Shojo Manga – often translated as ‘comics for girls’ – is a genre of Japanese comic books which has a history of over 100 years in Japan. Contrary to its male counterpart ‘Shonen Manga’, Shojo Manga features narratives of sweet love stories, anguished romances and even real-life issues facing women across a vastly broad range of genres. Whether a sci-fi, fantasy or even period drama, the stories reflect the desires and dreams of its mainly female readership, showing truly what girls want.
In this talk Dr Nozomi Masuda, Konan University, Japan, traced the origins of Shojo Manga from its beginnings in girls’ magazine through to its more recent transformations today, questioning what significance the genre has in Japanese society, and what it had been expressing over its diverse and complex themes.
Following the presentation, Eiko had a conversation with journalist and expert on comics Paul Gravett and Dr Masuda. Together they looked into Eiko’s work, reflecting on her illustrious career in the Manga industry spanning over half a century, as well as discussing the phenomenon of Shojo Manga and the impact it had had upon Japanese culture and beyond.