesting light reading. Probably most people that buy this book have some idea about the power of the Japanese School Girl in anime/manga and movies but if you don't, give it a try.
I wish the illustrations were in a higher res. Zooming in to find a pixulated picture is disappointing.
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