Changes in the image of middle-aged women: A study of otona-joshi (‘adult girls’) in Japanese print media | Intellect Skip to content
1981
Modern Popular Culture in Middle-Class Japan
  • ISSN: 2051-7084
  • E-ISSN: 2051-7092

Abstract

Around the year 2000, the word joshi began to appear in women’s magazines, as in otona-joshi (‘adult girls’), 30 dai joshi (‘30-something girls’) and 40 dai joshi (‘40-something girls’). These terms have been commonly used not only in magazines but also on television and in everyday conversation. Though joshi implies female children and teenage girls, the term occasionally refers to women in their 30s and 40s who are supposed to be recognized as grown adults. The word joshi implies youth and vigour. This article examines how the image of women in their 30s and 40s has changed over the past decades and joshi has become an accepted word to refer to them. Contrary to its positive image, the word also connotes immaturity. Central to exploring how the notion of maturity has changed over the past 30 years are the writings of popular essayists and the women’s magazines they frequently read when they were young. This is further contextualized with a brief history of Japanese women’s magazines as to illustrate how women have responded to the notion of maturity imposed on them created after modernization.

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2022-09-01
2024-05-27
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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): bubble generation; gender; Japan; joshi; maturity; women’s magazines; youth
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